Author: Stuart Rock

The IR-evolution

There have been huge changes in the ways that publicly quoted firms communicate with their investors over the past two years. The digitalisation of communications, which has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic, is one factor. The growing focus among many investors on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is the other. These themes are explored in a recent survey and new report which Stuart has written with London Stock Exchange; download it here.

ScaleUp Institute Annual Review 2021

As ever, it’s been exhilarating and fascinating to contribute to the ScaleUp Institute’s authoritative and respected Annual Review. It puts the spotlight firmly on the 33,000-odd companies which account for 50% of all the turnover generated by the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) despite making up less than 0.6% of their population. There’s a wealth of data, including the findings of its annual survey of more than 500 scaleups; a wide range of policy recommendations; reviews of all the support programmes endorsed by the ScaleUp Institute; summaries of the scaleup landscape in every local area in the UK; along with ten insight articles and 15 new scaleup stories. If you want to learn about entrepreneurial Britain, this is a vital reference tool.

Green Economy Mark Report 2021

Working on this London Stock Exchange report is a great inspiration. This year, there are 101 companies and funds who have been awarded the Green Economy Mark as more than 50 per cent of their revenues come from green activities – from waste and pollution reduction, to making the transition to a circular economy, to devising renewable energy storage technology. If these companies had been your share portfolio over the past five years, their average share price would have risen by 131 per cent – easily outperforming the S&P500 and the FTSE100.

Online mental health: a growth business

Tim Barker, CEO, Kooth

Mental health support is firmly on the corporate map and this is reflected in the striking growth in the number of digital mental health businesses. I have talked with several of them recently, such as Tim Barker, CEO of AIM-listed Kooth (pictured during my conversation with him for the ScaleUp Institute), Andrew Bibby of 87% and Nigel Pitchford at IESO Digital Health.

Kooth was the first digital mental health company to float on London Stock Exchange and it was interesting to hear from Tim about the keenness of investors to back a business which has an evident purpose as well as a strong growth story. The same is true for IESO Digital Health, which has raised almost £28m of investment across seven VC funding rounds. And I’m sure that the earlier-stage 87% will also scale up rapidly.

There’s a list of 22 such companies published by data company Beauhurst.

The Serpent still from the BBC1

The Serpent

We really enjoyed The Serpent on BBC1. Yes, we could have binge-watched the show but we liked the scary and creepy edge it gave to a Sunday night after The Antiques Roadshow.

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