Published: Jan 03, 2024
Focus: Growth Capital
Private equity activity in the first half of the year was subdued as the economic environment remained uncertain on the back of a challenging 2022. However, as fears of a deep recession and further market volatility reduced, and the forecasted trajectory of interest rates became clearer, deal activity accelerated in the latter half of 2023.
Whilst it remains a market to be cautious in opportunities do exist, helped by a noticeable pricing recalibration in the past year that has allowed VCT managers to secure keener entry valuations for new assets. In addition, the dynamic and disruptive smaller businesses that the Maven VCTs back are proving that they can be more agile than their larger counterparts, where their ability to adapt and innovate as market conditions change, or pivot quickly to position their product or service when trends evolve, means that they aren’t as reliant on GDP growth to drive their own expansion.
In 2023 Maven maintained its strong investment rate, completing eight new VCT investments. We remain committed to adding further scale to each of our VCTs and increasing absolute net asset value by growing the highly diversified portfolios in a number of carefully selected assets.
With more than 25 investment and portfolio executives involved in sourcing, executing and managing VCT investments from a network of 10 offices, this ensures that we have an established presence across the key UK finance territories to maintain a healthy deal pipeline despite UK economic activity remaining subdued.
Let’s take a closer look at businesses that were backed by the Maven VCTs in 2023.
Developer of a pre-clinical gene silencing platform for use in drug discovery, specialising in the creation of next generation cell therapies focusing on diabetes and solid tumour immunotherapy. Its differentiated technology enables the development of cell therapies which are stable, tunable and programmable, offering improved efficacy and safety, whilst also addressing many of the limitations of existing approaches.
Provider of bespoke compliance and eLearning content for businesses, including an online tool for H&S, compliance and premises applications, and an eLearning library widely used by corporate customers including DPD Group, Interserve, Dreams, Countrywide Group and Mountain Warehouse. iAM operates in a growing global market, where companies are increasingly looking to provide employees with access to digital training content.
Developer of a specialist software reporting platform, working with some of the world’s largest manufacturing businesses to help them achieve a reduction in the environmental footprint within their global supply chains. M2030 provides software reporting tools that enable companies to measure, manage and reduce environmental impact by procuring more sustainably and encouraging suppliers to reduce carbon emissions.
Designer and manufacturer a range of wireless sensors for the condition monitoring market, which help customers anticipate failure of business critical production assets whilst also avoiding costly and disruptive downtime. The sensors measure critical parameters such as temperature and vibration on high wear components, across a wide range of industrial applications, and remove the need for manual inspection, allowing for remote monitoring of critical equipment in some of the harshest industrial environments and locations.
Programmatic transit advertising platform that uses dynamic digital screens and proprietary software to pair vehicle owners with advertisers to deliver highly targeted and measurable out-of-home (OOH) digital engagement campaigns. Drovo’s innovative model also enables the operators of those vehicles to earn an additional, passive income stream, particularly for those businesses with large commercial fleets.
A leading UK contract research organisation for drug discovery across the global Biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Metrion specialises in ion channel research, developing new therapeutics for the treatment of conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, anxiety, cystic fibrosis and auto-immune disorders. The business utilises cutting edge techniques and technologies to screen potential new drugs, identifying potential safety issues and optimising the likelihood of success in clinical trials.
Provider of specialist 3D printing and generative design services for composite tooling and parts as well as CAD & generative design. Its innovative technology and engineering expertise optimise and improve design from the prototyping stage to the end product, and is used across a range of sectors including automotive, renewable energy, marine, sports and healthcare.
McKenzie Intelligence Services
Provides insurers with geospatial data and analysis to accelerate industry response to catastrophic events, driving disaster relief and economic recovery. Its proprietary platform uses real-time information, machine learning and expert analysis to provide clients with detailed and actionable intelligence to enable data-driven post-event assessments within 24 hours following an incident.