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Mercia reveals 65% increase in Northern investments

The Managing Director of Mercia Ventures said they are “very much open for business” after increasing investments in the North of England by 65%.

For the first 6 months of this year, it has completed 75 investments, totalling almost £34m in the region. That compares to 55 worth £20.6m over the same period last year.

The organisation, which has offices in Manchester, Preston, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull has backed companies including Sheffield’s Sitehop; Soccer Manager producer Invincibles Studio based in Preston and Leeds; Ilkley medtech firm, Eventum Orthopaedics; and Clitheroe-based proptech firm Glider.

Mercia has also sold 5 companies.

  • Middlesbrough games developer SockMonkey Studios was acquired by Behaviour Interactive of Canada; 
  • Knowsley-based HR Tech firm Horsefly Analytics was subject to a secondary buyout by LDC; 
  • Manchester-based parking reservation platform ParkVia was acquired by CAVU, part of the Manchester Airports Group plc. 
  • Texere Publishing, the Knutsford company was sold to US-based BroadcastMed;
  • and Manchester-based tech consultancy Intechnica to Crosslake Technologies.

“We are very much open for business and the quality of regional SMEs seeking investment has supported this strong half-year result. We have increased both the value and volume of investments during the first half of 2023 and this has been achieved against the backdrop of a difficult economy,” explained Will Clark, Managing Director of Mercia Ventures.

“We believe the regions hold great opportunity if you know where to look. With a nationwide network of offices and local investors, we are very much embedded in these areas and have a track record of identifying rising stars and supporting them to scale and grow, while achieving returns for investors.

“The combination of funding we provide, which includes the use of British Business Bank’s regional funds alongside private investment, has been transformational for regional businesses. It is helping to attract external funding, build thriving start-up communities with a support network of advisers and create a sustainable environment for business growth and job creation.

“Looking ahead we will continue to focus on diversity and inclusion and explore ways to engage with communities that have yet to fully connect to capital providers. We look forward to creating more success stories in the second half of 2023 and beyond.”

Mercia manages third party funds including parts of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), it raises its own EIS and VCT funds, and invests directly in some businesses from its own balance sheet. 

Nationally Mercia invested £94.6m in the first half, up from £76.7m in the first half last year, with 85% going to firms outside of London.

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