We are thrilled to announce that our companies attracted a record investment of £98.8 million in 2021.
The figure was equivalent to 15% of the total £636 million raised by Bristol businesses last year, evidence of a promising market recovery since Covid.
More than half of our 80 companies raised investment in 2021, including alumnus Ultraleap, who raised £60 million to further commercialise its revolutionary hand tracking and mid-air haptics, with other high level raises including Micrima, Zeetta Networks and Neighbourly.
Our incubator also saw strong results in healthtech, with companies in this sector raising £11 million last year, as well as fintech which will see a further boost this year with the launch of a fintech accelerator.
Further successes in 2021 saw our companies create 250 jobs, generate £29 million in revenues and achieve record numbers for leadership diversity.
SETsquared Bristol is a dedicated advocate of diversity in tech, with specific programmes, initiatives and events to encourage under-represented and minoritised groups into tech entrepreneurship.
Our work towards gender parity is paying off, with 45% of our 80 companies now being led by a women founder or C-Suite member. Furthermore, 70% of the highest investment raises in 2021 came from our women-led companies, one of which was University of Bristol spin-out, KETS Quantum Security.
Caroline Clark, COO at KETS, said:
“We were delighted to raise £3.1 million pre-series A last year, as well as to secure an £11.6 million grant to develop quantum-safe communications for the Modern Data Centre. As always, we can only do this with the support of our Bristol and broader quantum tech ecosystem, of which SETsquared continues to play a hugely significant role.”
Our incubator also runs initiatives to encourage under-represented ethnic groups to access business support, including the Breakthrough Bursary, now in its third year. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic-led companies at SETsquared Bristol increased to 24% in 2021 – a figure representative of Bristol’s diverse population.
University of Bristol healthtech spin-out, FluoretiQ, a Breakthrough Bursary awardee, has raised over £2 million to date.
Neciah Dorh, Co-founder and CEO at FluoretiQ, said:
“SETsquared’s Entrepreneur in Residence sessions have been really beneficial to refine our strategy. The incubator has also widened our network, ensuring our developments can be heard by those who need to hear them.”
Marty Reid, Director at SETsquared Bristol, said:
“It’s amazing to see our companies’ hard work celebrated in these record-breaking stats. At SETsquared we have an important role in bringing investment into the region and it is vital that diverse business leaders get a proportionate share of the equity. We’re thrilled that our diversity figures are far higher than the UK average, though we recognise that there is much more to do.”
Going forward, we will continue our diversity commitments with a focus on access to funding and investment. If you are interested in high-growth ESG investing, find out more about getting involved here.