Octopus Titan launches £200 million fundraise

Octopus Titan launches £200 million fundraise
Wealth Club.
  • Octopus Titan VCT has announced an offer for up to £200 million (£125 million + £75 million overallotment).
  • The VCT has total net assets of £1.1 billion and a portfolio of 140 companies.
  • Titan is the largest VCT in the country, and aims to invest in the fastest growing companies across the fintech, health, deeptech, B2B software, consumer, biotech and climate sectors.
  • Over the ten years to September 2023, the VCT has delivered a NAV total return of 43.3%
  • The VCT targets a dividend of 5p per share per year

Nicholas Hyett, Investment Manager at Wealth Club commented:

Titan flies the flag for the whole VCT industry. It’s the largest trust, investing in the most unicorns and accounting for a huge proportion of total VCT fundraising.

Unfortunately, the venture capital giant has been through a tough time recently.

The VCT’s core investment philosophy remains the same; invest in very fast-growing businesses. And 18% of its portfolio saw revenues grow by 100% or more last year. The problem is, that philosophy has been very out of favour.

Titan’s been hit hard by the tech slowdown over the last 18 months, while the collapse in the value of Cazoo, formerly the VCT’s top position, has also weighed heavily on performance.

The all-important question going forwards is whether the slow slide in public market valuations – which influence private valuations – has stopped. If so, the strong underlying revenue growth from Titan’s investee companies has the potential to drive better returns in the months and years ahead.”

About Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)

Why VCTs are worth investing in

Most investors are initially attracted to VCTS for the tax breaks, and they are generous. Investors can get up to 30% back in income tax relief up front, any dividends paid by the VCT are tax free and growth is free of capital gains tax too.

However, VCTs are more than just a tax planning tool. They’re probably the best way for UK investors to access fast growing smaller companies. Revenue growth from VCT investees far outstrips what you see in main market listed companies, and the result has been some attractive returns for investors over the longer term.

Exposure to high growth, smaller companies also has the potential to diversify a conventional portfolio. Long-term performance is often only loosely correlated with the wider economy. Highly disruptive businesses grow by taking market share from incumbents rather than relying on market growth.

The rules governing VCTs mean they’re also an excellent way to back smaller businesses. It’s their role providing support to the next generation of UK start-ups, driving innovation and creating jobs, that earns them the tax relief from the government – and many investors feel that this is something they wish to support too.

Who should consider them?

VCTs are higher risk, and while they’re listed on the stock market, in order to qualify for tax relief investors must hold the shares of at least five years before selling – making them inherently long-term investments. Unlike most conventional funds and shares the minimum among you can invest is comparatively high – often £3,000 or more. All of this means they are best suited to wealthier or more sophisticated investors.

VCTs are popular with two groups in particular.

The first is higher earners or wealthier investors who are limited in what they can put into more mainstream tax wrappers. Those who already use full  £20,000 ISA allowance or whose pension contributions are tapered due to the amount they earn. The £200,000 a year annual VCT allowance is generous and can save higher earners up to £60,000 in upfront income tax.

The second group is those in, or near, retirement who use VCTs’ tax free dividends to supplement income from other sources. Because they’re higher risk, VCTs shouldn’t be considered a replacement for a pension, but they can help to top-up income from more conventional sources.

Some other tips?

  1. Seek diversification, VCTs are high risk so spread your investments over multiple managers –Fortunately there’s lots of choice in the market, from sector specialists like Foresight WAE to broad generalist funds like Octopus Titan.
  2. Get an additional 30% initial income tax relief by reinvesting those tax-free dividends!
  3. Be aware of discounts – VCT shares trade on the stock market, but often at a discount to the underlying value of the fund’s investments. That shouldn’t be a problem for long term investors, who will receive the majority of their return through tax free dividends as well as underlying growth. However, it’s something to be aware of and is another reason these should be treated as long term investments.
  4. If you see something you like, act quickly. VCTs have limited capacity each year and can reach capacity and close to new investors quickly. Act quickly or risk missing out.


For further information contact: 

Jo Thorne: 07939882816, jo.thorne@wealthclub.co.uk