Early-stage tech investor Mercia opens Bristol office - Business Leader News

Early-stage tech investor Mercia opens Bristol office

Julian Dennard

Mercia Asset Management – one of the UK’s most active investors in early-stage tech companies and SMEs – has opened a new office in Bristol to help build its presence in the South West.

Mercia, which has been investing in the region for over ten years, will now have a dedicated team based in the city. The Bristol team will be based in the Engine Shed and will be led by Fund Principal Julian Dennard, a former Investment Director with the South West Venture Fund. He has been joined by new recruits Rafael Joseph, who previously worked at the Development Bank of Wales, and Adam Watts, who was previously with Wealth Club in Bristol.

Mercia, which is based in Henley-in-Arden in the Midlands and has eight regional offices, offers a wide range of funds from seed and venture capital for early-stage businesses to growth and debt funds for more established SMEs. Its recent investments in the South West include Bath-based mapping technology firm Living Map, Cheltenham-based workflow software provider Enate, and Exeter-based Ad-Tech firm Distil.

The South West team will be looking in particular for ambitious companies seeking to raise an initial investment of between £500k and £5m across sectors including Life Sciences, Deep Tech, CleanTech and Software.

Julian Dennard said: “Bristol and the South West are home to an ecosystem of exciting early-stage Life Sciences, CleanTech and Deep Tech businesses. Having invested in the area for almost a decade, it made sense for us to have a base in the city. We look forward to supporting more local entrepreneurs and playing a key role in the region’s future success story.”

Mercia’s CEO Dr Mark Payton added: “We are delighted to announce that Mercia has opened an office in Bristol as we continue to support the South West region’s SMEs. The timing couldn’t be better, as we’re witnessing a period of accelerated innovation in the region.

“Regional SMEs have traditionally been underserved by finance providers, and yet they’re ripe to deliver for the broader domestic economy. An integral aspect of our mission is to help close the regional funding gap and we’re uniquely placed to do so. We can deploy the right capital solution from our different asset classes at the right time, and so support our portfolio businesses on their growth journey in the right way.”