Praetura Ventures awarded extra £5m in funding to support start-ups

Sue Barnard (British Business Investments), David Foreman

Extra funding worth £5m has been pledged to Manchester-based early stage investor Praetura Ventures by British Business Investments.

The funding fillip will be used to support start-ups in under-served parts of the UK.

This latest commitment takes the total sum awarded to Praetura Ventures from the Regional Angels Programme to £20m, the largest through the programme to a delivery partner to date.

The extended funding comes a year after Praetura announced it had secured £15m from British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, as part of its Regional Angels Programme.

The scheme aims to increase funding to high-growth potential businesses across the UK.

Praetura, which is the only delivery partner on the programme headquartered in Manchester, has deployed £7m of funding from British Business Investments so far into more than 20 early stage businesses alongside investments from its EIS fund and Venture Partners.

Businesses who have benefitted from British Business Investments’ commitment to Praetura include Manchester-based fintech BankiFi, which has already partnered with TSB and The Co-operative Bank to launch two SME-focused open banking apps.

Reacta Healthcare, based in Deeside, North Wales, has also received Regional Angels Programme funding via Praetura.

The business is using the funds to help develop its suite of oral allergen tests, which provide a safer way for clinicians to test for common allergies, such as peanut, in adults and children.

Several of Praetura’s newest portfolio businesses have benefitted from the funding, including insurance innovator Percayso, workertech platform Orka and retail AI trailblazer Sparkbox.

As the only northern-focused investor of its kind, Praetura has now grown its portfolio to include more than 27 early stage businesses, two thirds of which are headquartered in the North West.

David Foreman, managing director of Praetura Ventures, said: “We’re committed to helping entrepreneurs to build the best business they can and we’ve already seen the positive impact the Regional Angels Programme has had so far.

“This additional £5m means we can provide even more businesses in the area with our more than money support to ensure that they reach, and even surpass, their potential. It’s an exciting time to be part of a place teeming with such significant ambition and innovation.”

Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “Our Regional Angels Programme is designed to address regional imbalances in the availability of angel finance, and to increase the amount of capital available to smaller businesses with high growth potential through early stage investors.

“The additional £5m commitment to Praetura Ventures from British Business Investments further supports early stage businesses in the North and across the UK.”