Midlands-based venture capital firm, Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group, strengthens its team by appointing Rupert Lyle as Fund Principal of the newly launched £25 million West Midlands Co-Investment Fund (WMCO). This new hire boosts Midven’s existing expertise and helps cement the company’s presence in the region.
Lyle brings over 30 years of investment experience to the company. His role will be to position the WMCO at the centre of the SME ecosystem. This will give early-stage, high-growth companies in the West Midlands access to the capital they require to grow.
Surjit Kooner, Director at Midven, said, “I’ve known Rupert for years and he is a strong force within the region. With his background in venture capital and experience from non-executive director and chairman roles, Rupert brings a wealth of contacts and knowledge that will amplify our team’s capabilities. I’m confident he will enable us to have an even bigger impact on the Midlands.”
With director roles at 3i Group and Barclays Ventures in Birmingham, Lyle has a strong track record in investing in and managing diverse portfolios of businesses in the Midlands. However, it is not only his experience in venture capital and on boards of directors that he brings. Since 2014 Lyle has been on the advisory committee of the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF). This fund, set up by the Mayor of London in 2014, not only invested in over 150 companies alongside £200m of private co-investment, it also created over 3,000 new jobs.
Lyle said, “The LCIF has played a huge role in developing the support and funding landscape for high-growth businesses in London. The challenge and opportunity are to replicate this in the West Midlands. We have so many bright, innovative, and entrepreneurial people here, but the support available is too siloed and there is a gaping hole when it comes to funding.
“To help businesses in the region the WMCO needs to not only tap into the sources of capital already in the region, but also encourage investors from outside the region to invest in our corporate stars of tomorrow.”
Midven was appointed fund manager for the WMCO in March 2023. The fund will launch in May 2023 and will provide innovative, high-growth businesses based in the West Midlands with equity of up to £1 million, when matched by private co-investment.
Douglas Hansen-Luke, Executive Chairman at Future Planet Capital, said, “It’s fantastic to see a seasoned investor and fund manager like Rupert Lyle leading the West Midlands Co-Investment Fund. As an impact-led investor, Future Planet Capital’s mission is to support businesses who are driving impact across climate change, education, and health. A key part of this mission is to help organisations thrive on a regional level which is why we are pleased to see the team being strengthened.”