Record quarter for SME-focused investment firm

John Davies

Seneca Partners, the Haydock-based SME-focused investment firm, has announced a record first quarter, having completed seven
new growth capital investments in into fast growing UK-based SMEs totalling more than £10m.

With these recent investments, Seneca’s equity investment team has now supported more than 50 SMEs to date.

By way of overview, Seneca’s investment team, whose principle vehicles are the Seneca EIS Portfolio Service and a Venture Capital Trust (VCT), have now attracted total funds from investors in excess of £100m for its tax-advantaged products and services.

The seven deals completed in the first quarter included investments into five private companies and two AIM-quoted businesses across a broad spectrum of sectors.

Seneca supported The Hook, a creator and publisher of original video content, for and on behalf of a wide range of leading brands.

An investment was made into Silkfred, a leading ladies’ fashion platform, providing independent brands and designers with an efficient, high-quality route to market.

Silkfred gives consumers access to a wide range of new, up and coming brands, products and designs.

Seneca also invested in Old St Labs, a collaboration software provider, working with blue chip organisations to enable open, dynamic partnerships with their top suppliers across new projects and product development.

Investment director John Davies said: “2018 was a transformational year for Seneca and we’re excited to keep building on the substantial growth achieved in that period during 2019.

“We are particularly excited about our continued success as experienced growth capital investors with the launch of our newest offering, our VCT, which complements what we have already achieved in the growth capital space through our EIS Portfolio Service.”

Mr Davies added: “Q1 has been a busy period for our investment team, completing seven deals.

“EIS and VCT continue to be a very attractive way of investing in SMEs due to the beneficial tax reliefs available which include income tax reliefs on a proportion of the amount invested and CGT-free profits.

“With the strength of our current pipeline of growth capital investment opportunities, we expect to invest further significant sums during the next 12 months.”

The Seneca family continues to expand its services to investors and SMEs.

Seneca’s capabilities now cover private equity, debt, property and corporate finance advisory, in addition to fund management and tax efficient investment products.

The Seneca family has now raised in excess of £750m for its investment management activities.

Four of the seven growth capital investments made in the first quarter of 2019 were advised by Jon Gillow and James Down, who are part of the corporate team at Hill Dickinson.