Finance firm Seneca reaches £100m investment milestone

John Davies

North West finance firm Seneca Partners is celebrating a significant milestone after investing £100m in growth capital since it launched in 2010.

The Haydock-based company specialises in supporting ambitious SMEs grow and has invested in more than 50 businesses in the last decade.

Earlier this month the company achieved a 4.2x return in its investment in Lancashire digital and communications business Mission Labs after it was acquired by Gamma Communications, in a deal worth a potential £46m.

John Davies, investment director at Seneca Partners, said investing £100m was a ‘hugely significant milestone’ but predicted the ‘best was yet to come’.

He said: “We have invested in everything from consumer businesses such as eCommerce platforms and coffee shop franchise operators, traditional manufacturing businesses, highly innovative technology businesses and we also remain active biotech and healthtech investors.

“More recently, with the UK and particularly the North West, emerging as something of a digital powerhouse, deal flow in technology driven businesses has been accelerated.”

Companies that Seneca have invested in include AIM-quoted biotech businesses OptiBiotix and SkinBioTherapeutics and car data platform Wejo.

Davies added: “Mission Labs has been a great story for us. We enjoy working with regional businesses and Mission Labs has been a roaring success, not only for our investors but for the local tech sector as a whole.

“We have also had success in the eCommerce space, with a 5x exit from our investment into Yorkshire-based Gear4Music, and we continue to be big supporters of women’s fashion platform SilkFred, who we are excited about heading into 2021.”

Seneca employs over 40 people and has made a total of 22 exits with an average multiple of 1.75x and returned in excess of £32m to investors. They currently manage a portfolio of 30+ businesses on behalf of their investors.