There have been significant bright spots at Beringea over the past twelve months, despite the difficult macro-conditions brought by the continuing global pandemic. From multi-billion dollar exits in the U.S. portfolio, to a historic year for investing in the U.K. and recognition of our pioneering work on ESG, 2021 has been a record-breaking year.
It has not, however, been a year without challenges. From persistent lockdowns to emerging variants, Beringea and the remarkable entrepreneurs in our portfolio have continued to show the resolve and leadership that has defined our work together during the pandemic. And as technology cements its position as the engine of growth in the global economy, we expect new opportunities for innovation, connection and investment.
In this article, we look at the people, technologies, and initiatives that have defined the past twelve months at Beringea:
Landmark exits in healthcare and beyond
Our U.S. funds built on the success of 2020 – which marked our first billion-dollar exit, with Teladoc’s acquisition of InTouch Health – to deliver exits valued at $4.3 billion (at closing) in 2021.
Sharecare, the digital health platform, announced in February 2021 that it intended to go public through a merger with Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The deal, completed in July, was an exceptional outcome led by Sharecare CEO Jeff Arnold and a fantastic end to a journey that began with our initial investment in the company in 2012.
This landmark exit was one of several successful acquisitions from our U.S. portfolio, including two healthcare businesses and one co-investment with our U.K. funds:
- Trapelo Health: an information technology company focused on precision oncology, was acquired by NeoGenomics Bioinformatics, Inc. in March 2021. This $65 million acquisition by a NASDAQ-listed provider of precision oncology testing established a powerful partnership for the future of cancer treatment.
- Xanitos: a specialized provider of environmental services to hospitals and other acute care settings across the U.S. was successfully acquired by Angeles Equity Partners in June.
- D3O: our U.K. and U.S. funds successfully exited the leading impact materials specialist as part of an acquisition of, and investment in, the company by Elysian Capital III, L.P. in September 2021.
This string of acquisitions was supported by two further exits delivered by our U.K. team:
- ContactEngine: first backed by our U.K. funds in 2016, the SaaS platform specializing in conversational AI was acquired by NICE in July 2021, a leading provider of contact center software.
- Inskin Media: part of the U.K. portfolio since 2012, the global digital advertising platform was acquired by Azerion in October 2021.
Record levels of investment
Having adapted to investing remotely, we delivered a record year for investing from our U.K. funds, and had a busy year of investment activity in our U.S. office. Our U.K. investment team deployed more than £50 million – our highest-ever figure for a twelve-month period – and made eight additions to the portfolio, from direct-to-consumer brands to edtech, travel, and satellite technology.
New additions to our U.K. and U.S. portfolios in 2021 included:
- Flywheel: Beringea U.S. co-led a $15 million Series B round, investing in the leading data management platform for medical research and collaboration.
- Asterra: Beringea U.K. led a $6 million investment into this ground-breaking startup harnessing satellite data to spot water leaks and damage to infrastructure around the world.
- Moonshot: Beringea U.K. led the $7 million Series A round in this platform for tackling fake news and online extremism, whose clients include Google, Facebook, and Homeland Security.
- Orbion: Beringea U.S. led a $20 million Series B investment round in this leading supplier of high-performance Hall-effect propulsion systems for small satellites.
- Litta: Beringea U.K. led a £2 million Seed investment round to accelerate the growth of this online waste removal marketplace.
- Plank Hardware: This rapidly growing home décor brand, whose stylish products have tapped into the millennial DIY boom, secured £2 million from Beringea U.K. in its Series A round.
- Plum Guide: Beringea U.K. led a $9 million investment round into this leading platform for discovering and booking high-end vacation homes.
- Akadeum: Beringea U.S. led a $17.5 million Series B round in the proprietary microbubble-based separation platform, with applications spanning life science research, including cell therapy and diagnostics.
- Deepstream: Beringea U.K. led a £5 million investment round into an AI start-up that helps companies make complex supply chains work more efficiently.
- Learnerbly: The SaaS-enabled marketplace for workplace learning and development secured a $10 million Series A round, led by Beringea U.K., to help accelerate its expansion in the U.S.
- Dealroom: Beringea U.K. led a €6 million Series A round in this go-to platform for data and insights on the European start-up ecosystem.
Breaking new ground for ESG
Over the past year, we’ve spearheaded the creation of ESG_VC, an industry-wide initiative to help early-stage companies measure and improve their ESG performance. Today, ESG_VC is a network of more than 125 leading VC funds across the U.K., U.S, and Europe.
Working with this network, we developed the ESG_VC Measurement Framework, a free-to-use tool incorporating industry standards such as SASB, the UN SDGs, and the B Corp. assessment to provide early-stage companies with a benchmark of ESG performance and a roadmap for improvements. We’ve also hosted a series of workshops for portfolio companies throughout the past year on topics including net zero strategies, measuring diversity and inclusion, and becoming a B Corp.
In recognition of this work, Beringea was selected for the ‘Excellence in ESG’ award at this year’s BVCA Summit. The judging panel noted Beringea’s “outstanding commitment to ESG principles” and its work “driving industry collaboration through its ESG_VC benchmarking initiative and its commitment to bringing more firms onboard.”
Portfolio achievements and the Beringea Scale-Up Academy
While it was a year of notable exits and record levels of investment, it was also twelve months marked by progress and achievements throughout our existing portfolio. Some of the highlights from the year included:
A £50 million fundraise for MPB: having exceeded £100 million in annual revenues, MPB raised £50 million in a substantial Series D round led by Vitruvian. In backing this business across three funding rounds, we’ve seen the company grow from its roots in Brighton (U.K.) into Germany and the U.S., and it now enters another exciting new chapter.
Highlights from the Beringea Scale-Up Academy: we hosted a string of workshops and webinars for our portfolio companies on both sides of the Atlantic as part of the Beringea Scale-Up Academy, from sales leadership to product and pricing strategies.
Milestones and awards:
- Orbion Space Technology was awarded “Financing of the Year” at Michigan Venture Capital Association’s 2021 Awards Dinner in September.
- Delphinus Medical Technologies received FDA approval in October for its SoftVue 3D whole breast ultrasound tomography system.
- Flywheel acquired Radiologics in September, combining to form the only biomedical research platform that can connect any organization or data set across academia, life sciences, clinical, and medical AI.
- Floyd raised a $15 Million Series B funding round to grow their sustainable furniture brand, bringing total funding in the company to $25 million.
For information, please visit www.beringea.com. If you would like to know more about our U.S. investment activities, please email email@example.com and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for our U.K. investment team.
In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. This communication is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies and does not constitute an offer of investment management or investment advisory services by Beringea or any of its affiliates.