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Liverpool startups close record 85 equity deals

Liverpool startups
Image credit: Tuesday Media

Startups in Liverpool secured a record number of equity investments last year amid a wider funding slowdown, new research has revealed.

Firms in the region raised 85 deals in 2022, breaking previous records as the city gains momentum as an emerging tech hub.

The data, collected by Beauhurst ahead of the Liverpool Slush’D startup conference, revealed that £93m was raised across the Liverpool equity rounds last year.

Investments in Liverpool spanned health tech, fintech, AI, ecommerce and renewable energy, with a record number of tech firms in the city region – 89,300 – currently active.

Startups that closed funding in the city last year include pharmaceutical developer Liverpool Chirochem, optical health tech startup Ocuwell and electrical equipment manufacturer Circada.

“Over the last 25 years, the city region has reinvented itself as a hub for innovation and creativity. These buzzwords get thrown around a lot – but I honestly see an exceptional level of ingenuity in the businesses that are built here,” said Jonny Clark, director of Liverpool Slush’D.

“I believe we can forge a new identity based on being a hotspot for young, hungry entrepreneurs and laptop nomads who want to build successful businesses and live in a truly distinct place.”

Slush’D is being held in Liverpool on Thursday and will see tech founders, professors, investors and other key figures discuss how to advance the region’s startup ecosystem.

It is the first time the Slush’D event is being held in the UK. It takes place annually in Helsinki, Finland.

The Slush’D organisers have acknowledged there are historical challenges that Liverpool must tackle to progress as an entrepreneurial hub. The group said the city typically relies on large employers, which may have inhibited the growth of the startup scene.

Despite this, they have argued that the city has the talent, connectivity and educational prowess to surpass historical hurdles.

“Liverpool has firmly established itself as a key destination for investors looking to support groundbreaking ideas and drive disruptive innovations,” said Henry Whorwood, head of research and consultancy at Beauhurst.

“In light of the recent fall in venture capital investment globally, the increase in venture capital investment into Liverpool companies is particularly welcome.

“Raising venture capital investment is always a challenge, however, as more seed companies in Liverpool continue to ‘graduate’ into growth and venture stages they can be confident that external investors are increasingly available to support their needs.”

Data published earlier this year from Whitecap Consulting found that the fintech sector in Liverpool was adding £218.8m to the region’s local economy annually.

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