A Preston-based venture capital provider has backed businesses which have become quids in over the last year.
Enterprise Ventures, an investor in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), backed businesses which raised more than £86m on AIM in 2015.
The firm now has eight listed companies in its portfolio after the flotation of two Liverpool-based biotech businesses – Redx Pharma, which raised £15m when it joined AIM in March 2015, and Evgen Pharma which raised £7m in October.
Six more Enterprise Ventures portfolio companies raised over £64m between them through AIM share placings in 2015.
They include Nelson-based Science in Sport, which raised more than £8m in October, and Xeros Technology Group, the Yorkshire business which has developed a patented, groundbreaking, environment-friendly laundry technology, and which raised £40m in November.
Jonathan Diggines, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ventures, said: “Over the past decade we have supported some of the UK’s most exciting technology businesses, mainly in the North of England.
“We backed them right from the start, often when they were just an idea – the toughest time to attract funding.
“Having helped to lay the foundations, the resurgence of the public markets is now enabling us to attract new capital, to build scale and to bring new technologies to market.”
The firm which has a current portfolio of 375 companies, mainly in the North of England, has invested more than £110m in the last five years.
It provides venture capital, growth capital and loans to small businesses in the UK and can offer sums from £25,000 up to £2m for businesses in all sectors and at all stages of development.
Mr Diggines maintained it was this type of investment which would help to realise the vision of a Northern Powerhouse – and that it was time for firms in the region to look to the future.
He said: “After years of uncertainty, when many firms have had their plans on hold, the outlook is now much more positive.
“We will no doubt still experience the unexpected – and we will surely face interest rate increases in the short to medium term – but at last it is time for small businesses to invest and move on.”
Pictured above: Jonathan Diggines, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ventures