Despite the unprecedented challenges of the current COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was another successful year for Mercia Asset Management with the business named the country’s third most active investor.
The landscape of investment into start-ups and scaleups has remained resilient through the entirety of 2020 amid the pandemic, with the number of equity investments throughout the year standing at 1,957, a decrease of only 20 from 2019, according to a recent report published by Beauhurst.
The report has identified Mercia has been one of those driving this activity, continuing to be recognized as one of the UK’s leading supporters of regional SMEs, completing 136 deals between April and December 2020 alone.
The report found that investment in London plateaued during 2020, whilst the South East, Yorkshire and the Humber and Scotland saw record levels of investment during the year (Edinburgh and Glasgow alone saw a combined investment of £157.1million throughout 2020).
In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has also shone a light on the importance of investing in healthcare across the country. Beauhurst found that the MedTech industry is one area that has seen markedly increased investment over the past year, raising £192.0million across 82 rounds throughout the past twelve months. In addition to being an active investor in the MedTech space, Mercia has also overseen the sale of The Native Antigen Company for a total cash consideration of up to £18m as well as Abingdon Health’s IPO that raised £22m during this period.
Digital security is another industry that has seen record numbers over the past twelve months. The industry saw a 36% increase in demand for their services and a 26% increase in job opportunities. This can be attributed to the UK’s population spending far more time online working from home, and an increased need for cyber security. This demand can also be seen in Mercia’s investment to support the continued growth of its portfolio in this sector, including companies Atlas Cloud and Intechnica
Critically, Beauhurst’s report highlights that there are great businesses to be found in the regions, as demonstrated by the level of investment from Mercia last year. This investment has been critical to sustain the growth of these companies that, in turn, play a vital role in contributing to and driving the thriving regions that will help to drive the growth in our economy.