As SV approaches its 30th Anniversary Celebration next week, it felt serendipitous to be asked to reflect on the pivotal role that the BVCA has had in shaping the UK venture capital landscape to mark its 40th anniversary.
Through championing innovation as a catalyst for economic growth and highlighting the successes that have put the UK on the global map, the BVCA has had a significant impact on the UK venture capital industry and the wider economy.
Significant change has been seen since the BVCA was established in 1983 including SV raising our first venture fund focused solely on life sciences. Whilst it was a radical idea at the time, today sector-focused VC funds are mainstream and recognised for bringing deep sector expertise to investors’ portfolios.
The BVCA, with its global engagement programme of international roadshows, has helped attract overseas investors which recognises the superb strength of the UK’s research institutions, entrepreneurs, and businesses. For example, SV’s current UK-based biotech companies have attracted 8 times our investment in follow-on funding, with much of this coming from overseas.
UK life science companies are still held back by the lack of growth funding available today but the BVCA’s dedication to showcasing the opportunity for UK science on a global stage, as well as engaging with government, regulators, and industry alike, will be key to solving this.
Another major change in the VC industry over the last 40 years is increased diversity. The BVCA’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of D&I has meant we now see greater representation of women and underrepresented groups in the VC ecosystem. All of SV’s biotech portfolio companies have women in the C-suite and more than a third of our companies have at least 30% women on their boards which we could not have said 30 years ago.
Over the past four decades, the BVCA has helped to create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive, ideas can flourish, and the UK can continue to lead the way in venture capital. Long may this continue!
Managing Partner, SV Health Investors
SV Health Investors is a leading healthcare fund manager committed to investing in tomorrow’s healthcare breakthroughs. The SV family of funds, which includes funds dedicated specifically to biotech and dementia, invests across stages, geographic regions, and sectors, with expertise spanning biotechnology, dementia, healthcare growth, healthcare technology and public equities. With approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management and a truly transatlantic presence with offices in Boston and London, SV has built an extensive network of talented investment professionals and experienced industry veterans. Since its founding in 1993, SV has invested in, created and built more than 200 companies attracting global talent, entrepreneurs and pharma partners. To date, these investments have resulted in the licensing of 20 novel drugs and six new drug classes able to treat indications with unmet medical needs and deliver positive impact to patients. For more information, please see www.svhealthinvestors.com.