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18 December 2013

Mercia launches third seed fund

UK-based early stage investor Mercia announces third SEIS fund to target emerging firms, including spin-outs.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Mercia Fund Management has announced the third incarnation of its Mercia Growth Fund, a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) fund which will target emerging UK startups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) such as university spin-outs.

Previous funds invested in a number of sectors, including medtech, gaming, telecoms, and e-commerce firms. As well as standard startups and SMEs, Mercia made several investments in university spin-outs during 2013, such as De Montford’s life science firm CYP Design and Birmingham’s material tech spin-out Irresistible Materials. Since the launch of the first fund, Mercia has invested over £3m ($4.9m) into UK businesses.

Mark Payton, managing director of Mercia Fund Management, welcomed words of support for the SEIS programme from British Chancellor George Osborne in the recent Autumn Statement, and added: “Needless to say there is still work to be done, and our request to the Chancellor is to expand the amount of funding a new business can receive via Seed EIS. The lack of capital available to small and start-up companies throughout the UK is still a barrier to many. Our new hybrid fund provides the ideal mix of early stage, development and growth capital to support technology driven high-growth sectors and provide a risk/reward profile suitable for private investors seeking what are now truly amazing and legitimate tax reliefs.”

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