Quester closes fifth VCT below target

The UK venture capital firm has taken its total VCT fundraising through the £200m mark with the closing of its latest fund.

UK venture capital firm Quester Capital Management has closed its latest fund, Quester VCT 5, at £18.6m. The fund, which closed at the end of May, is targeting unquoted UK firms with growth opportunities and will focus on information and communication technologies as well as health care and life sciences. 

The fund, launched in December last year, failed to achieve its original target of £25m, but a spokesperson for Quester said the firm was very pleased with the interest in the fund: “The situation has changed dramatically since last year, when the Quester VCT 4 fund managed to raise in excess of £50m within four weeks of launching. We’re very pleased to have raised this amount in the current environment.”

The venture capital trust will make investments in UK companies which the firm identifies as having strong growth potential, investing between £250,000 and £2m in around 30-35 companies. The trust has not made any investments to date, although the spokesperson added that are number of deals in the pipeline.

John Spooner, director at Quester, said the tax shelter advantages of VCTs had continued to prove attractive to individual investors. “Investors understand that [the fund] has good growth potential and that now is a good time to invest because of the fall in prices and the reduced competition, resulting in investment opportunities with attractive potential.”

Founded in 1984, Quester has approximately £250m under management with teams specialising in two areas – information and communications technologies, and healthcare and life sciences. The firm manages venture capital funds on behalf of international institutional investors and funds from academic institutions including Oxford, Bath, Bristol and Southampton Universities, and a consortium of East Midlands' universities.