In our first year, we have built a strong team, and a diversified portfolio of venture and venture growth investments.
During 2018/19, we committed a total of £334m to five venture funds and seven venture growth funds. Venture funds are typically those investing in early funding stages from pre-seed up to Series A, whereas venture growth funds invest in Series B onwards.
We focus on this segment of the market where there is a significant funding gap, as identified by the Patient Capital Review and evidenced by our own observations as meaningful investors in this area.
At the end of the financial year, our portfolio consisted of 31 fund investments, with total commitments approaching £600m, making British Patient Capital the largest domestic investor in this asset class in the UK.
Commitments made to venture and venture growth funds, making British Patient Capital the largest domestic investor in this asset class in the UK
Highlighting our portfolio
We invest in funds with strategies leveraging world-leading science conducted in universities across the UK. Commercialisation of such research offers the opportunity to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by modern society. In our portfolio we now have £59m committed to three life sciences funds, including the Dementia Discovery Fund, profiled later in this report.
During the year, we have also made our first investment in a listed evergreen vehicle, Draper Esprit. This type of vehicle not only lends itself to patient, longer-term investment strategies given its open-ended structure, but also has the advantage of providing a way to invest in venture for public market investors.
Building our capability
None of our impressive progress this year would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of British Patient Capital’s team.
A core group of seven investment professionals joined the company from other divisions of the British Business Bank at launch, allowing us to make an immediate impact.
During the year we increased our numbers to 13, bringing in additional investment expertise and building out our capacity to equip ourselves for a sustained higher volume of investment activity.
Looking forward, we will be hiring senior professionals to commence our co-investment activity and to develop our institutional relations strategy. This follows our first £250m investment management mandate, with the Nuclear Liabilities Fund, signed at the end of 2018/19. Signposting and providing access to the venture and venture growth asset classes for investors is a key part of British Patient Capital’s mission. We look forward to working with a broader range of institutions as we continue to progress our own investment strategy.
I would like to thank everyone on the team for their outstanding contributions. The targets for our first year of operations were truly ambitious, and it has taken a great deal of talent and commitment to achieve them.