2 November 21

Without Venture Capital Would Thriving Startups Have Survived the Pandemic?

“We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start, grow and invest in a business, as we continue to support enterprise, create jobs, and level up as we recover from the pandemic,” Rishi Sunak stated in a pre-budget announcement in October.

Ahead of the official Autumn Budget reveal the Global Britain Investment Fund was reported by the media – a £1.4 billion fund to encourage international mobile companies to invest in UK industries. Furthermore, a £150 million pot of funding for the British Business Bank was rumored, aiming to encourage development of regional networks of angel investors to help startups get off the ground.

It is no secret that the pandemic saw the decline of many businesses and thwarted the dreams of many who were on the cusp of launching their own companies. The focus on investment in the Autumn Budget is an olive branch for those wanting to start up their own businesses, or develop an existing enterprise, which had to be put on the backburner due to turbulence of the past two years. However, the pandemic did act as a positive catalyst for some, with many utilising their time to kickstart ventures that had once been nothing more than pipedreams.  

How did Venture Capital transform throughout the pandemic?

Venture capital did not escape the turbulence of the pandemic. Whilst the repercussions pare still prominent, the past two years has seen the venture capital industry transform. Operations, the use of tech, startup development, and investment pursuits have all changed.

For investors the sheer uncertainty born of the pandemic was difficult to navigate. However, embracing technology to facilitate continued investment – and also investing in technology that was way ahead of its time as a solution to challenges evoked by lockdowns – kept cadence. 

Medical sector solutions

Heydoc, created in 2018, is a system for managing the medical data and admin tasks of medical practitioners in the private sector. It is no secret that coronavirus had, and continues to, put a strain on the medical sector. Hospitals are still struggling and, for many, securing an appointment with their local GP is as taxing as searching for a needle in a haystack. Due to lockdowns and high infection rates a lot of surgeries adopted telephone and remote consultation procedures. Just like working from home has now become the norm, the medical sector seems to have also adopted this new way of operating.

Heydoc adapted to remote consultations throughout the pandemic and capitalised on a broader switch to cloud-based workflow systems. Like many companies, Heydoc evolved in answer to the challenges in the healthcare industry triggered by the pandemic. During 2020 alone Heydoc:

  • Made the consultation video feature free to all users and expanded remote clinic capabilities
  • Launched client webinars to showcase new features
  • Introduced Word integration to user’s Heydoc accounts
  • Released Heydoc Connect to improve interoperability
  • Integrated with a leading outpatient hospital group and finalised key features

Due to VC investment Heydoc was able to evolve and provide a solution to the challenges faced by the healthcare industry. In September of this year, Triple Point Ventures participated in Heydoc’s $8.3 million Seed Round alongside Smedvig Capital, Hambro Perks, and InHealth Ventures. This capital will help Heydoc continue to grow and expand the product’s capabilities not only in the UK, but internationally too.

Record capital raised in tech

Just in the same way that Heydoc attracted incredible investment due to their commitment to delivering real solutions during the past two years, tech sector investor in general saw a boom. It may have been inevitable as the whole world essentially went remote overnight, but many tech startups thrived.

As the UK span on a hamster wheel of social distancing measures and lockdowns, tech startups got to work answering to the changing needs of basically every public and private industry in some capacity. Throughout the pandemic, the Triple Point Venture investment team was (and still is) dedicated to providing start-ups and SMEs with the capital they need to develop and produce products that answer societies requirements.

Investment beyond the pandemic

Whilst the Treasury has addressed investment in the UK’s “most innovative sectors” and startups in the Autumn Budget, venture capital has facilitated the nurturing and growth of companies directly addressing challenges throughout the pandemic. Without venture capital, it could be argued that advanced products – just like Heydoc – would not have been able to provide different industries and sectors with the innovative products and services needed to adapt to the new normal.

Supporting SMEs and startups through investment is key as the UK continues to move forward. Whilst the government’s investment pledges are positive, eligibility and access are not always straightforward for startups and blossoming businesses. The needs for all are different now and venture capital funding not only gives startups access to fast and reliable capital, but it impacts the wider economy too – something the UK needs.

To date, Triple Point Ventures has raised £32 million in venture investments. £400 million has been provided to 130 VCT/EIS companies. Triple Point is dedicated to unlocking the potential of SMEs that will have a positive impact on social, environmental, and economic challenges. This commitment will continue beyond the pandemic as up and coming startups deliver new products and solutions to the market.