Development Bank of Wales reports strong investment activity

equity funding

The bank made 519 investments with an average deal value of £210,276, into 460 Welsh businesses during the year ending March 31, 2022

The Development Bank of Wales has ramped up its investment activity to support firms across the economy with nearly £110m in its last financial year.

The bank, which provides debt and equity funding to SMEs and is wholly-owned by the Welsh Government, made 519 investments with an average deal value of £210,276, into 460 Welsh businesses during the year ending March 31, 2022.

Just over half of investments (51%) were awarded to existing customers. Total investment was £109.1m, an increase of £3.6m on the previous year. Equity investments made up 10.6% of the total (£11.58m).

Co-investment in 2021-22 reached £64.1m, an increase of £4.1m on 2020-21 as the Development Bank continues to focus on working with the private sector to maximise the flow of private capital in Wales. £30.3m of the co-investment was for tech ventures.

The investor base held by Angels Invest Wales (AIW) grew to 299 and there were 92 individual angel investments during the year totalling £3.3m compared to £2.6m in 2020-21. Through co-investment, AIW had a total cumulative impact of £8.6mm – including £1.65m in match-funding by lead Angel investor syndicates. 10% of investors registered with AIW are women.

With a customer portfolio of almost 3,000 Welsh businesses, the Development Bank now manages funds totalling £1.9bn including the £32.5m for micro loan funding.

Micro loans of up to £50,000 across all funds accounted for 70% of total investments made by the Development Bank during the year, of which almost half were fast track loans with a lending decision targeted within 48 hours. 140 fast track loans totalling £2.39m were awarded in 2021-22 compared to 93 in 2020-21. Start-up investment also increased from £7.5m to £8.8m with 135 investments in 2021-22 compared to 122 in the previous year.

The development bank saw particular growth in north Wales with businesses in the region receiving £30.1m from the overall value of deals compared to £25m in the previous year. South east Wales had £47m and mid and west Wales reported £32.1m. There were 3,540 jobs created or safeguarded during the year across Wales.

Chief executive of the Development Bank, Giles Thorley, said: As a patient investor, our focus is on helping businesses to start-up and grow. This long-term approach is particularly important in the tech sector where we provide follow-on funding for those companies that have benefited from seed and early stage equity finance.

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