Octopus Investments, part of Octopus Group and the UK’s largest Venture Capital Trust (VCT) manager1, today announced the launch of a new £20 million fundraise for its Apollo VCT.
Investing in a range of proven UK smaller companies, Apollo VCT is the UK’s seventh largest generalist VCT with £117m assets under management.2. It is also one of Octopus’ four VCTs that support the next generation of UK business through their growth cycle, providing seed to later stage funding, including to businesses recently listed on the AIM market.
Paul Latham, Head of Tax Products at Octopus Investments, comments:
“VCTs are a vital source of investment for UK smaller companies, which in turn create thousands of jobs and drive economic growth. The range of VCTs offered by Octopus supports these businesses at each stage of their growth and allows investors to play a meaningful role in their development.
“Demand for VCTs has been particularly strong in recent years, and Apollo presents a great opportunity for those investors who prefer to invest in slightly later stage companies, or perhaps want to diversify their VCT portfolio.”
Apollo VCT is managed by Richard Court, Head of Development Capital at Octopus Investments. The fund invests into commercialised businesses with a growing customer base, repeating revenues and the potential for significant expansion. Richard has had a 15-year career, including 12 years in mid-market and SME lending and investing.
In April 2018 Apollo VCT invested in Natterbox, which offers cloud telephony services to corporate customers. The funding has allowed Natterbox to invest in its sales and marketing function and to expand successfully into the US market, resulting in revenue growth exceeding 50% in its first year.
Commenting on the investment outlook, Richard Court, Fund Manager for Apollo VCT at Octopus Investments, said:
“There are so many brilliant UK businesses in need of capital to take them to the next stage of growth. For Apollo, we typically look for proven companies at a later stage in their development, but where there are significant opportunities for expansion which can be unlocked by growth financing. These companies also tend to have ‘sticky customers’ with strong retention rates, which provides good visibility of future revenues. Our investment should allow them to reach greater scale and, in time, profitability. This is often by adding to existing product lines, hiring a new sales team, or expanding internationally.”
Notes to editors:
1) Data sourced from the Association of Investment Companies as at 30 April 2019 – AIC Interactive Statistics
2) Data sourced from the Association of Investment Companies as at 30 April 2019 – AIC Interactive Statistics
For journalists in their professional capacity only. The value of an investment, and any income from it, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may change in the future. Tax reliefs depend on the VCT maintaining its VCT-qualifying status. VCT shares could fall or rise in value more than other shares listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. They may also be harder to sell. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. We do not offer investment or tax advice. We recommend investors seek professional advice before deciding to invest. Investors should only subscribe for shares based on information in the prospectus and the Key Information Document, which can be obtained from octopusinvestments.com. Issued by Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 03942880. We record telephone calls. Issued: May 2019.