Praetura Ventures raises GBP22m in less than a year

David Foreman, Praetura Ventures

Praetura Ventures has closed its second EIS fund at GBP7million, bringing the total raised by the firm to GBP22 million in less than 12 months.

The Praetura EIS 2020 Fund will support the growth ambitions of scale-ups across the region, and is expected to be deployed by the end of March 2020.

Manchester-based Praetura Ventures backs early-stage businesses in high-value sectors, and its Praetura EIS 2020 Fund will be deployed alongside the guidance of the 25-strong team at Praetura, said the firm. 

The team will work with the management teams backed by the fund to implement growth strategies and drive scale.
 
It follows the firm’s GBP15 million Praetura EIS 2019 Fund, which closed in May 2019 and was deployed over seven months. Investments included SteamaCo, a Manchester-based technology supplier to energy providers in Asia and Africa; FeedStock, an AI-driven SaaS business; and Patchwork, a healthtech start-up working to solve the NHS staffing crisis.

“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 GBP22 million is testament to the quality of the team we have built and the size of the opportunity that lies ahead,” said David Foreman, managing director at Praetura Ventures.
 
He says that, since launching Praetura last year, the firm has seen more than 1,000 opportunities and received GBP1bn in funding requests from early-stage companies. “So we know the demand is there,” comments Foreman. 
“This latest fundraise demonstrates the high demand for genuine venture capital, particularly when it comes to northern businesses."

The Praetura EIS 2020 Fund is expected to provide returns to investors approximately four to seven years after its close and the firm’s team says it 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.”

“The interest and support we’ve had from financial advisers during 2019 has been fantastic and having developed our proposition with the intermediary market at the forefront of our thinking, we’re pleased to see advisory firms recognising this,” said Jon Prescott, Praetura Ventures’s business development director.
 
“The diversity of our portfolio, our speed of deployment and our northern focus have all been well received by investors and their advisers. The progress we’ve made since launching our first fund last year has been brilliant and we look forward to sharing news of further investments, as well as details about our next fund, very soon,” explains Prescott.
 
In conjunction with the latest fund close, Praetura appoints Andy Sumner as portfolio managing director. Sumner will work alongside portfolio managing director Ben Hatton to support the portfolio companies in their growth.

Praetura invested in AI and machine learning business Peak in 2016, as well SaaS delivery management platform Sorted Group. The firm participated in Sorted Group’s GBP15 million financing round led by Merian Chrysalis Investment Company in August 2019.