Two more venture capital trust (VCT) providers have announced top-up fund raises as the market gears up for the peak fund-raising season in the next quarter.
Unicorn Asset Management announced it would launch a £15m offer for its popular AIM VCT early in the new year. The company's previous offer, in early January 2016, was fully subscribed within three weeks of launch.
Also seeking a new subscription is Maven VCT 6, which hopes to raise £6m in top-up funds. It will be the only one of Maven's funds to raise money in this fund-raising season.
Chris Hutchinson, manager of the Unicorn AIM VCT, said he continued to see attractive opportunities in AIM despite the rules introduced this year regarding the age of the companies AIM VCTs can invest in and the volatile investment environment.
"At present, the VCT portfolio contains many profitable, cash-generative and dividend-paying companies that should thrive over the longer term," he said. "In addition, I am confident we will continue to unearth new and compelling investment opportunities, despite the current high level of uncertainty surrounding the economic and political outlook."
The Unicorn AIM VCT, which recently won best AIM-based VCT at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2016, achieved a total return for shareholders of 7.2% in the year to September, according to the fund's annual report. Net assets rose to £147.7m from £124.6m at the end of the previous financial year, helped by last year's £10m fund raise.
Unicorn Asset Management currently manages a £250m portfolio of qualifying AIM-quoted companies across its range of tax-efficient products and funds, including the AIM VCT and an inheritance tax AIM portfolio service.
Investors in the Maven VCT 6 will receive a bonus of 1.5% if their application is received and accepted before the end of February 2017. Investors can subscribe for one or both of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 tax years.
Maven has also revealed its VCT funds have invested £1.1m in Growth Capital Ventures (GCV), which is developing a peer-to-peer lending platform that will provide access to pre-vetted investment opportunities. Maven partner Bill Kennedy said: "Alternative finance, including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending is becoming an increasingly mainstream asset class."
He added that the investment in GCV would enable the company to further develop and enhance its sophisticated investment platform, which has been designed to connect investors with opportunities across the real estate, technology and clean energy sectors.
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