Despite venture capital investments falling by 11% in Europe during 2014, the UK was still considered the “most favoured destination” during the final quarter receiving €524m across 69 deals in equity finance.
This appetite for investment – particularly overseas – in startups was exemplified earlier this week by startups.co.uk in their compiling of the 25 biggest deals in 2014.
Arguably one of the most impressive startup beneficiaries came in the form of mother-daughter fashion duo Freda Thomas and Julie Deane who raised a major £12.6m round from Index Ventures. Established in 2007 with just £600 worth of initial capital, The Cambridge Satchel Company was nurtured from a simple side hobby into one of the fastest expanding startups in the UK.
Fed up of flimsy low quality school bags for her children, Deane wanted to revive the classic sturdy satchel reminiscent of the original Oxford and Cambridge designs, whilst also chipping away at the kid’s private school fees. The Leicestershire based company now employs over 100 staff and sells its colourful designs across 100 different countries worldwide.
The £12.6m investment from Index – who have also invested in other lucrative fashion brands such as Moleskine, ASOS and Net-a-Porter – will be used to increase the brands US presence, implement a senior management team and make improvements to the company website.
Deane has said of the investment “Digital is at the heart of everything we do, which is why we are so excited to be entering into this partnership with Index, who have no equals in the digital arena”.
The complete investment list can be found by visiting www.startups.co.uk.