18th July 2019

 

Understandably many firms in the UK are looking at their future prospects in a post-Brexit environment, and trying to plan accordingly. It’s a difficult task at the best of times, but throw in political uncertainty and it can seem like an impossible job.

If you’re a well-established business, things might be a little easier but what of those new start-ups or fledgling businesses – how might the situation be even trickier for them?

As we know, setting up a business can be an incredibly daunting experience at the best of times, and it can also be a chastening one, especially if things do not pan out as imagined and if the often cut-throat world of commerce gets the better of it.

Let’s make no bones about it, the chances of failure – especially in the formative years of any business – are fairly high, it is often stated that the majority of companies fail. 

Setting up a firm is a ‘risky business’ and there are all manner of reasons why, in 12 months’ time, that company no longer functions as a going concern. Even if the product or service seems like a ‘sure thing’, in sectors such as technology and life sciences – two of the areas which Deepbridge functions in – things move incredibly quickly, and what once seemed like the cutting edge, the envelope being well and truly pushed, can in a very short space of time seem like yesterday’s news.

It’s why many firms who seek support and funding from managers like Deepbridge, often say the cash element is not all they are looking for. Sometimes, firms really want the support and experience that an investment manager can bring, rather than being given a lump of cash and left to it. What can be important is the nurturing they get, the experienced individuals who can hand-hold them through the often tough early stages of their business development, and put them on a much surer footing going forward.

Knowing that no question is a stupid one, knowing that it’s better to seek counsel and experience before making a decision, knowing that you have the ear of those who have ‘been there and done it’. For example, in the life sciences sector we often see firms seeking funding from Deepbridge simply because they want the input and support of Dr Savvas Neophytou who is renowned throughout the industry and has a great deal of knowledge which can make all the difference for such firms starting out their journey.

For advisers and investors, it’s knowing that this is the approach we take with our investee companies that is often the strong basis for their product provider selection. Knowing that we don’t throw money at firms and walk away is crucial because we want to ensure these businesses have the best chance of succeeding and the best way for us to do this is to be actively involved – particularly with start-ups – and provide the support they need to help them achieve. It’s an approach which continues to work for us and it’s one that we expect to carry on with for many years to come.

Andrew Aldridge is Partner, Head of Marketing at Deepbridge Capital