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Launch of Catapult Investment Partners (CIP)
A different angle for angels

According to research the East Midlands has historically been one of the least active areas for business angel activity in the UK.

Data on business angel investment shows that the East Midlands does not perform well and is far outstripped by regions such as London and the South East. However, whilst some would say that this is not surprising given the wealth of these areas, we still trail our less wealthy cousins – Wales, the North East, the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside all have vibrant business angel communities which invest millions of pounds in fledgling businesses in their regions.

In order to bridge the gap, Catapult Venture Managers, the manager of the £30m East Midlands Regional Venture Capital Fund (‘EMRVCF’), has launched a new concept called Catapult Investment Partners.

Put simply, Catapult Investment Partners is an angel network that will invest alongside the EMRVCF into the region’s growing businesses. What differentiates it from traditional business angel networks is the EMRVCF investing its own funds into the opportunities alongside the private investors. As a result all of the work that is involved in negotiating a deal with a management team, shaping of the team and commercial due diligence will be undertaken by the EMRVCF as part of its investment decision. Private investors will have the right to look at this work prior to making their decision about whether to invest their own cash or not. They will also be able to meet the management team and see the business for themselves, something that is not generally possible with other types of investment. The final decision to invest is always with the individual private investor.

Catapult is looking to identify high net worth investors who are interested in investing between £25,000 and £250,000 a time into unquoted companies as part of their investment portfolio. A typical structure would see the EMRVCF invest £250,000 alongside another £250,000 from a collection of between one and ten private investors, providing £500,000 of equity capital in total. Private investors will be able to invest in ordinary shares if they are seeking EIS tax relief on their investment, or alternatively could invest in a structure focussed on interest and dividends, such as that used by most venture capitalists.

Ray Harris of Catapult Investment Partners commented: “We are not aware of any other local investment model whereby private investors invest directly into growing companies alongside a professionally managed £30m pool of venture capital.

He added: “There are a lot of wealthy individuals in the region who are looking for investment opportunities but are frustrated because the companies they are presented with are not ‘investment ready’. Through Catapult’s model the investor has the work done for them. All they have to do is decide whether or not they would like to invest alongside a professionally managed venture capital fund.”

Mike Piper, one of the founding directors of Catapult Venture Managers added “Catapult Investment Partners is targeted at experienced high net worth investors who are interested in helping smaller companies but understand that venture capital is a high risk area. Investors must appreciate that whilst large capital gains can be made, investments in small companies are high risk and any investment could be entirely lost. However, an involvement with small companies can be extremely exciting and fulfilling, but is certainly not for the faint-hearted! It helps keep the brain cells ticking, and avoids boredom!”

Publisher Contact Information:

Catapult Venture Managers
+44 (0)870 116 1600

Company profile of Catapult Venture Managers Ltd.
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