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16 September, 2021 - 12:38 By Tony Quested

Martlet buys Marshall portfolio and boosts firepower with £22m war chest

Martlet Capital and funding partners are forging a unique angel investment powerhouse from Cambridge fired by a £22 million war chest.

EMV Capital has kickstarted the venture by co-leading a £12m investment round into Martlet Capital with Saranac Partners and establishing a scale-up investment vehicle for the technology cluster.

The initial investment includes staged funding for the acquisition by Martlet Capital of Marshall Group’s DeepTech investment portfolio of 50-plus minority positions.

The deal will also create a follow-on funding vehicle – MarQuity – to be jointly owned by EMV Capital, Saranac Partners and Martlet Capital, which will provide scale-up funding for the most promising investment opportunities emerging from the portfolio.

It includes companies in life science, healthcare, cleantech sustainability, industrial and semi-conductor technology. The total targeted investment for Martlet is at £22m, providing Martlet Capital with significant firepower for further follow on and new investment opportunities.

EMV Capital is making a £1m investment into Martlet Capital, and through its ‘capital light’ approach intends to syndicate a part of its initial investment in Martlet to other investors.

The deal also includes the proposed creation of follow-on funding vehicle ‘MarQuity’, which will be 40 per cent co-owned by EMV Capital, alongside Saranac Partners and Martlet to provide scale up capital for targeted companies from the portfolio. 

EMV Capital intends to make a seed investment of £100,000 in MarQuity and plans to provide a line of credit of up to £1million to provide substance and effective response to market opportunities.

The investments are backed by EMV Capital’s parent company AIM-listed NetScientific PLC. NetScientific CEO and EMV Capital MD, Dr Ilian Iliev played a lead role in the deal structuring and will join the boards of Martlet Capital and MarQuity as non executive director.

He said of the deal: “This investment represents a significant step forward in EMV Capital’s growth path, through an expanded footprint, a new high-quality deal flow channel, increased Capital Under Advisory, and developing further opportunities to deploy our capital-light investment model.

“We are excited to work with Martlet Capital and Saranac Partners in building a unique proposition in the world-leading Cambridge cluster. The combination of Martlet’s early-stage investment focus and existing networks; EMV Capital and Saranac Partners’ follow-on investment support through MarQuity; and access to international growth opportunities provides a unique platform to nurture the next set of champions emerging from Cambridge.”

Martlet Capital’s team is led by Robert Marshall as executive chairman and Paul Bailey as managing director. The firm leverages its existing links, networks, and reputation in the Cambridge technology cluster – as well as a focused approach on executed early-stage investments. 

Robert Marshall said: “Martlet is looking to establish itself as an important seed stage investor in the Cambridge deeptech start up ecosystem. With an outstanding team and long-standing relationships with the University of Cambridge and the local technology and investment community we aim to be the seed stage funding partner of choice. 
“The backing and partnership with EMV and Saranac substantially enhances our ability to invest in more deeptech companies and the addition of the Saranac/EMV-led follow on MarQuity fund giving us the ability to see these companies through inception all the way to exit.”

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