Deeptech investor EMV Capital acquires Cambridge-based seed-stage VC investor Martlet Capital

Deeptech investor EMV Capital acquires Cambridge-based seed-stage VC investor Martlet Capital

Published: 15-05-2024 12:14:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 476 | Tags:

EMV Capital, the VC investor specialising in high-growth deep tech and life sciences companies, has been appointed as investment manager of Cambridge-based seed-stage VC investor, Martlet Capital. In addition, EMV Capital has acquired the operational VC business of Martlet Capital (excluding its investment portfolio).

EMV Capital will manage, on a discretionary basis, Martlet Capital’s c.£23.3 million portfolio of investments across 53 companies within the deep tech and life sciences sectors. 

EMV Capital and its parent company, NetScientific, invested in the initial fundraising rounds of Martlet Capital in 2021. Having collaborated closely with Martlet Capital since then, EMV Capital recently identified the opportunity to expand the relationship by taking on the investment management role for Martlet Capital. EMV Capital will rely on its active management strategy to maximise returns for the shareholders of Martlet Capital and further advance Martlet’s unique proposition, and prestigious status within Cambridge’s dynamic tech ecosystem, known around the world as “Silicon Fen”.

The transaction provides EMV Capital with:

  • Enlarged team of specialist, multi-disciplinary venture capital experts in the deep tech and life sciences sectors, deftly covering a variety of activities including: deal flow sourcing, portfolio management, corporate finance, fund management, value creation services and industry partnering skillsets;
  • Additional c.£23.3 million of Funds Under Management, an increase of c.89 per cent. upon the £26.1 million of capital under advisory that is currently managed by EMV Capital;
  • Recurring investment management fees for a minimum period of four years;
  • Carried interest over the Martlet portfolio; and
  • The respected Martlet brand, which provides EMV Capital with further exposure to the deep network of Martlet Capital within the globally renowned Cambridge high-tech cluster, known for its track record of generating high-value businesses in the deep tech and life sciences space.


Ilian Iliev, MD, EMV Capital: ''This transaction represents an important milestone for EMV Capital and the NetScientific PLC group, aligned with our objectives to become a leading deep tech and life sciences venture capital investor in the UK and Europe. Robert and his team have created a respected brand within the world-class Cambridge high-tech investment cluster. This is a logical next step in the deepening relationship between our organisations following our initial investment in 2021. This important fund management mandate and acquisition of the Martlet business significantly increases the fee income and critical mass of our funds practice. We also gain ‘work in progress’ for the potential launch of two further funds under the Martlet brand and a supportive Martlet investor base. I thank Robert Marshall and the broader Martlet team for their collaborative approach in executing this carefully balanced transaction. Independently, EMV Capital has a long history in Cambridge, and I look forward to our work together to deliver returns for Martlet Capital shareholders and EMV Capital, and to further leverage and grow the Martlet brand.''

EMV Capital intends to leverage the Martlet brand by means of exploring investor appetite for the proposed launch of the following two new Martlet funds – each to be managed by EMV Capital if and when launched:

  • Martlet Capital Fund II - a fund to build on Marlet Capital’s existing and proven investment policy (noting it is not anticipated that Martlet Capital itself will make material new investments); and
  • Martlet Growth Fund - a fund intended to take up follow-on investment opportunities emerging from the Martlet portfolio and other investments.


In turn, Martlet’s team and portfolio gain access to EMV Capital’s active portfolio management strategy, its corporate finance team’s proven ability to develop unique investment strategies, drawing on its EIS fund and extensive network of private investors, family offices, institutions, and corporate VCs; as well as the Value Creation Services practice supporting portfolio company growth.

Robert Marshall, Founder and Chairman, Martlet Capital: ''Since the demerger from the Marshall Group of Companies in 2021, Martlet Capital has created a creditable and respected brand in both the Cambridge and UK wide national deep tech start up spaces.  As well as providing seed and seed+ capital, we offer an exceptional level of support to founders as they grow their companies, ranging from help in developing their unique and compelling business propositions to developing their all-important talent base. Continuity of funding through multiple rounds and a drive for early-stage revenue growth are increasingly important at the current time, and Martlet has developed a relationship with Dr Iliev and EMV Capital which will ensure that, together, we can excel and give our portfolio companies the edge they need to succeed. I am delighted with the outcome of the deal between Martlet Capital and EMV Capital (NetScientific) and am convinced that the Martlet brand will grow and, combined, we can become even more meaningful to aspiring founders.''


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