Venture capital firm raises £86m

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Businesses backed by Enterprise Ventures raised more than £86million on the Alternative Investment Market in 2015.

Enterprise Ventures, which provides venture capital and loans to small businesses and has an office in Barnsley, now has eight listed companies in its portfolio following the flotation of two biotech businesses during the year – Redx Pharma which raised £15m when it joined AIM in March 2015 and Evgen Pharma which raised £7m in October.

Six more Enterprise Ventures portfolio companies raised more than £64m between them through AIM share placings in 2015.

They include Xeros Technology Group, the Rotherham ‘waterless washing machine’ business which raised £40m in November.

Jonathan Diggines, chief executive of Enterprise Ventures, said: “Over the past decade we have supported some of the UK’s most exciting technology businesses, mainly in the North of England.

“We backed them right from the start, often when they were just an idea; the toughest time to attract funding. Having helped to lay the foundations, the resurgence of the public markets is now enabling us to attract new capital, to build scale and to bring new technologies to market.”

Enterprise Ventures manages funds including Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn fund and its Business Loans fund. In 2015 the Seedcorn fund provided a further £700,000 funding for Fast-Form Systems, the Grimsby-based construction systems business, and made significant investments in the Sheffield Hallam University spin-out XeraCarb.