Puma Private Equity, the specialist growth investor, has announced the appointment of Mark Lyons as Investment Director, as the business looks to expand its presence in the North of England. Puma operates in the scale-up to Series A space, providing equity investment of £2m to £10m to help ambitious businesses accelerate their growth plans.
Mark joins from Praetura Ventures, where as Director of Investments he was part of the senior leadership team that grew the business to over £125m AUM and invested in over 30 fast-growth, early-stage businesses. Praetura is widely recognised as one of the leading venture capital firms in the North of England.
Mark joins Puma Private Equity off the back of its biggest fund raise to date, and is charged with supporting its expansion in the North, with the creation of a new office in Manchester in the coming months. Mark will be part of a growing Puma presence in the region, designed to capitalise on the increasing number of Northern businesses in the scale-up to Series A space.
Mark read Political Science at the University of Birmingham and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PwC. He then moved into corporate finance advisory before joining a single-family office where he spent over 10 years spearheading the investment activity and operations.During his investment career, Mark has principally concentrated on supporting tech and tech-enabled companies, with a particular focus on SaaS, PropTech and digital media.
Commenting on Mark’s appointment, Rupert West, Managing Director of Puma Private Equity said:
“2022 was a record year of fundraising for Puma Private Equity and we are continuing to build our team. We are keen to broaden our reach to businesses located in the North who are looking for a specialist partner to help accelerate their value-creation. Mark has built an enviable reputation for backing entrepreneurial management teams and we are really excited to have him join our expanding team. By having a permanent presence in Manchester, we hope to be able to provide growth capital to businesses across the North. Our focus is firmly on value creation, and Mark brings with him a tangible track record of successful investments and exits.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mark Lyons, Investment Director, said:
“Puma Private Equity has developed a stellar reputation over the last 10 years of partnering with stand-out growth businesses and driving transformational change. I’m delighted to be joining the team and expanding the Puma brand across the North and beyond. It is well documented that more and more businesses are being established outside of the capital, but these entrepreneurs are often restricted in their ambitions through a lack of access to capital. By establishing Puma’s Manchester presence, and with plans to further expand our team, we are well placed to support the next generation of exceptional scale-up businesses and work in partnership with management to help them grow and achieve their ambitions.”
Puma Private Equity offers growth capital and expertise to best-in-class, ambitious businesses across the UK, irrespective of sector, and works in partnership with management to help businesses scale and create long-term value. It aims to deliver insight, expertise, and a fresh perspective to the portfolio companies it partners with. Having invested in and worked with many organisations across a breadth of sectors, from consumer e-commerce, to fleet transport safety and influencer marketing, Puma Private Equity has deep insights and experience in scaling businesses for growth and where desired, successful sale and exit.