GMG Ventures rebrands to Mercuri and closes a £50m fund
Mercuri, (formerly GMG Ventures), the early stage media technology investor, has raised a second fund of £50 million from institutional investors. This includes a cornerstone investment from the British Business Bank, through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme.
Applying the team’s sector expertise at the rapidly evolving intersection of media and technology, Mercuri’s new fund will build on its track record of backing exceptional founders of UK-based startups that are reinventing traditional media models using artificial intelligence.
Mercuri’s strategy is to lead seed stage investments using its knowledge of emerging trends to back technology-enabled products for the new age of enterprise and the digital lifestyle of consumers. The fund’s sector focus spans four specific areas – the creation, distribution, consumption, and monetisation of content and data, with a focus on startups that enhance the way in which we communicate and engage in a professional and personal context using AI.
Mercuri’s £42 million first fund, under its former name GMG Ventures, was anchored as a limited partner (LP) by The Scott Trust, which among other assets owns the Guardian Media Group. With its new diversified LP base, including several blue chip strategic investors – of which The Scott Trust is one – Mercuri is seeking to build on its successes to-date. The wider access to a wealth of expertise and resources will further solidify its position as an investor capable of making commercially valuable introductions for portfolio companies.
The certified B Corp and co-founder of VentureESG aims to make up to eight new investments a year with substantial provision for follow-on cheques, while ensuring that portfolio companies share its commitment to robust data governance and AI safety.
Alan Hudson, Founding General Partner of Mercuri commented:
“We are delighted to announce the launch of our first multi-LP fund at a time when this profound progress in artificial intelligence is impacting the entire media technology ecosystem, including content creation, gaming, personalisation, music, privacy, education, community and communication. The opportunity in the market is arguably stronger than ever right now with some complex issues facing the industry. We will endeavour to use the full breadth and depth of our experienced team’s knowledge to support the startups we invest in and create long-lasting value.”
Ken Cooper, MD of Venture Solutions at British Business Bank said:
“The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Fund programme is key in helping to develop and maintain effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting under-served areas of the market. The programme has backed more than 43 funds, representing over £2 billion of finance. Our cornerstone commitment to Mercuri builds on that success and introduces a new funding option for seed stage media-tech businesses across the UK.”
Notes to editors
Mercuri is an early stage venture capital fund manager, established in 2017 to invest in start-ups at the intersection of the media and technology sectors.
Mercuri is a certified B Corp and co-founder of VentureESG, a non-profit initiative to improve environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) best practice in the venture capital industry. Mercuri is focussed on partnering with founders who align with these values and who work to build and scale their companies in a responsible way; including through the responsible design and use of technologies including artificial intelligence (“AI”).
Mercuri is a trading name of GMG Ventures LLP, an English Limited Liability Partnership (Partnership number OC418039) and a small registered UK Alternative Investment Fund Manager (an “AIFM”) with reference number 820111. GMG Ventures LLP is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 billion in finance to 1.67 million businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.
British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. Wholly owned by HM government, the Bank and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at the British Business Bank.
¹ Figures as at the end of March 2022
² Figures as at the end of March 2022