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SEP raises $300m venture fund

The UK venture firm has closed the largest venture fund raised in Europe for the last twelve months, breaking the £100m for the second time in five years.

SEP, a UK venture capital group known previously as Scottish Equity Partners, has raised approximately £160 million ($300 million; €236 million) for its new fund, SEP III.  The firm said the fund closed over-subscribed and above target.

Most of the significant current investors in SEP funds have invested in SEP III, including the European Investment Fund; Foreign & Colonial Private Equity Trust; and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The fund has also attracted participations from a number of new institutional investors from across Europe, including Swiss Re, Skandia, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Gartmore, Cooperative Insurance Society and Finama.

SEP, which has offices in Glasgow and London, focuses on investments in early stage and emerging growth companies throughout the UK in the information technology, healthcare and energy-related technology sectors. 

Its 2001 SEP II fund has been fully invested in 30 emerging and growing technology companies throughout the UK.  The current fund will follow the same investment strategy, although some non-UK investments may also be considered.