Think differently about SEIS investing

by | Mar 28, 2022

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Nova Growth Capital is an award winning investment firm based in Liverpool, investing in disruptive SEIS & EIS technology companies. Allowing investors to take advantage of growth-focused and diversified investment portfolio.

Its deal flow comes exclusively from it’s sister company Nova Cofoundery, a venture builder that has seen 36.5% growth in its portfolio year on year for 11 years.

Each Investors funds are Coinvested with Nova into a diversified Cohort within Nova’s portfolio of at least ten early-stage, knowledge intensive companies, this diversification is large enough to reasonably mitigate the risk of failure across the whole Cohort.


What does Nova do differently?

Nova provide support to startups beyond just investment. They invest patient capital through SEIS and EIS and put it to work via a team of 100+ full time employees.

Not only does a startup receive funding from Nova but they put bespoke and flexible team around the founder to plug any gaps or weaknesses, to support that startups goal at any particular stage. They draw in the right skill set as and when it is needed to improve the likelihood of success of the portfolio companies and help with their development.

All investee companies receive 595 days of team resource time in the first 9 months. They are also provided a learning and mentorship platform called Leanstack, which is the same used at Harvard university.


We get many entrepreneurs coming to us with their ideas and now receive in excess of 2000 ideas to look at each year.” -Nova

At this early stage, Nova focus on what they call Founder-Market Fit. Is there a real world problem that needs solving, can the founder evidence this and are there real users that understand the problem in the same way. The type of founders they look for are domain experts with a strong network who have identified a problem in their industry. The startup has to have good market defensibility and some kind of differentiator or competitive advantage.

Our overall aim had been to increase the use of SEIS by financial advisers, in their financial planning. When it is done well, SEIS can offer some very exciting returns, as well as supporting the growth and development of young businesses in the post pandemic world“- Alistair Marsden, Director, Nova Growth Capital


Nova Growth Capital 2021 highlights

  • The amount of investment that we attracted into our funds are up year to date, with EIS up 37% and SEIS up 40% respectively.
  • We also invested in 26 companies, making us a leader in offering a truly diversified portfolio. You can watch some of our portfolio spotlight videos here.
  • 100% of the companies we invested in are outside London, with a particular focus on the North-West. We find greater value outside London, and are keen to support the government’s levelling up agenda.

*figures correct as of 17th December, may be subject to change.


Nova Growth Capital were finalists in 6 industry awards categories, winning high commendations from both the Growth Investor awards and EISA. More importantly, a growing number of their portfolio companies are now winning awards or receiving in their industry sectors.

EISA Survey- and their response

Nova Growth Capital sponsored a survey run by EISA a few months back, on the barriers to advisers offering SEIS. One of the key recommendations that came from the survey was that there was a need for more educational material on SEIS, for both advisers and their clients.


Nova Growth Capital responded to this demand in two ways:

  • They have launched a guide to SEIS for investors. To get your free copy, please register here.
  • They have partnered with Intelligent Partnership to develop a new online SEIS training module, designed for advisers. Nova are also funding first 70 licences of this module, so that it is free to advisers. You can register your interest in this here.

Investing before the end of the tax year 21/22

Nova Growth Capital are one of the few SEIS managers that offer guaranteed development before the end of the tax year. The last opportunity to invest with Nova Growth Capital to ensure full deployment by the end of the current tax year is by the 28th March.

  • All investments made by the end of 28th March will be fully deployed in companies by the end of the tax year, allowing carry back to the previous 2020/2021 tax year.
  • No annual management fees – they operate on a performance based fee structure.
  • No upfront fees to investors – 100% allocation of investment for tax reliefs with no additional fees.
  • Diversification with investors’ funds aiming to be deployed in at least 10 companies across various sectors.

Click here for more information about Nova Growth Capital

This article is included in our 2022 comprehensive annual EIS/SEIS report, which is now available to our Financial Adviser readers here

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