Mercia looks for growth potential at universities

Billy Bambrough
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Students Celebrate Raisin Monday At St Andrew's University
Mercia Technologies is hoping to find blossoming businesses at St Andrew's University in Scotland (Source: Getty)

Investment firm Mercia Technologies has partnered with four universities in the North of England and Scotland to source new opportunities.

The universities – Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh Napier, St Andrews, and Sheffield Hallam – were chosen due Mercia’s regional expansion targets. The Aim-traded firm, which says it focuses on the creation, funding and scaling of businesses with high growth potential, now has 18 university partners.

Mercia’s investments are generally in the digital, life sciences, electronics and hardware, and software industries. The company’s original portfolio includes 22 investments, mostly in the Midlands – where it’s based.

“These new Scottish university partnerships via our office in Edinburgh, alongside our existing partners of Abertay and Strathclyde Universities reflect our strengthening presence in one of our target regions as we seek to become the go-to provider of finance for innovative Scottish companies,” said Mark Payton, Mercia’s chief executive.

Earlier this year Mercia acquired rival firm Enterprise Ventures for £9m to boost its geographic presence in the UK. Enterprise had stakes in 150 companies and £200m of assets under management.

The acquisition more than tripled Mercia’s pipeline of potential investments.

“Following our recent acquisition of Enterprise Ventures, the partnership with Sheffield Hallam University will similarly continue to build our presence in the North of England alongside York, Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores universities. Providing approximately a third of all our investment activity, these additional partnerships support our continued ability to work with universities to identify investment opportunities,” said Payton.

Mercia’s share price has fallen by 20 per cent from June last year.

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