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Report on Investment Activity 2020
Published 15 Sep 2021

This report has been produced by the BVCA to demonstrate the activities of our members in 2020. The statistics in this report are the results of the BVCA’s Investment Activity Study, a detailed and comprehensive survey of our members’ activity in the year, covering fundraising, business investments and business exits

Fundraising
  • Total fundraising in 2020 reached £44.05bn. The number of funds raising new capital was 116.

Buyout fundraising reached £35.09bn. Pension funds are the largest institutional investor in UK buyout funds contributing 40%, followed by sovereign wealth funds (12%) and fund of funds (11%).

Growth capital reached £5.97bn. Pension funds were the largest contributor at 28% followed by fund of funds at 9%.

Venture capital fundraising reached £2.15bn. Fund of funds contributed 20% to the total VC fundraising amount, followed by private individuals (15%), government agencies (13%) and pension funds (12%).

Investments
  • The total equity amount invested in portfolio companies in 2020 increased by 12% year-onyear to £25.10bn. The number of companies receiving investment rose 9% to 1672.

Buyout investment increased by 11% year-on-year to £18.77bn. The number of companies backed decreased by 4% to 218. Mega buyouts accounted for 57% of the buyout market, followed by large buyouts at 25%. Small buyouts ended 2020 with £278m with 85 companies backed. Mid-market saw a slight year-on-year decrease of 5% at £3.2bn investing in 89 companies.

Growth capital investments increased by 7% to £3.87bn. 555 companies were backed, a 19% increase year-on-year.

Venture capital investment increased by 2% year-on-year to £1.68bn with 883 companies backed, an 8% increase. Seed investments increased to £121m in 2020. Start-up contracted to £160m, an reduction of 24%. Early stage investments decreased 3% year-on-year in size to £843m. Later stage venture investments increased by 12% to £522m.

Divestments
  • 563 companies were exited in 2020, a 10% increase from 2019. By amount of former equity investments (divestments at cost), the total value exited was £7.96bn.

Buyout divestments represented 80% by amount at cost and around 29% by number of companies of all exits in 2020.

Growth divestments represented 13% of all exits by amount at cost and 43% by number of companies.

Venture capital comprised around 5% of all divestments with 141 companies. The most prominent exit route was write offs, which represented 32% of number of companies divested in 2020.


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