The Insight

Edition 1; issue 1: Levelling Up

There has long been a funding gap in the regions which has been amplified by COVID-19 and Brexit. We firmly believe in both the resilience and the value that resides within SMEs located in the UK regions. Even before the pandemic, there had been increasing focus by the government on a ‘levelling up’ agenda. This focus has provided a much-needed spotlight on the diverse growth segment of SMEs located outside of London.

Mercia has been working hard to back exceptional businesses and, in part, redress this imbalance. Through this, we are proud to be one of the most active investors in the UK regions, fueling our own growth in the provision of private equity, venture capital and debt – what we term our ‘Complete Connected Capital’. We believe it is now even more important to maintain the focus on the UK regions that we see as an opportunity toward domestic economic recovery.

Welcome to our maiden Mercia newsletter that shares our insights from across the UK regions.

Thought piece

Dr Mark Payton

Dr Mark Payton, CEO, comments on the nature of crises and arising opportunities.

Life Sciences

A discussion about healthy investment

The Life Sciences portfolio collectively accounts for approximately 30% of the portfolio and this interview with Edison’s outlines:

  • Why Mercia invests in the sector with a strong regional focus
  • Why we believe our connected capital is a key differentiator
  • What role university partners and NEDs play in Mercia’s model
  • The strategy in action – Native Antigen Company and Optibiotix – both exits up to 8x
  • What impact COVID-19 has had on the portfolio
  • Mark Payton’s view on the COVID-19 vaccine development.

In this interview you can hear from Mercia’s CEO, Dr Mark Payton and two senior members of the Life Sciences investment team, Dr Mark Wyatt and Chief Operations Officer, Peter Dines.

Read the full article

Edison Life Sciences Interview


Interview with OXGENE

Ryan Cawood, CEO and Jocelyne Bath, COO – OXGENE recently outlined their own beginnings, how Mercia’s latest investment has helped their biotechnology business successfully scale and their plans post COVID-19.

Complete Connected Capital and investment performance

For Mercia, these last six months have seen investments levels similar to those over the same period last year. Increased leverages have been experienced as a result of the Future Fund initiative but certainly, capital deployment from Mercia has not slowed down as a result of COVID-19. CIO Julian Viggars sets out the figures that clearly demonstrate the investment highlights during a difficult macroeconomic environment.

Thought Piece

CIO Julian Viggars

Stepping up to investment

Snapshot on our developing portfolio; Midlands Tech 50

The top 50 tech businesses in the Midlands from start up to established players included eight within Mercia’s portfolio

Codifying responsible investment

Jill Williams

Investment Director, Jill Williams explains how Mercia’s core values have accelerated Mercia’s ESG journey and how best practice is vital in moving forward.


Mercia’s phased return to all eight offices across the regions is not just about safeguarding our team, it is also borne out by the need to reconnect and engage with colleagues. During the pandemic we have continued to grow with 10 new employees joining us. We continue to work hard to make sure new and existing team members can operate remotely and meet within our COVID-secure offices.

It has been remarkable how Mercia as a business has grown during these strange times, with many of the team commenting how they have been able to get to know employees better during this period of intense remote working. This in large part is down to the excellent work of our managers and our People and Talent Team whose collective initiatives are to be applauded, reflected in  a recent employee survey providing  a Net Promotor Score of +44 with culture and communication scoring very positively both internally and against our external benchmark.

Portfolio portal

nDreams & SockMonkey Studios

Fundamentally we back people. Management teams that bring exceptional leadership qualities to the table, as well as driving innovation. These are teams which understand the importance of the brand of personality as much as the need for cohesive partnerships between investee and investor. We caught up with two of gaming business founders who are at different stages of their growth to find out their perspective on Mercia and their future.