The global venture industry tightened its collective belt in 2023, and deal volumes have certainly felt the pinch; Crunchbase reported that venture investment globally fell by 42% across the first three quarters of the year. At Beringea, where the focus has been on investing in quickly-scaling, high growth companies for more than 35 years, we are well-versed in adapting to market conditions, and this year proved no different.
In adjusting to the downturn of 2023, we have worked closely with our portfolio companies to extend runway and focus on capital efficiency, given the overall slowdown in growth funding. We have, nonetheless, continued to deliver successful exits throughout 2023, we have seen several portfolio companies raise substantial follow-on rounds, and we have seen healthy levels of growth across the portfolio as we enter 2024.
Exits in 2023:
The beginning of the year was marked by a busy period for exit activity from our U.K. portfolio, with three exits delivered in the first quarter. Our exits delivered across the year were:
- Monica Vinader: Beringea U.K. sold its remaining stake in Monica Vinader as part of a substantial investment by Bridgepoint, the private equity firm. Our U.K. funds had partially exited Monica Vinader, which we first backed in 2011, as part of a growth round led by Piper in 2016. The end of our chapter of working with the Vinader sisters proved a significant milestone and a healthy return for our funds.
- Aistemos: Beringea U.K. exited its investment in Aistemos following an acquisition of the company by LexisNexis, part of RELX, to enhance PatentSight, its flagship intellectual property (IP) analytics solution.
- Fiber By-Products: Beringea U.S. exited its investment in recycler and wood pellet manufacturer Fiber By-Products following an acquisition of the company by Lignetics Group, the United States leader in branded consumer wood pellet products for home heating with adjacent categories including barbecue grilling pellets and pet- and animal-related wood-based product offerings. Beringea U.S. initially invested in Fiber By-Products in 2013.
- Firefly: our U.K. funds exited Firefly, an online platform that brings together teachers, students and parents to drive better learning outcomes, as part of an acquisition by Veracross, a software provider for schools, in February 2023.
Joining the portfolio in 2023:
This year we welcomed several new companies into our U.S. portfolio, including:
- Dentologie, a Chicago-based dental group reinventing the dental experience. Beringea U.S.’s initial investment was part of a $25 million Series B funding round and will be used to open 8—12 more dental practices in Chicago; expand into new markets in 2024 and 2025; and grow the corporate team to support Dentologie’s 60,000 patients and near-200 employees.
- Optilogic, an Ann Arbor-based supply chain network design software innovator. Beringea U.S.’s initial investment will accelerate research and development of Ann Arbor-based Optilogic’s supply chain network design software platform and fund research and development for its Cosmic Frog supply chain design platform.
Follow-on funding rounds in 2023:
Flywheel, a portfolio company of Beringea U.S., secured a $54m Series D in 2023
We were pleased to support the growth of a number of existing U.K. and U.S. portfolio companies in their follow-on rounds, including:
- Flywheel: Beringea U.S. followed-on as part of Flywheel’s $54 million Series D round, which was co-led by Novalis LifeSciences LLC and NVentures, NVIDIA’s venture capital arm. The funding will fuel Flywheel’s continued growth in its two primary markets (public sector healthcare and pharmaceutical companies) while accelerating expansion in other markets, including providers, payers, system integrators, and software companies seeking to harness the value of their data for AI development. The capital infusion will also help Flywheel extend its global reach into key geographies, particularly across Europe.
- EDITED: EDITED, the provider of the world’s leading AI-driven merchandising experience platform, received $15 million in follow-on growth capital funding. The round was led by Delta-v Capital, with support from original investor Wavecrest Growth Partners, alongside original investor groups Beringea UK and Hermes GPE.
The Beringea Scale-Up Academy: Helping leadership teams overcome barriers to growth
The Beringea Scale-Up Academy, our program of events and support for the leadership teams of our portfolio companies, has played a pivotal role in helping businesses to adjust to the new economic reality that they face today.
From thinking about building high-performing sales teams to considering the vast opportunities and notable risks associated with generative AI, the Academy provided an important platform for companies to connect, hear from experts, and collaborate on day-to-day problems faced across the portfolio.
Scale Up Academy sessions hosted in 2023 included:
- CEO to Board Communications
- ESG & Sustainability Workshop
- How to Create a Rocketship Sales Team
- Harnessing Generative AI
ESG: Empowering the Beringea portfolio to embrace sustainability
For more than two years, Beringea has led the growth of ESG_VC, an industry initiative now backed by more than 250 venture capital firms worldwide.
The past year saw ESG_VC achieve several milestones. Its annual research project, delivered in partnership with the BVCA, provided the largest ever analysis of the ESG performance of European start-ups and its findings were covered by Sifted, Tech.eu, and Business Insider.
Beringea co-hosted ESG_VC’s first summit at Mansion House in the City of London
We are also seeing the growing impact of this work within our own portfolio. We now use the ESG_VC Measurement Framework as a key part of our investment process, benchmarking the performance of new investments and looking to drive improvements through annual reporting and a program of support across the three pillars of ESG.
We are in the process of completing our ESG portfolio measurement for 2023, with a report on its findings set to come in 2024, so watch this space!
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.