2021, a positive year.
Henri Songeur, Investment Manager at Puma Private Equity, gives an overview on the SME market.
This year has brought a much brighter outlook than the previous year. SMEs have had to adapt to respond to a changing landscape and a high degree of uncertainty. Their ability to be flexible has been a great strength, with many transforming difficult conditions into an opportunity to grab market share from larger incumbents and grow into new commercial channels.
We have seen the economy bounce back with low interest rates and increased liquidity, driving up consumption and business investment. This has resulted in a number of SMEs growing revenues rapidly, as well as upward pressure on valuations in the market – two key reasons for bringing an SME to market to raise investment.
Amongst the opportunities we have seen this year, we have also seen more commercial models with more than just economic profit at their centre. Sustainability and diversity & inclusion are increasingly prominent themes during our weekly origination meetings, and are already strongly represented across our portfolio. These are key factors for long-term growth.
Puma Private Equity has continued to search for entrepreneurial management teams with robust commercial models to back. So far this year, we have spoken with 341 companies seeking Series A investment, amounting to £1.36Bn in sought capital – and that’s just with a team of seven! We have been impressed with the quality of opportunities we have reviewed and have made more offers of investment than ever before.
We wholeheartedly expect 2022 to be a great year for finding new investment opportunities as SMEs continue to thrive in these market conditions. In light of this optimism, we have expanded our funding, the team and our origination targets for the next 12 months. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!