Venture Capital Trusts

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) were created in 1995 to boost investment in smaller unquoted companies, there is now a good length of track record with a wide disparity in returns. The tax incentives are generous and of particular interest for investors liable to higher rates of Income Tax who are seeking an income.

Who are VCTs designed for?

VCTs are not a suitable option for everyone, but can be appropriate for experienced investors who are willing to take on a degree of risk within a diversified portfolio. We consider them to be a complementary option for investors who:

  • are Higher Rate (40%) or Additional Rate (45%) Income Tax payers
  • wish to supplement their portfolio having fully contributed to both their pension and ISA
  • currently own a diversified portfolio and are willing to invest in an inherently risky asset class, with the added incentive of tax breaks
  • are comfortable with a long holding period
  • are resident in the UK

Selected VCT offers

The following Venture Capital Trusts are open for investment:
* Includes any discount offered by the promoter.
Name EQ review Offer type Closing dates Raised / sought Min. investment EQ discount*
Calculus VCT Top-up 30 Aug 2019 £4.8m / £10.0m £5,000 3.0% until 15 February 2019 View offer
Calculus VCT is raising £10m via a top-up, to be invested in mature and profitable companies.
Downing FOUR Generalist VCT Top-up 5 April 2019
31 June 2019
£9.5m / £20.3m £5,000 3.25% View offer
The Downing FOUR Generalist Share class focuses on growth investments, by investing in a blend of companies at different stages in the business life cycle.
Downing FOUR Healthcare VCT Top-up 5 April 2019
30 June 2019
£4.7m / £10.2m £5,000 3.25% View offer
Downing FOUR VCT Healthcare Share class will focus on investing in innovative healthcare and biomedical companies.
Draper Esprit VCT Top-up 5 April 2019
31 May 2019
£0.9m / £7.0m £6,000 4.0% View offer
Draper Espirit VCT (previously Elderstreet VCT) is an established generalist VCT having launched in 1998, co-managed by Elderstreet & Draper Espirit, who took a stake in Elderstreet Investments in November 2016.
Maven Income & Growth VCT 5 Top-up 3 April 2019
26 April 2019
£16.0m / £20.0m £5,000 4.5% View offer
Two generalist VCTs following a relatively more conservative investment approach, focused on established companies.
Octopus Titan VCT Top-up 5 April 2019
12 Sept 2019
£168.0m / £200.0m £3,000 New Investor 2.5%
Existing Investor 3.5%
View offer
A large private equity VCT investing in early stage companies, with a legacy bias to the technology sector.
Pembroke VCT (B Share) Top-up 5 April 2019
16 Aug 2019
£19.8m / £20.0m £3,000 1.5% View offer
Pembroke VCT B Share sits within Oakley Investment Management, a private equity specialist. The VCT is generalist, investing in companies with a focus on consumer brands.
Proven VCTs Top-up 5 April 2019
30 April 2019
£26.0m / £60.0m £5,000 4.5% Existing investor
3.5% New investor
View offer
Proven VCT and Proven Growth & Income VCT both follow growth orientated investment strategies, focusing on established companies that require capital to enhance their growth prospects.
Seneca Growth Capital VCT B Shares Top-up 5 April 2019
3 May 2019
£4.7m / £10.0m £3,000 3.25% View offer
An existing VCT, launched in 2001, which will now be managed by Seneca Partners with a more generalist investment approach.
Unicorn AIM VCT Top-up 4 April 2019 £15m / £25.0m £2,000 New Investor 2.5% (until 1 March)
Existing Investor 3.0% (until 1 March)
View offer
Unicorn AIM VCT is the largest single AIM VCT and offers investors exposure to a mature and established portfolio of companies listed on AIM.

How to invest

If you want to benefit from 30% initial tax relief you must subscribe for new VCT shares via a public offer. You can download the prospectus and application forms using the links above.

Important Information

The information set out above is included for information purposes only and is not an offer or an invitation to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer or invitation to buy or sell or enter into any agreement with respect to any security, product, service or investment. Any opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and independent advice should be sought where appropriate. All information is current as of the date of publication, subject to change without notice, and may become outdated over time. Links to third party sites or pages are for information purposes only and such sites and pages are not part of this website or the responsibility of EQ Investors Limited and have not have been reviewed or verified by EQ Investors Limited. Following links to or from any other sites or pages shall be at your own risk. Please note that tax rates and bases can change without notice.

VCTs should be considered to be high risk investments suitable only for experienced investors who can afford to incur losses.