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Mercia boosts Midlands SMEs with over £13m invested in 2018

Mercia invested £13.3million in Midlands businesses in 2018, up from £11.3million the previous year, highlighting its role as one of the UK’s most active investors and a key source of funding for regional SMEs.

Mercia made investments in 22 companies in the region during the year, including Sigmavision of Bicester which has created a novel tyre scanner; Coventry-based Arc Vehicle, which has developed a new electric motorbike; Birmingham-based battery technology firm Aceleron and Adapttech which has found a new way to fit artificial limbs.

Mercia, which is based in Henley-in-Arden, manages funds including the £23.0million Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Equity Fund, part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

During the year, the group invested £59.7million in total throughout the UK, with over 90 per cent of it going to businesses outside of London and the South East. It also increased its third party funds under management from £350.0million to over £400.0million at 31 December.

Growing by around 30 per cent a year, Mercia now has over 80 employees in eight locations nationwide and partnerships with 19 regional universities including Birmingham, Aston, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, Coventry, Leicester, Keele, Warwick and Birmingham City University. According to recent reports from Beauhurst, Mercia is one of the top four investors in university spinout businesses and one of the UK’s top four most active venture capitalists specifically focused on innovation.

Mercia has built a reputation as a supportive investor. In a recent survey amongst its portfolio companies, 84% of respondents said they were likely to recommend Mercia to other entrepreneurs, with 75% having already done so.

Mark Payton, Chief Executive of Mercia Technologies PLC, said:

“Regional cities such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Edinburgh are increasingly important technology hubs, however venture capital remains heavily focused on London. Mercia has offices in all of these locations and as these latest figures show, it is addressing this shortfall by sourcing and backing exceptional businesses across the UK’s regions. Building on a successful 2018, I expect Mercia to continue to scale its activities into 2019.”

 


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