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Pentech Ventures nears £20m venture capital target

The firm has taken a £5m investment from the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

Pentech Ventures, the early-stage venture capital fund that us currently raised by Glasgow-based Penta Capital, has secured a £5m investment from the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.

The installment brings the total funds under management by Penta to £17m, £3m short of the group’s £20m target. It is the first time that Scottish Widows has committed to a private equity fund.

The fund, launched in July, invests in UK-based early-stage software companies. Two investments have been completed already. £650,000 was invested in Applied Generics, an Edinburgh-based company developing mobile tracking services.

Pentech also injected an undisclosed sum into Rhetorical Systems, a developer of text-to-speech software. The fund also looks at companies operating in the infrastructure, telecoms, development tools, publishing and financial analysis tools sectors.

Barry Gilmore, from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, gave two reasons for investing in the fund. “We were attracted to Pentech by the strength of the team that has been assembled and its commitment to provide hands-on advice and guidance to management teams”, he said.

Pentech is run by Eddie Anderson and David Armour, a former partner in corporate advisory firm AMCo, head up Pentech. The fund also has a number of advisors on board including Ian Ritchie, Nick Felisiak and Peter Denyer, with Robert Thomson and Donald Wallace based in the US. All have experience of taking technology businesses through flotations or trade sales, said the company.