Octopus Launches VCT Fundraise

UK-based Octopus Investments has launched a 50 million pounds ($78 million) fundraise across its range of Octopus Titan Venture Capital Trusts. Launched over the last six years, the five Octopus Titan VCTs have built a strong portfolio of 38 investments across a range of diverse sectors.


New share offer provides unique access to all five Octopus Titan VCT funds
Positive outlook for UK enterprise as government looks to smaller companies to drive economic recovery
Latest fundraise demonstrates Octopus’ continued support of early stage
UK companies

Octopus Investments (‘Octopus’) today launched a £50 million fundraise across its range of Octopus Titan Venture Capital Trusts (“VCTs”). From today, investors have the opportunity to hold shares in all five Octopus Titan VCTs, benefiting from exposure to a diverse portfolio of high-growth early stage businesses. Investors will also gain access to the significant government approved tax benefits that VCTs offer to encourage investment into UK smaller companies.

Launched over the last six years, the five Octopus Titan VCTs have built a strong portfolio of 38 investments across a range of diverse sectors. The current portfolio encompasses the success stories of early investments like Zoopla Property Group, which powers the online property portals Zoopla and Prime Location, and luxury travel deal website Secret Escapes, which have achieved spectacular growth and are rapidly becoming well-known companies, to the lesser known next generation of rising stars, such as TouchType, a leader in the development of text prediction technology, and YPlan, the world’s first mobile-only event booking app. TouchType’s keyboard app, SwiftKey, was the top-selling paid app on Android’s Google Play store in 2012, and YPlan is now on 1 in 5 phones in London. This latest offer provides unique access to the full range of companies across the Titan VCT portfolio.

With a focus on investing in early stage companies that have the potential to become the big businesses of tomorrow, the latest share offer provides access to proven and early stage investments, as well as a robust pipeline of new investment opportunities. The funds provide investors with the potential to receive returns during the investment period in the form of tax-free dividends as well as benefiting from the additional tax benefits that VCTs provide when held for five years. The Titan VCTs have a strong track record of performance and realising returns for investors. The Octopus Titan VCTs 1-4 have paid out a total of over £20 million in dividends to shareholders so far in 2013.

VCTs were introduced by the government in 1995 to encourage investment into UK smaller companies, widely recognised as the lifeblood of the British economy. VCTs provide a number of tax benefits for investors including up to 30% upfront income tax relief on the investment, tax-free dividends and exemption from Capital Gains Tax on the disposal of any shares. They offer a critical source of funding to some of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic growth companies, enabling them to fulfil their potential in supporting the broader economy. The 38 investee companies that the Octopus Titan VCTs have backed now employ over 1,100 people (as at 30 April 2013) compared with 380 employees at the initial point of investment.

Alex Macpherson, head of the Ventures team and fund manager of the Titan VCTs, commented: “Over the last six years we have supported some exceptional entrepreneurs through the Titan VCTs. Partnering with the management teams of these businesses, and using the wealth of experience found within our Venture Partner network, we have together worked hard to build great businesses and create value for our own shareholders.

“The enterprise market has never been more exciting than now. The government is doing everything it can to encourage entrepreneurial businesses to thrive and they have made clear the vital role that our smaller companies can play in the UK’s economic recovery. High growth early stage businesses have bucked the trend during the downturn. We have seen excellent growth within our portfolio despite the challenging economic conditions and, supported by this track record of success and our strong position within the market, we are seeing some of the best early stage investment opportunities within the UK. As the economic climate starts to improve, we are really excited about the potential opportunities for our Titan VCT investors as we continue to support the next generation of UK business.”

Mike Piddock, Business Line Manager of VCTs at Octopus, added: “The Titan VCTs offer investors a great package – the combination of numerous tax benefits with a portfolio of interesting and exciting British companies. Some of these businesses have the potential to be real UK success stories. No longer should we be looking enviously at Silicon Valley; instead we’re backing the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well right here. We are seeing a strong demand for VCTs as they play an increasingly important role for investors as part of a diversified portfolio of investments. This share offer provides an exciting investment opportunity and the chance for investors to become involved in the successful businesses of the future.”

Octopus specialises in investing in smaller companies and is the largest provider of VCTs in the UK. It currently manages over £3 billion of funds on behalf of more than 50,000 UK investors.

The share offer is expected to remain open until 2 September 2014, or until the fundraising capacity is reached.

Media Enquiries

Sophia Winfield, Octopus Investments
e: swinfield@octopusinvestments.com
t:+44 (0)207 131 3707

Georgina Turner, Octopus Investments
e : gturner@octopusinvestments.com
t : +44 (0)207 776 7968

About Octopus Investments

Founded in 2000, Octopus is one of the UK’s fastest growing investment management companies. We currently manage £3 billion assets on behalf of 50,000 customers. We offer a straight-talking approach to investments, exceptional customer service and a range of products that do what they say they will.

Working closely with over 3,000 financial advisers and wealth managers, often via strategic partnerships, we provide tax efficient investment solutions and discretionary fund management services to retail investors. Our core products include a range of venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes, inheritance tax services and a discretionary fund management solution.

We focus on areas of the market that are inefficient and where we believe hard work pays off for our customers. Our four areas of investment expertise are: ventures; specialist finance; smaller companies; and multi manager. We have dominant or high-growth positions in all of these markets, and invest into some of the UK’s most dynamic smaller companies, providing a wide range of funding options for exceptional businesses.

Over the last decade, Octopus has won a number of awards for its customer-driven product design and services. We’ve twice been voted one of the best 100 SMEs to work for, we’re one of only two investment firms to have ever been rated AAA for service by Citywire, and in November 2012 we were awarded the Financial Adviser 5 Star Award for quality service from investment product providers.