A new £18 million investment fund for expanding businesses has been launched, supported by the soon-to-be scrapped Advantage West Midlands.
The launch of the Exceed – Midlands Advantage Fund comes just days after Business Secretary Vince Cable wrote to local councils suggesting regional initiatives involving venture capital funds would be best led nationally in the future.
The fund aims to boost high-growth businesses in the West Midlands, with cash from AWM and Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm LDC, as well as from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Exceed fund, which will be managed by venture capital firm Midven, will invest between £250,000 and £750,000 to help smaller businesses to realise their growth potential.
Brian Blakemore, chairman of Midven, said the fund was already attracting significant interest from entrepreneurial businesses and that announcements on the first investments would be made shortly.
“The Exceed – Midlands Advantage Fund is a demonstration of the foresight of LDC working with Advantage West Midlands and the ERDF.
“As business recovers from recession and depressed markets, the one ingredient that high-growth prospect companies need is capital for expansion and development.”
LDC Midlands managing director Martin Draper said: “We believe the Exceed fund not only provides much needed investment for smaller companies but also, through Midven, direct access to a raft of experience and expertise.
“Our goal is to help future growth and ensure businesses reach their development potential.”