Mercia looks to universities to find the next big businesses

Venture fund has recently partnered with four UK universities in order to source new opportunities; it now has 18 university partners

Mercia Technologies, the £80m tech venture capital (VC) fund focused on businesses in the Midlands and the North, has partnered with four universities in Scotland and the North of England in the hope of finding up-and-coming start-ups to invest in.

Said to be one of the UK’s leading tech investors, the AIM-listed fund now has 18 university partners after joining forces with Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh Napier, St Andrews, and Sheffield Hallam universities.

Midlands-based Mercia typically backs early-stage start-ups in the life sciences, electronics and hardware sectors but has been making in-roads in the advertising technology (adtech) space of late.

Last year, it led a £300,000 seed round in wayve – a ‘360 degree’ advertising platform incorporating mobile, desktop, and digital outdoor display.

Mercia managing director Dr Mark Payton, who features in Growing Business’ Meet the Investor Q&A, said the partnerships reflected the fund’s “strengthening presence […] as we seek to become the go-to provider of finance”:

“Providing approximately a third of all our investment activity, these additional partnerships support our continued ability to work with universities to identify investment opportunities.”

Find out more about Mercia and the type of businesses it normally invests in here.

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