Praetura Ventures has closed its 2019 Enterprise Investment Scheme fund at £15 million, making it the largest-ever maiden EIS fund.
It says it will use the money to help address the £300m venture funding gap in the North West of England.
The £15m investment vehicle will back 8-10 tech-enabled early-stage businesses predominantly in the region, who will use the capital to hire key staff, invest in new technologies and scale.
The money was raised in just three months from investors across the UK. Praetura has invested more than £100m in early-stage businesses since 2011.
“This is just the beginning of the journey for Praetura Ventures, as we focus on closing the considerable venture capital gap in the North West,” said MD David Foreman.
“There are a significant number of highly credible management teams and businesses which are capable of scaling rapidly with backing from the right partner, and we’re delighted to be in a position to provide that support.
“Our aim is to become a leading venture capital business in the North of England, and we look forward to providing funding and support to companies in the region and beyond.”
Praetura says the focus of the fund will be on backing exceptional management teams with scalable business models operating in exciting markets, with a view to providing profits to investors in approximately 5-7 years’ time.
Businesses backed by the fund will receive advice and guidance, as well as practical support, from a dedicated portfolio team.
Praetura expects to invest two-thirds of the fund in the North West region and has an active pipeline of companies looking to receive funding.
Business development director Jon Prescott said: “We’re delighted by the support we’ve received for our maiden fund. We have significant ambitions to become a trusted partner to investors and their advisers.
“Given the scale of interest we’ve already started looking at our next raise, which we anticipate launching in late summer 2019.”