Mercia snaps up £27m North East Venture Fund
Mercia Fund Managers has been awarded the £27m Venture Fund to support businesses across the region as part of the £120m North East Fund.
This is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and follows various contract wins for Mercia amounting to £200m, including a recent £23m Proof-of-Concept grant and Early Stage Equity Fund.
As well as this, £108m of the British Business Bank’s Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has been invested.
Dr Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia, said: “The North East has much to offer and we are thrilled to have been awarded this latest fund, which will be an invaluable source of funding for the development of innovative businesses.
“The investment team will be led by Ian Wilson, an experienced fund manager and existing Mercia employee who has strong links within the region.
“Addressing the imbalance of available capital in the UK regions is a key strategic focus for Mercia and with a strong track record of supporting businesses with high growth potential, we look forward to sourcing and scaling the next generation of emerging stars and working with the North East Fund and other partners from the region.”
Mercia will be opening a new office in Newcastle, which will be its ninth office in the UK, and the fund will be available to SMEs across Durham, Northumberland and the Tyne and Wear area.
The Venture Fund will be investing in rounds up to £1m, with additional funding potentially coming from Mercia’s other funds, and will be targeted at businesses at any stage of their development.
Mercia is active in the region with recent investments including Newcastle-based digital VR specialists, Luminous Group and AI software sales company, Refract.
Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of The North East Fund Limited, added: “Mercia is one of the leading early-stage investors in the UK.
“They have a breadth and depth of expertise which will make a difference to the venture capital sector in the North East. We are delighted to welcome them to the region.”