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Praetura Ventures launches VCT for northern tech startups

Praetura VCT
Praetura partner Sam McArthur. Image credit: Praetura Ventures

Manchester-based investment firm Praetura has launched a new venture capital trust (VCT) to back startups in the North of England.

The Praetura Growth VCT plc, which is looking to raise an initial £10m, will focus on supporting regional diversification in UK tech investment. Venture capital trusts are a UK investment vehicle that provides tax incentives and gives individual investors access to VC opportunities.

“The demand for alternative investments is growing significantly. Investors are looking for solutions to diversify their portfolio and deliver strong returns, especially at a time where inflation is continuing to rise and volatility in the stock market, which affects index funds,” said Sam McArthur, a partner at Praetura.

“Praetura’s reputation for providing ‘more than money’, combined with the team’s knowledge of the North and passion for backing exceptional businesses outside of London, offers investors a way to do that.”

Shares in the VCT will be admitted to the London Stock Exchange. The vehicle’s directors and people associated with Praetura have already committed to investing £1.02m to support the total fundraising goal.

“I believe there’s also a greater awareness of VCTs now and the tax efficiencies they can provide investors, as well as ISAs and pensions,” added McArthur.

“Unlike VCTs, pensions and ISAs rarely give investors access to these unquoted companies, which is why VCTs lend themselves to investors wanting to diversify into private markets.”

The Manchester investor is one of the most active VCs in the North of England, having backed recent prominent northern startups such as Modern Milkman in Lincolnshire, XR Games in Leeds and Manchester’s Arctic Shores.