Maven Capital Partners (Maven), a UK-based private equity firm, announced on Thursday it completed a £1.1 million investment in developer and operator of specialist online investment and capital crowdfunding platforms, Growth Capital Ventures (GCV), which was funded through its managed Venture Capital Trusts.
According to Maven, the investment will enable GCV to develop a new peer-to-peer lending platform, along with tapping into the UK online alternative finance market that raised £3.2 billion in 2015, up from £1.74 billion in the previous year. The firm also revealed the new platform will focus on providing access to pre-vetted, quality investment opportunities that have the potential to deliver strong investment growth, and support syndication between institutional, professional and retail investors.
GCV reportedly launched its first crowdfunding platform, GrowthFunders, in 2014 and has since successfully matched innovative businesses to investors. The funds will also support the business in further developing its investment platforms and increasing deal flow for its expanding investor base, targeting a number of core sectors including high growth SMEs, real estate, technology and clean energy.
Sharing more details about the investment, Bill Kennedy, Partner at Maven, stated:
“Alternative finance, including crowdfunding and peer to peer lending is becoming an increasingly mainstream asset class. Maven is pleased to support GCV to enable it to further develop and enhance its highly sophisticated investment platform which has been uniquely designed to connect investors with opportunities across the real estate, technology and clean energy sectors. The management team is highly experienced and we have every confidence in its ability to source deals and raise capital for thoroughly vetted businesses and projects that deliver impact and growth.”
Norman Peterson, co-founder and CEO at GCV commented:
“As a result of Maven’s investment, we will be able to evolve the GrowthFunders platform, and add P2P lending to our model that will enable investors to access an additional number of asset classes and build a diversified and balanced portfolio. We are committed to providing our investors with a cost-effective, streamlined service, focused on delivering better risk-adjusted returns and will continue to offer access to early stage business investment opportunities which benefit from SEIS and EIS tax reliefs. We will evolve the platform to offer investment opportunities in property and clean energy projects that provide access to asset-backed investment opportunities where value can be added through development and/or active asset management.”
Craig Peterson, co-founder, and COO at GCV added:
“The alternative finance sector has a valuable part to play in stimulating economic growth and innovation in the UK. Equity and lending based platforms have seen an increase in co-investment from institutional investors, a trend we believe will increase significantly in the coming years. Our online investors are keen to participate alongside specialist institutional investors to support businesses and projects that have the potential to make a difference precisely because they are tackling problems in underserved markets. We believe there are real opportunities in the largely untapped real estate sector. We are working with experienced residential and commercial property developers to provide funding solutions to develop low carbon housing, office space and student accommodation in underserved markets. The schemes will deliver positive social, economic and environmental benefits including job creation, training opportunities and reduced energy consumption.”
Maven also noted that the transaction in GCV represents the firm’s fourth Venture Capital Trust investment in 2016 and its tenth Private Equity transaction of the year.