Sure Valley Ventures is to open a base in Manchester as it launches a new £95 million fund.

The VC, which invests in metaverse, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity companies, will use the new base to actively seek out companies across the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Currently based in London, Dublin and Cambridge, it plans to invest in 25 software companies across the UK via the new fund, which has seen an £85m first close including a cornerstone £50m investment from the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds programme.

It said the first investment from the fund will be into a Belfast-based company.

“We are delighted to partner with the British Business Bank and existing and new investors on this new £95m UK software technology fund,” said managing partner and co-founder Barry Downes. “We are excited to expand on our existing London and Cambridge hubs by opening a new office in Manchester. 

“Many cities, including Manchester, as well as Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle, have become dynamic tech hubs for startups. As entrepreneurs and founders ourselves, we have been on the other end of the table and therefore understand the challenges that startups face for funding. 

“A local presence will ideally position us to execute on exciting deals in this region and we are always willing to travel across the UK to meet exceptional leaders, to invest in their businesses and help them scale and grow in international markets.”

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Alongside the equity invested, Sure Valley supports entrepreneurs via its value-adding platform, which draws on the team’s knowledge and experience as founders to create a programme which is tailored to each investee company’s individual needs. 

The platform also features a global network of advisors, based in leading innovation hubs across the globe, including San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, LA, Austin and Seattle in the USA as well as leading European and Asian hubs.


Minister for Investment, Lord Gerry Grimstone, said: “The AI and immersive tech sectors are major British success stories and investments like this one by Sure Valley Ventures ensures that early stage companies in the Northern Regions can access the funding necessary to help them compete at the forefront of global innovation.

“It’s fantastic to see this investment into the North of England which demonstrates the U.K.’s investment attractiveness as we continue to level up all parts of the UK.”