Preqin’s Fund Managers Profiles database shows that there are currently 216 firms located in the UK that make venture capital investments, either exclusively or as part of a wider investment strategy. Of these firms, 104 solely make venture capital investments. Collectively, they have raised almost £4 billion over the past 10 years and currently have over £1.4 billion in estimated dry powder available for investment.
Of these 104 UK-based venture capital firms, the top five fund managers by total capital raised over the last decade are Balderton Capital, Scottish Equity Partners, MVM Life Science Partners, Excalibur Fund Managers and Zouk Capital. Glasgow-based Scottish Equity Partners is the only one of the top five not to be headquartered in London. The firm focuses investments exclusively in the UK whereas the other four firms seek venture capital investments across a variety of regions worldwide, including Asia, Europe and North America, as well as investing throughout the UK.
Balderton Capital was founded in 2000 by US-based venture firm Benchmark Capital, and only formally became independent in 2007 – though Balderton still maintains close ties with its Silicon Valley sibling. The firm targets industries that are on the verge of high growth, which includes such technology markets as e-commerce, consumer internet and software. It holds an estimated dry powder of £266 million and has raised a total £895 million over the last decade.
Scottish Equity Partners has raised £455million in the past 10 years and has an estimated £267 million of dry powder at its disposal. The firm is currently making venture investments from the £200 million SEP IV Fund, which closed at the end of 2011. The private equity vehicle, backed by blue chip investors, focuses on the increasingly converging IT, healthcare and energy sectors.