NPIF-Maven celebrates £25m funding milestone

From left: Alex Rothwell, Martin Leeming, Martin Hyman (TrakRap)

NPIF–Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, has invested a total of £25m supporting 40 SMEs and helping create more than 200 new jobs since launching in February 2017.

An additional £20m has been raised through private sector funding.

The transaction that helped cross this significant milestone is an NPIF-led £1.27m investment in TrakRap, the Skelmersdale-based designer and manufacturer of sustainable packaging solutions.

A total of £750,000 was invested on behalf of NPIF, alongside an additional £320,000 from existing shareholders and £200,000 sourced from private investors.

The funding will support the growth of the company’s sales and marketing function, creating up to 67 jobs over five years.

TrakRap has developed a packaging solution which serves as a replacement for traditional heat tunnels and cardboard box packaging, and can offer supermarkets, food manufacturers and high-volume goods manufacturers a cheaper and lower carbon footprint solution for end-of-line packaging due to the product’s vastly reduced plastic, cardboard and electricity usage.

With FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) and supermarket industries moving to more sustainable packaging and an overall more environmentally friendly outlook, TrakRap has a unique product within its niche in the end-of-line packaging market.

Maven was appointed by the British Business Bank in February 2017 to manage £57.5m-worth of equity finance for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, with a focus on investing in the North West.

The fund provides investment capital to support the growth of innovative and ambitious businesses across a wide range of sectors and in a variety of funding scenarios.

Maven works with five Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North West, as well as local accountants and banks to identify innovative and high-growth companies in which to invest.

Alex Rothwell, investment manager at Maven, said: “TrakRap has created an exceptional product in line with the sustainable strategies many companies are now implementing. The team is highly experienced, and we look forward to working with them as they embark on their programme of growth.

“We are delighted that NPIF–Maven Equity Finance has reached such a significant milestone.

“The fund’s positive impact on businesses in the North of England is already evident, fuelling the growth of ambitious SMEs across a wide range of industries, and supporting a significant number of jobs.”

Martin Leeming, TrakRap chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be the company to take Maven over the £25m investment milestone.

“The work it’s done – and continues to do – with SMEs in the UK is incredibly important in helping businesses like ours to grow. Our advisors, Eversheds Sutherland, were also instrumental in advising us every step of the way.”

He added: “The investment from Maven will allow us to grow our business by getting more of our packaging machines out into the food manufacturing industry where they will significantly reduce the amount of plastic, corrugate, energy and carbon required by traditional packaging methods.

“As we grow, we will also create a significant number of jobs, which is great news for the local economy.”

Sue Barnard, senior manager at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF continues to provide vital funding to Northern businesses across the region.

“We are pleased to continue this support, and are proud to work in partnership with Maven and our other appointed fund managers to make a real impact on business communities, creating jobs and strengthening regional economies to unlock the North’s potential.”

David Taylor, deputy chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “TrakRap are rightly regarded as one of the most dynamic and forward-looking packaging businesses in the UK, and they are a great Lancashire success story.

“It’s therefore fitting that a business of their calibre, based in a county with a long and proud tradition of manufacturing innovation, should be the one to help NPIF reach this key funding milestone.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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