Matthew Neville

Yorkshire and the Humber see record level of equity investment in SMEs

Published today, the British Business Bank’s annual Small Business Equity Tracker 2022 reveals equity investment in Yorkshire and the Humber’s smaller businesses reached record levels in 2021.

The region saw a 13 percent increase in the value of announced equity deals in smaller businesses completed in 2021. The report also highlights an 18 per cent increase in the total number of announced deals in 2021 compared to 2020.

The success of Yorkshire and the Humber forms part of an “exceptional” year for equity deals in the UK’s smaller businesses, with 2,616 deals completed at a total value of £18.1bn, nearly double that of 2020. In Yorkshire and the Humber alone, the region saw £179m of investment across 86 deals.

The bank said that the strong momentum has so far continued into the first quarter of 2022, with the volume of Yorkshire and the Humber equity deals involving small businesses between January and March reaching £105m.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) area drew in the region’s highest levels of equity deals, ranking 8th in the UK’s top equity clusters by announced deal count. Between 2019 to 2021, the WYCA area reeled in an average yearly investment value of £64m.

This activity was driven by significant deals in the software sector including cashless technology startup Tappit and Metaverse game developer Dubit. The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority area also made the top 20 equity clusters, ranking joint 14th with an average yearly investment value of £29m.

Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network director for the North of England at the British Business Bank, commented: “It’s encouraging to see such buoyant results for the smaller business equity market in Yorkshire and the Humber. There is no doubt this is a step in the right direction and a clear sign of investor confidence in the region.

“Whilst there are signs of this momentum continuing in early 2022, smaller businesses will be mindful of potential economic headwinds in the coming months and year. We will continue to provide businesses with the access to finance they need to start up and thrive in the region.”

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