Early stage investor expands regional footprint

The North East Fund's fund managers
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Mercia Fund Managers has extended its reach into the regions after it was awarded the £27m Venture Fund to support businesses across the North East.

It will result in the Henley-in-Arden early stage investor opening an office in Newcastle, which will become its ninth in the UK, as it targets SMEs across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

The fund adds to contract wins totalling £200m in recent months, which has seen it become responsible for parts of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and it has also achieved the first closing of EV Growth II.

Dr Mark Payton, chief executive of Mercia, said: “The North East has much to offer and we are thrilled to have been awarded this latest fund, which will be an invaluable source of funding for the development of innovative businesses.

“Addressing the imbalance of available capital in the UK regions is a key strategic focus for Mercia and with a strong track record of supporting businesses with high growth potential, we look forward to sourcing and scaling the next generation of emerging stars and working with the North East Fund and other partners from the region.”

The Venture Fund will be investing in rounds up to £1.0million, with additional funding potentially coming from Mercia’s other funds, and will be targeted at businesses at any stage of their development with a particular focus on innovative businesses.

Mercia is already active in the North East region with recent investments including Newcastle-based digital VR specialists Luminous Group and AI software sales company Refract.

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