Claret Capital launches £255m debt fund to back European tech startups

London-based Claret Capital has launched a €297m (£255m) debt fund to invest in European technology and life science businesses.

The Claret European Growth Capital Fund III, which surpassed its initial target of €250m, will offer loan facilities up to €50m (£42.9m).

“From enterprise software to fintech startups to marketplaces – we look forward to partnering with leadership teams disrupting the industries they work in,” said Johan Kampe, managing partner, Claret Capital.

The latest fund, along with other investment vehicles, will give Claret the capacity to invest in a further 50-60 companies and offer more than €500m (£428m) in growth lending over the next three years.

“In a market where uncertainty is impacting venture capital funding, the outlook remains positive in growth financing and we’re excited to grow our portfolio business and founders,” added Kampe.

Returning investors in Fund III include EIF, RAG-Stiftung, Certior Capital and KfW Capital. Claret also attracted further investment from British Business Investments – a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank.

These are joined by new investors Allied Irish Banks, Aozora Bank, Banca March, HNA, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).

The fund made its first investment in March last year and has backed 29 businesses.

“Closing above target underlines the tremendous opportunity that we have within the wider European tech & life sciences sector,” said David Bateman, managing partner, Claret Capital.

Claret Capital provides growth debt financing in the range of €1m (£858,000) to €50m (£42.9m) to technology and science businesses.

Bateman added: “We look forward to supporting the companies in the Fund and our new investments as they work to deliver their ground-breaking innovations to market.”

Formed in 2020 following the management buyout of Harbert European Growth Capital, Claret Capital has supported more than 150 firms and has €400m of managed assets.

Previous portfolio exits include NVIDIA-acquired Bright Computing, IPSOS-acquired Synthesio and Auctane-acquired Packlink.