FAQs

Who is Midven?

Midven is a long established management owned venture capital investor located in Birmingham.  We have extensive experience and a proven track record of investing in SME’s and early stage businesses.


Why was Midven established?

To provide venture capital investment to SMEs within the  Midlands region that are typically young well managed businesses with high growth potential.


What type of funding does Midven provide?

Midven is a venture capital investor and will therefore always take an equity stake in the companies it supports.  The investment will typically comprise of a mixture of ordinary shares and either redeemable preference shares, sub-ordinated loans or quasi equity instruments.  We do not provide grant funding.


What type of company is likely to be an attractive...

Companies suitable for funding would ideally:

  • be growing rapidly and /or serving a growth market.
  • be capable of achieving sustainable growth in profitability and should have profit potential of at least £250,0000 pa.
  • have a strong management team.
  • have a defensible market position or intellectual property and be robust to economic downturn.
  • be capable of achieving an exit, probably by trade sale, within 5-7 years.

We do recognise that not all companies seeking investment will initially meet all these criteria but this does not necessarily preclude us from considering the proposition as we may be able to help fill the gaps.


What was Advantage West Midlands’ involvement?

Advantage West Midlands was the Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands and provided considerable assistance and funding to help the establishment of a number of Midven Funds. Advantage West Midlands has been replaced by a number of regional Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s). Whilst we have strong links with the LEP’s and believe our activities are consistent with their various Access to Finance agendas, the funds and Midven, the manager of the funds, are separate legal entities independent of the new LEP’s and take investment decisions independently of them.


What are the Fund’s investment criteria?

See the specific criteria within each of the individual funds, in general however the company should:

  • be based in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire or the Metropolitan Borough of the West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country);
  • be a small or medium sized business, which means up to 250 people employed, turnover not exceeding Euros 40 million and net assets of no more than Euros 27 million;
  • be either an established business with growth potential, or a start up business with exceptional growth potential;
  • have a strong management team;
  • be capable of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage;
  • have a business with a well defined strategy, capable of achieving capital growth and an exit for investors within 5 to 7 years;
  • be in a growth rather than declining market;
  • have a business which is robust to economic downturn;
  • not fall within the DTI’s excluded sectors. These are as follows:
  • dealing in land, commodities, futures, shares, securities or other financial instruments;
  • dealing in goods (other than in normal wholesale or retail trades);
  • banking, insurance, money lending, debt factoring, hire-purchase financing and other financial activities; property development;
  • farming, forestry or market gardening;
  • operating or managing hotels or nursing or residential care homes;
  • not fall within the definition of ‘Restricted Sectors’ referred to in Article 32 of the EC Treaty. These include, among others, certain agricultural and food related sectors and other sectors of which examples are synthetic fibres and yarns, motor vehicles and certain heavy industries.

How much venture capital investment can Midven provide?

The initial investment can be up to a maximum of £500,000 depending on which fund we consider is appropriate to invest from.  Further investment of up to £250,000 (again fund dependant) can be made 6 months after the initial investment.  Thereafter we have the capacity to make further investments alongside other larger investors


Are there any sectors Midven cannot invest in?

Yes, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills excluded sectors, which are as follows:

  • dealing in land, commodities, futures, shares, securities or other financial instruments;
  • dealing in goods (other than in normal wholesale or retail trades);
  • banking, insurance, money lending, debt factoring, hire-purchase financing and other financial activities;
  • leasing or letting assets on hire, except in the case of certain ship chartering activities;
  • providing legal or accountancy services;
  • property development;
  • farming, forestry or market gardening;
  • operating or managing hotels or nursing or residential care homes.

It is also important that investments do not fall within the definition of ‘Restricted Sectors’ referred to in Article 32 of the EC Treaty. These include, among others, certain agricultural and food related sectors and other sectors of which examples are synthetic fibres, yarns and motor vehicles.


Who makes the decision as to whether you will invest...

Each of our funds has an investment committee made up of members of Midven’s Board of Directors and investment teams. Investment decisions are the sole responsibility of the relevant Investment Committee and are not subject to any outside influence.


How does a company apply to the fund?

Contact us directly by phone on 0121 7101990 or email us at enquiries@midven.com We can give you initial feedback. However we are unable to process an application for investment until such time as we have received a business plan. For help with your business plan click on the Business Plan Advice box above.


Is the information provided kept confidential?

Yes. Midven are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are bound by all FCA confidentiality rules. However, we are happy to enter into most standard confidentiality agreements if you so wish.


What are the timescales to investment?

See the timetable section in the About Us part of the website.


Where can I find co-investment?

Midven has good relationships with a range of business angel networks and other venture capitalists.  We are happy to make introductions as appropriate.


Is Midven regulated by the FCA?

Yes. Midven is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. (reg no 148549)


For what purpose can the company apply the investment?

The investment can be applied for the purposes which have been agreed between us, details of which would be contained in the business plan.


Is Midven independent of the Government?

Yes. It is a limited company owned by members of its investment team.


What returns is the Midven looking for?

We manage commercial funds, and when we invest in companies we are expecting that the investment will provide the Fund with a commensurate return for the risk taken. Returns include interest, dividends, capital repayments and the amount realised on selling the Fund’s  equity stake in the company.  The level of return we seek varies from investment to investment dependant on our assessment of the risk profile of the proposition.


What is the expected time period between investment and exit?

Midven is generally a patient investor but each of our funds has a fixed life within which we have to make returns to our investors.  As such we will agree on exit timetable with you early in the investment process and work with you to ensure that the company’s strategy is aligned towards achieving this.


Do I need a business plan?

Yes. See the Business Plan section of our website for information that should be included in it.


Who are the investors in Midven’s Funds?
  • Department for Business Innovation and Skills
  • European Investment Fund
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • HSBC Bank
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Lloyds Development Capital
  • Aston University
  • Birmingham University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Coventry University
  • Warwick University
  • Midvest (a subsidiary of Midven)

All investment decisions taken by Midven are made independently of its Fund’s investors


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