Capital at risk

Private companies

At Baillie Gifford, we have a longstanding history of partnering with exceptional companies.
When new technologies unlock markets that couldn't previously exist, outlier companies emerge to seize their moment. Often arising in private markets, their leaders are restlessly creative individuals who aim to overturn the status quo. It takes tenacity to achieve true leaps forward – but pioneers also need support. We seek to find these companies and patiently provide them with capital to help them thrive into the next decade.

Two People Overlooking The Horizon And Clouds In The Valley Below From Top Of Mountain​.

Fuelling outliers

We back ambitious, fast-growing companies wherever they are, across any sector or geography. We root our investment strategy in patience, recognising it takes time for these businesses to transform industries and gain an enduring advantage. This is what ultimately drives value for our clients.

Private markets have grown and companies are staying private for longer. That means an increasing share of new technologies’ value creation is occurring in the private space. Frequently, just as these firms start to move from scaling up to industry leadership, they search for investors suited for this next chapter. Our structures let us invest when a firm is private and continue to hold after it becomes public. This allows for closer alignment between our clients and the companies their capital helps fund. To us, a listing can be just another funding round.

A proven track record

We are longstanding shareholders in many trailblazing companies. We first invested in Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, HelloFresh, Spotify, NIO and Wise when they were still private. And we continue to own stakes in them on behalf of our clients, often holding a multiple of the shares we held before they went public.

In many ways, we see this as a continuation of our heritage in public markets, where we have backed Amazon, ASML, Tesla and other innovators for over a decade, staying invested through periods of volatility.

We made our first private company investment in 2012 and have since selectively deployed over $10bn into more than 100 such high-potential businesses. Our current private portfolio includes ByteDance, Epic Games, FlixBus, Northvolt and SpaceX.

Private company investments

$9.1 billion

As at: March 2024

Number of companies

140+

As at: March 2024

Years of private investing

12

As at: March 2024

Taking the long view

Conviction

Baillie Gifford has invested in growth companies for over a century. We are proud of our reputation for long-term thinking, in-house research and strong relationships with like-minded clients. At the end of 2023, we had over £225bn of assets under management.

Patience

We describe our house style as ‘running our winners’. When we back a company, our instinct is to let returns compound over time rather than limit ourselves to short-term gains. That makes us an investor of choice for ambitious leaders planning their firm’s next stages of expansion.

Stability

We conduct much of our private company funding via investment trusts. They draw on pools of permanent capital, which are unaffected by their own share price moves. So, irrespective of a company’s timeline to go public, we focus on supporting its efforts to achieve its full potential and deliver strong returns over the long term.

What does Baillie Gifford do?

We are an independent investment manager founded in Edinburgh. Much has changed in our 114 years, but our focus on seeking superior, long-term investment returns for our clients has not.

We aim to find game-changing companies and other assets that can sustain growth and remain resilient in a changing world for decades to come.

Looking for our funds?

If you’re a client looking to invest in private companies, you may want to explore our strategies and funds.

Investments

We invest in businesses that push boundaries and drive transformational change. For more than a decade, we’ve funded and forged relationships with private companies. Explore some of them here.

Sorted by: Size of current investment

#

Company

Description

1. SpaceX SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft.
2. Wise Wise is an international money transfer business.
3. Affirm Affirm is a fintech company with a buy now, pay later service.
4. Bytedance ByteDance is the internet firm behind Douyin, TikTok and Toutiao.
5. Northvolt Northvolt makes batteries for electric vehicles and power grids.
6. Bending Spoons Bending Spoons acquires and develops consumer applications.
7. Brex Brex is a card and expenses platform for high-growth businesses.
8. Solugen Solugen makes chemicals via a carbon-negative biological process.
9. McMakler McMakler is a technology-driven residential real estate agency.
10. Flix Flix is a transport company with bus and train booking platforms.
11. Oddity Tech Oddity is a technology-driven beauty company.
12. Daily Hunt Daily Hunt is an Indian-language news and video aggregator.
13. Grammarly Grammarly provides an online writing assistance tool.
14. Tempus Labs Tempus Labs use AI to improve medical treatments.
15. Stripe Stripe provides tools for companies to accept and make payments.
16. Kepler Computing Kepler develops materials for energy-efficient chips.
17. Databricks Databricks helps clients analyse, manage and optimise data use.
18. Faire Wholesale Faire connects independent brands and artisans with retailers.
19. Chime Chime is a fintech with mobile-first, fee-free banking services.
20. Chi Forest Chi Forest is a low-calorie and sugar-free soft drinks company.
21. Rappi Rappi is an ecommerce and fintech operator in Latin America.
22. PsiQuantum PsiQuantum is developing photon-based quantum computers.
23. Pet Circle Pet Circle is an online pet supplies and medication retailer.
24. Epic Games Epic Games develops Fortnite and 3D creation tool Unreal Engine.
25. Tanium Tanium’s platform secures and manages clients’ computing devices.
26. Workrise Workrise runs an energy industry workforce and vendor platform.
27. Warby Parker Warby Parker designs and sells eyeglasses and sunglasses.
28. Merlin Labs Merlin is developing an autonomous flight system for planes.
29. JRSK JRSK’s Away brand sells stylish luggage and travel accessories.
30. Nuro Nuro makes self-driving vehicles for local deliveries.
31. Loft Loft runs an online residential real estate platform in Brazil.
32. Wayve Wayve is building AI software to control self-driving cars.
33. HeartFlow HeartFlow develops software to diagnose coronary artery disease.
34. Airbnb Airbnb connects property hosts and guests for short-term rentals.
35. BillionToOne BillionToOne detects diseases by counting DNA molecules in blood.
36. Insightec Insightec treats brain disorders with targeted ultrasound waves.
37. Human Interest Human Interest helps companies provide retirement plans to staff.
38. Cohesity Cohesity helps clients protect data and gain insights from it.
39. Jiangxiaobai Jiangxiaobai is a baiju spirits company in China.
40. Carbon Carbon makes advanced 3D-printing hardware and software.
41. Oscar Health Oscar Health is a technology-driven US health insurance provider.
42. Upside Foods Upside Foods grows cultivated meat directly from animal cells.
43. Blockstream Blockstream’s products strengthen and expand Bitcoin’s ecosystem.
44. Zipline Zipline runs drone delivery services in Africa, the US and Japan.
45. Astranis Astranis’s low-cost satellites expand access to the internet.

Disclaimer

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Expertise and enthusiasm

Find out what drives our investment managers and other specialists to support the next generation of ambitious, fast-growing companies.

Our expertise

We are dedicated to supporting extraordinary leaders to build landmark companies. In doing so, our Private Companies Team works with decision-makers and other specialists across Baillie Gifford’s research floor, some of whom invest in both private and public markets. This improves our understanding of the industries and opportunities involved. Explore our profiles:

We have tried to break down an artificial divide between private and public companies because it’s in the interest of our clients and the companies we back.
Peter Singlehurst

Get in touch

Get to know the individuals on our team above, or contact the team via email.

Insights

Learn more about the private companies we back and our long-term approach to investing.

The hidden costs of software

A decade ago, software companies were venture-backed and capital-light. That’s no longer true.
October 2023
Article

Looking for our funds?

If you’re a client looking to invest in private companies, you may want to explore our strategies and fund

Important information

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