Mercia Fund Management (“MFM”) is an early stage equity investor with a particular emphasis in supporting businesses based around innovative technology.
MFM was established over ten years ago to manage the Mercia Fund 1, a seed fund providing support and capital to spin out projects from the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick. In 2007, Mercia Fund 1 was enlarged and its university base expanded to cover 8 universities in the West Midlands. Mercia Fund 1 now has almost £10m under management and is an evergreen fund, investing at seed level in early stage projects from its university partners.
Also in 2007, Mercia Fund 2 was established. Mercia Fund 2 is a £5m private fund that invested in later stage businesses but still with an emphasis upon strengths in technology; this fund finished making new investments in January 2012.
MFM has a strong contractual relationship with a number of significant Universities (including the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick). This relationship not only gives MFM early access to investment opportunities but is a source of technological expertise for due diligence, technology evaluation and development.
MFM is also an FCA authorised and regulated fund manager. Its first fund open to retail investors is the Mercia Growth Fund, a unique hybrid Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”)/ Seed EIS (“SEIS”) fund. The Mercia Growth Fund has just successfully raised its second round of funding having commenced investing in 2012. The Mercia Growth Fund is able to invest in businesses thoughout the UK which are eligible for EIS and SEIS funding. The Mercia Growth Fund looks for investments in relatively early stage fast-growing companies and, while it still prefers those companies to have distinctive technology, it does alos invest in no-technology based businesses with exciting growth prospects.
MFM combines senior-level experience in operational management with proven expertise in structuring and managing unquoted investments. As well as their expertise in assessing and making investments, the MFM team has been directly involved in financing, building and managing companies and works closely with the executive management team of each investee company in order to assist the growth of the company, control risks and deliver a profitable return to all shareholders.
Further information regarding the investment criteria of the various funds, the portfolio of investments made to date and on Mercia fund Management itself is available on the MFM website www.merciafund.co.uk