Praetura grows its lending division with Zodeq acquisition

Paul Cooney

Venture capital firm Praetura Group, the Manchester-based debt and equity capital provider to UK SMEs, has acquired recruitment finance specialist Zodeq for an undisclosed sum.

The deal for Chester-based Zodeq will grow Praetura’s lending portfolio, it said.

Zodeq provides financial solutions – including invoice finance and asset-based lending facilities – to entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs in the recruitment industry.

It was founded in 2016 by managing director Paul Cooney and has scaled rapidly during the past five years.

The business now has more than 180 clients, and has provided more than £250m in working capital to SMEs.

The acquisition now enables Zodeq and Praetura to offer recruitment entrepreneurs a greater range of services, including invoice financing, invoice discounting and asset-based lending, to help businesses improve cash flow, support their day-to-day operations and drive growth.

Through its lending division, which comprises Praetura Asset Finance, Praetura Commercial Finance, Praetura Invoice Finance and Kingsway Finance, Praetura offers SMEs an alternative to traditional institutional lenders.

It supports clients across almost every sector, providing funds between £5,000 to £15m to help businesses meet their own strategic objectives.

Peadar O’Reilly, managing director of the Praetura lending division, said: “As a pioneering North West finance specialist, we’re very pleased to welcome the Zodeq team to the Praetura Group.

“The team has a track record for helping ambitious business leaders access the funding they need to achieve their goals and maximise their potential. At Praetura, we continue to expand our services to support a growing number of SMEs as they look to underpin the UK’s wider economic recovery. Combined, our teams will have even greater firepower in the market.”

Paul Cooney said: “Praetura stands out in the industry, not just for its impressive growth in recent years, but for the quality of experience across its teams and reputation for supporting their clients with relationship-led lending through their ‘more than money’ approach, so joining forces was an easy decision to make.

“After the robust existing position we’ve built through the fantastic Zodeq operations team, we’re so excited to take the business to the next level with our new partners.

“SME growth in the UK continues at pace, and the recruitment industry, in particular, is going from strength to strength, with record numbers of people looking to change their career path or take on new opportunities following the pandemic. We’re seeing an influx of entrepreneurs setting up exciting businesses in response to this market opportunity, and we’re committed to developing longstanding relationships and supporting the next generation of founders as they build their businesses.”

The Praetura Group now employs more than 130 people across four offices in the North West. As a group, the team is currently developing tech-enabled services to help scale its equity and debt solutions to support further growth.

Gary Cain and Shaun Hyland at Reach Commercial Finance introduced Zodeq to Praetura Group.