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Quester ready to raise fifth VCT

The independent technology VC firm will begin fundraising next month for a new £25m trust.

UK technology venture capital firm Quester has set a £25m target for its fifth venture capital trust. The company will begin fundraising for Quester VCT 5 in December.

The fund will invest across a broad spectrum of private companies including operations in the IT and communications, healthcare and life sciences sectors.

John Spooner, a director of Quester, is confident the firm will see through the current economic downturn, mainly because the company continues to see a steady flow of high quality opportunities.

“I believe there is no better time to be investing in unquoted companies. Prices have fallen significantly resulting in investment opportunities with very attractive potential,” he said.

Founded in 1984, Quester today manages around £250m on behalf of institutional investors and UK universities including Oxford, Bath and Bristol. The group has been running venture capital trusts since 1996. For the first four venture capital trusts, which are listed on the London Stock Exchange, over £180m has been raised.

Quester said that the VCTs’ performance has held up well despite recent stock market fluctuations, “with substantial dividend payouts boosting overall returns.”

Recent investments include Anthropics, a spin-out from the National Film and Television School’s research laboratory Createc. Quester injected £3m into the company in September for it to continue developing its digital technology, which transmits live TV-quality videos of human faces over low bandwidths, allowing people to communicate face-to-face over wireless, Internet or wired networks.