New venture capital fund to target Bristol’s burgeoning small tech firms

May 27, 2014

A new fund focusing on investing in the Bristol area’s early stage tech businesses is to be launched by Technology Venture Partners, a new independent venture capital fund manager based in the city.

Technology Venture Partners is to start the fund to run alongside YFM Equity Partners’ closed South West Ventures Fund, which it is taking over managing.

South West Ventures Fund was set up in 2002 as one of the UK’s nine regional venture capital funds investing up to £500,000 of risk capital into small fast-growing businesses.

Although the fund had a tech-bias, it injected money into firms across a range of sectors including defence, food and communications. But the end of Government funding resulted in the fund closing in 2010 and it is now fully invested.

Its portfolio includes Bristol-based Micrima, which has developed innovative technology for breast cancer screening based on radiowaves instead of X-rays, and Dynmark, a Cheltenham-based cloud based mobile intelligence and messaging platform.

While the fund will continue to be managed by former YFM staffers Peter Davies, Nick Simmonds and Julian Dennard – the three founding partners of Technology Venture Partners – they are also to launch a new fund to tap into the region’s burgeoning hi-tech sector, particularly its small, early stage businesses.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. The business will continue to operate from the former South West Ventures office on the Bristol & Bath Science Park.

Peter Davies said: “South West Ventures Fund has shown considerable revenue growth and we continue to see good opportunities to invest venture capital in the early stage UK technology sector.

“We intend to build on this experience, helping innovative and high-growth technology businesses fulfil their growth potential.”   

YFM said it will continue to invest in established fast-growing businesses in the South West by investing from its institutional and British Smaller Companies VCT funds managed from our London office. These can make private equity investments of up to £10m.

In 2011, it invested £4.5m of development capital into Swindon-headquartered Poweroasis, a specialist telecommunications business.



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