Well here is a question that no one seems able or willing to answer, I’ll throw it open to the investment Universe -VCs, private equity, corporate finance, angel funders, high net worth individuals – be you early stage, late stage (or indeed ANY stage which would be good right now)
Who is REALLY investing over here in the UK – have we closed for Christmas early this year?
From where I am sitting (having watched a colleague bash the phones for the last 4 weeks across a myriad of investor networks on what is – to me – a “no brainer” cleantech medical device manufacturing process) it strikes me that there is an inordinate amount of tyre kicking going on out there, people sitting on piles of cash with no home and not a lot of action.
Today we hear of an investor pulling the plug on a £7m investment because they were feeling “over exposed”.
And at the other end of the spectrum on my desk I can’t find £150K for something that has mass market developing country and remote energy application potential.
Come on people, shame on you! Do I really have to create something totally radical to bypass you lot?
If the anti risk and tyre kicking stance most of you are taking presently continues, how do we progress the low carbon technology agenda? The Carbon Trust and those delightful public sector competition rounds are not going to get us anywhere fast.
My sweeping generalisation about investment land presently is that you are all lacking in creativity, sophistication, knowledge and your models and ideals means you will miss some technology waves. Some spaces are moving so fast by the time you’ve even “gated” the first investment proposal the opportunity has been snapped up into corporate land, is mothballed never to see the light of day, or worse – goes bust before it's started.
The lack of funding supply also means that there is a world of collaboration starting to open up out there that will completely bypass you in future. All those lovely technologies that are scalable and interesting may well find themselves swept up into the arms of a cash rich Corporate doing a nice line in acquiring patents and technologies and sand-bagging for the future. Again, some of those may never see the light of day because we all know corporate cultures aren’t great at “incubating”.
Anyone notice a bit of sweeping up of patents going on of late?
Push back by all means …
By Debby Lloyd
Managing Director, EcoSearch