Baronsmead Venture Trust plc and Baronsmead Second Venture Trust plc (the Baronsmead VCTs), managed by specialist alternative asset manager Gresham House, have raised a further £50mn, bringing their total net asset value to £438mn.
As with previous years, this 2023 tax year fundraise was oversubscribed above its initial £40mn target, reflecting strong investor demand.
Launched in 1995, the Baronsmead VCTs are among the largest venture capital trusts available, offering a hybrid portfolio of public and private companies in an approach that is unique to funds of their scale. The VCTs target an annual dividend yield of 7% of NAV, which has been achieved in each of the last five financial years.
The VCTs are managed by the Gresham House Ventures team and sit alongside the Mobeus VCTs, which are focussed solely on private company investments. Gresham House Ventures is a growth equity investor, working with driven entrepreneurs in high-growth, scalable and technology-driven businesses. The additional funding will be deployed into attractive private and AIM-listed growth companies in these sectors and beyond.
The fundraise comes amid a busy period in terms of dealmaking for Gresham House Ventures, including a £4mn follow-on investment into ecommerce innovator Patchworks, exits from outdoor apparel manufacturer Equip Outdoor Technologies (6.9x money multiple) and print management information business Tharstern (terms not disclosed), and a £4.5mn investment into specialist eating disorder clinic Orri. It also follows a strong £76mn fundraise for the Mobeus VCTs in November – as the new tax year begins, Gresham House Ventures now oversees a total of £832mn in assets across the Baronsmead and Mobeus VCTs.
Gresham House Ventures has also been bolstered by the recent hire of Grant Paul-Florence as director of investment and promotion of Ed Wass to director of VCT portfolio, both with decades of venture capital investment experience.
Ed Wass, director of VCT portfolio at Gresham House Ventures, says: “This latest successful fundraise reflects investors’ continued confidence in the team’s approach to identifying and backing early-stage businesses, and further solidifies Gresham House’s position as a leader in the UK growth equity space. We are excited to deploy the capital we have raised to take advantage of the wealth of compelling investment opportunities that we see in the current market.
“We’re grateful for the trust placed in us by both new and existing investors in this fundraise, which we believe reflects the quality and determination of the future leaders we invest in.”