Praetura Ventures, the Manchester-based investor that backs early-stage businesses in high-value sectors, has successfully closed its second EIS fund at £7m in a move that brings the total raised by the firm to £22m in less than 12 months.
The £7m Praetura EIS 2020 Fund will enable the firm to continue to support the growth ambitions of high-quality scale-up businesses across the region and will now be deployed alongside the strategic support and guidance of the 25-strong team at Praetura Ventures.
They will work closely with the management teams backed by the fund to implement growth strategies and drive scale post-investment, and the fund is expected to be deployed by the end of March 2020.
It follows the firm’s record-breaking £15m Praetura EIS 2019 Fund, which closed in May 2019 and was deployed in just seven months following investments in businesses such as SteamaCo, a Manchester-based technology supplier to energy providers in Asia and Africa; FeedStock, an AI-driven SaaS business; and Patchwork, a rapidly growing healthtech start-up on a mission to solve the NHS staffing crisis.
David Foreman, Managing Director at Praetura Ventures, said: “The response that investors have shown to Praetura Ventures since we announced our maiden EIS fund less than 12 months ago has been phenomenal. To have raised £22m is testament to the quality of the team we have built and the size of the opportunity that lies ahead.
“This latest fundraise demonstrates the high demand for genuine venture capital, particularly when it comes to northern businesses. Since launching Praetura Ventures last year, we have seen more than 1,000 opportunities and received more than £1bn in funding requests from early-stage companies, so we know the demand is there. Our focus on providing more than money to the businesses we back is something that resonates with investors and we are very grateful for their continued support.”
The Praetura EIS 2020 Fund is expected to provide returns to investors approximately four to seven years after its close and the Praetura Ventures team has already identified a number of early-stage businesses that are seeking growth capital and the strategic support of an investment partner across sectors such as fintech, artificial intelligence and healthtech.