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


As at: March 2024

Years of private investing


As at: March 2024

Taking the long view


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.


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.


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.

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.


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

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

Qualified Investors include those that the Financial Services Act (FinSA) defines as Professional or Institutional Clients, which range from central banks to private investment structures with professional treasury operations created for a high-net-worth retail client. If you are not a qualified investor please select “Change” at the top of this page.
Baillie Gifford Investment Management (Europe) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (Reference number C182354) as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager and UCITS Manager to Baillie Gifford Worldwide Funds plc. Its registered office is 4/5 School House Lane East, Dublin 2, D02 N279, Ireland.
This website is informative only and the information provided should not be considered as investment or other advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a particular investment. You can read details of our Legal and Important Information here.