Data revealed as Tech Nation and Dealroom launch the Impact & Innovation database…

New research from Tech Nation and Dealroom reveals that investment into UK impact startups increased 9.5x between 2014 and 2019. UK impact startups have raised €1.4B so far in 2020 with Cleantech and Climate tech companies raising the most capital of all UK impact startups. 

The biggest rounds for UK impact startups in 2020 include Octopus Energy, Arrival, Connexin (Hull), Tokamak Energy (Abingdon), Compass Pathways, Cera, Highview Power, FiveAI (Cambridge), The Meatless Farm Company (Leeds).

It comes as Tech Nation and Dealroom launch the  Impact and Innovation database, that catalogues 4,939 startups and scaleups, 7,472 funding rounds, and 232 exits of innovative companies addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. 

George Windsor, Head of Insights at Tech Nation, commented: “UK impact tech firms have come on leaps and bounds over the last six years – with nearly 10x more investment made into groundbreaking companies in 2020 than 2014. UK tech must continue to play a key part in tackling some of the world’s toughest challenges, including  climate change. This revolution is happening right across the country. Tech Nation is pleased to work with some of the leading companies in this space through our world-first Net Zero programme – ensuring that companies working in this sector can scale to have the greatest impact.”

The data also reveals that European startups are more impact-focussed than their global peers. €6B was invested into European impact startups in 2019, making up over 15% of all VC investment in the region. This research shows that what was once fringe investment and innovation activity is finding traction and proven success in Europe, becoming a core part of European innovation ecosystems.

Climate tech startups, which includes electric vehicles, have attracted the most investment within the Impact sub-sector, with European players emerging as global market leaders. European companies working to tackle climate change and its impacts have attracted €9.8B in VC investment in the last five years. 

Impact innovation startups are also fueling growth and job creation. Crucially, these startups are actively hiring, the Impact & Innovation database lists over 2,100 jobs in impact startups that are currently hiring in Europe – over 390 of these are in the UK. 

The Impact and Innovation platform will bring together startups, investors, non-profits, governments, and corporates in one open-access data-driven platform. The new mapping of the global impact and innovation ecosystem will facilitate data-driven policy and decision making, the sharing of cross-industry knowledge, and will foster the partnerships required to help next generation innovators succeed on the global stage.

Withers tech, working with experienced VC legal teams in France, Germany and Switzerland, has carried out the first analysis of…

Withers tech, working with experienced VC legal teams in France, Germany and Switzerland, has carried out the first analysis of how venture capital deals are structured across Europe. The survey has identified that with more similarities than differences in deal structures between the jurisdictions, investors should have confidence about embarking on cross-border transactions.

Withers tech worked with Schnittker Möllmann Partners (SMP) in Germany, Viguié Schmidt & Associés in France and Wenger & Vieli in Switzerland to analyse active Series A deal terms used in each jurisdiction. The research identified 53 separate terms, which can be condensed into 14 key deal terms covering the categories of economiccontrol, and reps, warranties and remedies.

These three categories centre around future financing; exits and IPO to control terms like founders’ vesting, founders’ non-compete/solicitation; veto-rights; and control over the group of shareholders across the four jurisdictions. Any differences in these areas can often be accounted for by the different systems of Civil (France, Germany and Switzerland) and Common law jurisdictions (UK), which still remain key considerations.

James Shaw, head of Withers tech, comments: “The most significant message this survey sends is that we all speak largely the same language when it comes to transactions and legal documentation, so investors should have confidence in deploying capital across borders, particularly in these tech-savvy jurisdictions.”

“Of course, care and expert advice is still required though, as the difference between Common and Civil law approaches to deals can cause issues. In particular, governance structures in the UK are likely to differ from other European practices, including the structure and authority of different functions on company’s boards.”

“We decided to undertake this review due to the growing volume of cross-border tech VC deals within Europe. In addition, given the large volume of overseas capital looking to invest in European tech start-ups, we also felt it would be useful to explain the nuances of these four key jurisdictions to help overseas investors better understand the risks in each jurisdiction. Our next aim is to expand this review into other tech-active European jurisdictions.”

A copy of the report, including discussion of the 14 key deal terms found across all four jurisdictions, can be found here and all 53 deal terms are set out here.