Four-fold increase in investments into UK start-ups

New research has found that investors pumped £2.8 billion into UK-based start-ups between 2014 and 2018, marking a fourfold increase.

According to the report, among the biggest changes in the investment pattern has been an increase in the scale of investments made into early-stage life sciences businesses.

The study found that while it used to be unusual for early-stage companies to receive more than £50 million in investment rounds, it is much more common now, with large concerns such as Oxford Sciences Innovation driving these larger numbers.

For example, Oxford Sciences Innovation has raised more than £600 million, investing anywhere from £100,000 to £10 million in companies coming out of the University of Oxford. Meanwhile, Cambridge Innovation Capital invests in university-related companies and has raised £275 million since 2013.

According to the report, there also has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of startups in this sector over the last five years, which has contributed to a “boom in the pipeline” of specialist facilities.

The growth in the number of life sciences start-ups has been driven by London, which houses the highest amount compared to the wider regional areas of the UK. However, the report suggests that, while the capital is currently the leader in this space, it has taken some time to establish itself and was only ranked fourth between 2006 and 2010.

Meanwhile, outside London start-ups are concentrated in the East, South East, North West and Scotland, with the North West being the fastest developing region, with a 50 per cent increase in start-up growth.

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