The Development Bank of Wales stepped up its investment activity to support businesses across the economy with almost £110million in its last financial year.
The bank, which provides debt and equity finance to SMEs and is 100% owned by the Welsh Government, made 519 investments with an average value of £210,276 in 460 Welsh businesses in the year ending March 31, 2022.
Just over half of the investments (51%) went to existing customers. The total investment was £109.1 million, an increase of £3.6 million over the previous year. Equity investments represented 10.6% of the total (£11.58m).
Co-investment in 2021-22 reached £64.1m, an increase of £4.1m from 2020-21 as the Development Bank continues to focus on working with the sector to maximize the flow of private capital into Wales. £30.3m of the co-investment went to technology companies.
The investor base held by Angels Invest Wales (AIW) grew to 299 and there were 92 individual angel investments during the year totaling £3.3m, up from £2.6m sterling in 2020-2021. Through co-investment, AIW had a total cumulative impact of £8.6m, including £1.65m in co-funding from major angel investor syndicates. 10% of investors registered with AIW are women.
With a client portfolio of nearly 3,000 Welsh businesses, the Development Bank now manages funds totaling £1.9bn, including £32.5m for micro-loan funding.
Micro-loans of up to £50,000 across all funds accounted for 70% of the total investment made by the Development Bank during the year, almost half of which were accelerated loans with a decision to targeted loan within 48 hours. 140 accelerated loans totaling £2.39m were granted in 2021-22, compared to 93 in 2020-21. Seed investments also rose from £7.5m to £8.8m with 135 investments in 2021-22 from 122 the previous year.
The development bank saw particular growth in North Wales, with businesses in the region receiving £30.1m of aggregate deal value, up from £25m the previous year. South East Wales had £47m and Mid and West Wales brought in £32.1m. 3,540 jobs were created or
backed up over the year across Wales.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “These results underscore the vital role the Development Bank plays – filling the void when businesses with strong and viable plans cannot access the finance they need from of the main suppliers”.
Development Bank Chief Executive Giles Thorley said: “As a patient investor, our goal is to help businesses get started and grow. This long-term approach is particularly important in the technology sector, where we provide follow-on financing to companies that have received seed and early-stage equity financing.