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Peer2Peer Finance News | February 19, 2018

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New firm launches to back high-growth SMEs

New firm launches to back high-growth SMEs
Alison Benson

BLENHEIM Chalcot investment adviser David Weaver is among the City veterans backing a new company that is looking to fund promising start-ups in the UK.

On its website, Ansor says it “creates value through the acquisition and combination of profitable UK businesses operating in fragmented, growing sectors, typically with turnovers of less than £20m.”

Weaver is named as an adviser on the website of BCI Finance, the investment division of digital venture builder Blenheim Chalcot. Weaver, who is also a former chairman of Jefferies, joins Ansor as a non-executive director as part of a stellar line-up, including Tom Boardman, chairman of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik  and Martin Morgan, former chief executive of Daily Mail and General Trust.

Akta Raja, co-founder and executive director of Ansor, told The Daily Telegraph that the new firm is looking to raise an initial £150m to help entrepreneurs running profitable businesses to take them to the next level.

Read more: Entrepreneurs target funding in 2018

Raja and her three co-executives will reportedly invest £7.5m to kickstart the business. She said the founders were looking to build a £500m business within five years.

Bleinhem Chalcot has backed a number of brands in the fintech space, including business finance aggregator platform Bizfitech, payments solutions firm Modulr and credit score checking start-up ClearScore.

The launch of Ansor is the latest sign that awareness of the attractive returns SMEs can offer is growing among investors.

Read more: Zopa investor seeks public listing for new fintech fund

A report last year from All Street Research, the analyst specialising in smaller companies, argued that investors will increasingly need to look outside mainstream markets for required returns and said that “the small cap ocean provides plentiful waters in which to fish”.

In the report, All Street chief executive Emanuela Vartolomei, said: “It is inevitable that mainstream capital markets will come under increasing pressure to fulfil the public’s long term financial needs, but facing depressed returns from their traditional area of focus, will have to turn to small cap investment in a much bigger way. This is where higher growth will remain, even as larger company returns flatline.”

Read more: SME bosses aware of P2P lending but cautious about using it