UK-focused investor Octopus has become the first firm to allow investors to commit money to a venture capital trust (VCT) through an Isa, as it aims to raise a record £120m for its flagship fund.
Octopus's Titan VCT, which is already the largest in the UK, has previously invested in businesses such as holiday company Secret Escapes and early stage property marketplace Appear Here.
By enabling investors to diversify into a VCT through their Isa, Octopus is hoping to crack the small business investment market open to more people.
“There was already much to like about the Octopus Titan VCT. No other VCT has had the same success in spotting rising stars and supporting them right through to sales to the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter,” said Alex Davies, chief executive of Wealth Club which advises high-net-worth clients on where to put their money.
“This latest move makes Titan massively more attractive. You can now invest in it through an Isa without having to part with a penny of new money and also get up to 30 per cent tax relief.”
The main advantages to investing in a VCT are access to small, unquoted companies, tax-free income and alternative ways to generate income from savings after pension contributions may be maxed out.
Jo Oliver, fund manager of the Octopus Titan VCT, added: “The investment opportunity for early stage investing in this country is huge.”
This year promises to be a record-breaking year for VCTs, as Mobeus, Albion Capital and Downing have also announced heft fundraises for their own funds over recent weeks.
“Once the rest of the offers open, this is likely to be the biggest VCT year ever,” said Davies.