Puma Alpha VCT launches £15m fundraise

Puma Investments, the Investment Manager, has opened a new £15 million fundraise for Puma Alpha VCT, with an overallotment facility for a further £5 million. The fundraise offers an opportunity for investors to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of scale-up, high potential businesses with the aim of providing attractive but stable returns.

The VCT was launched in 2019 and has delivered strong performance with year-on-year growth. The value of the VCT’s combined NAV and Dividends as of 30 November of the preceding 4 years since inception was 104.35p in 2020, 120.86p in 2021, 126.13p in 2022 and 123.50p in 2023. Puma Alpha VCT has achieved a NAV total return (including dividends) of 25.67% since inception.

To date, Puma Alpha VCT has invested into 17 UK VCT-qualifying scale-up businesses including piracy software company, MUSO, men’s athleisurewear business, Ron Dorff and fleet technology specialist, CameraMatics. 2023 was a record year for deployment, with eight new companies added to the portfolio including Pockit, the digital account provider for under-served customers and travel managed marketplace, TravelLocal.

The VCT achieved a sizeable exit in 2022. Tictrac, an app-based health and wellness solution for employers and insurance companies, delivered strong returns to investors (2x money multiple).

Puma Alpha VCT invests in high potential companies that have proven themselves in their respective markets, diversifying across sector, business model and end customer group. It works in partnership with portfolio companies to help them achieve their growth ambitions.

A view from Rupert West

Our ultra-active approach in supporting management teams and sourcing new investment opportunities has proven more important than ever in the current environment. Last year we celebrated a record year of deployment which meant that we welcomed new scale-up companies in a diversified range of sectors. "While 2024 is likely to remain challenging we’re delighted to have reopened the Puma Alpha VCT and continue to offer investors the opportunity to access our diversified portfolio.

Rupert West, Managing Director of Puma Private Equity

A view from David Kaye

As we approach tax year end, VCTs provide a great opportunity for investors to access private markets through a tax efficient wrapper, particularly for those who may have maximised contributions to their ISA and pension. "We were delighted following the recent announcement that the VCT sunset clause has been extended to 2035. This reinforced the role of VCTs in providing crucial funding to British scale-up, high potential businesses and reassured investors on the longevity of the scheme. These companies are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and the VCT scheme enables them to grow, innovate and create vital employment opportunities.

David Kaye, CEO of Puma Investments

As with all VCT investments, investors in Puma Alpha VCT can benefit from1:

  • Upfront 30% income tax relief available to UK taxpayers on an investment of up to £200,000 per tax year
  • 100% tax-free dividends
  • 100% tax-free capital gains on the sale of Company shares

Notes to editors

1 Investments need to be held for at least 5 years to qualify for income tax relief. Tax reliefs are not guaranteed and depend on the individual investor’s circumstances and may be subject to change.

Applications to invest in Puma Alpha VCT must be made by completing an Application Form which is available from a financial adviser or online at www.pumainvestments.co.uk