BBI commits €40m to Claret venture debt fund

BBI has previously backed venture debt vehicles managed by the Claret Capital team.

British Business Investments, an arm of the British Business Bank, has invested €40 million in a venture debt fund managed by Claret Capital Partners.

The Harbert/Claret European Growth Capital Fund III will provide growth debt to early-stage, fast-growing, small technology businesses in the UK and Europe.

London-based Claret Capital spun out from US-based asset manager Harbert in October 2020 and is led by David Bateman and Johan Kampe, who have a track record of more than 15 years in venture lending.

British Business Investments had previously backed the firm’s predecessor fund, Harbert European Growth Capital Fund II, in 2017. The latest vehicle has reportedly raised substantial additional commitments, including from the European Investment Fund, and expects to make its first loans shortly.

Judith Hartley, CEO of British Business Investments, said: “British Business Investments’ objective is to ensure smaller businesses can access as diverse a range of finance options as possible, to help them grow and succeed.

“This additional €40 million commitment to Claret Capital Partners’ new fund supports this objective. For early-stage, high-growth businesses, venture debt can be the key to unlocking rapid growth without reducing control of their business.”