Supporting Founders

An award-winning, Northern-centric VC that puts founders first

A lot of VCs say they put founders first. But how many can prove it? We continue to back exceptional founders from SaaS, fintech, healthcare, gaming, AI and other future-focused industries because we know the difference more than money can make. After all, what’s money without professional support, advice and complete transparency from our network of business, PR, HR and finance professionals – regardless of how things are going?

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Learn from someone else’s mistakes

Unconditional support doesn’t just come from us. Giving more than money also means connecting you with our operational partners.

Steve Caunce


Steve spent 13 years as CEO of FTSE 250 group AO World, the owner of, and was previously CFO of Phones4U. Steve has significant expertise in scaling businesses, having overseen the rapid growth at both AO World and Phones4U.

As Praetura Ventures’ non-executive chairman, Steve continues to contribute to our success and wider vision to be the VC of choice for early-stage businesses.

Mark Slade

Operational Partner

Mark is the vice chairman of OSTC, a global derivatives trading and education company he co-founded, which has 450 employees in five countries. As vice chairman for the company, Mark champions robust governance, long-term goals and collective excellence at OSTC.

These qualities and Mark’s wealth of experience remain invaluable to his work as an Operational Partner for our portfolio.

Helen Verwoert

Operational Partner

Helen was previously Chief Human Resources Officer for Dr. Martens. As part of the leadership team, she was instrumental in the development of Dr. Martens, taking the brand from family ownership to a sale to the private equity firm Permira, which later culminated in a £3.7bn IPO in 2021.

Helen was also instrumental in restructuring the executive team including recruiting the CEO, CFO and three Regional Presidents, in addition to being the company’s Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

Paul Johnson

Operational Partner

Paul is the co-founder of MPP Global and was CEO for 20 years until its acquisition by AIM-listed Aptitude Software in October 2021. MPP Global is the award-winning international provider of the cloud-based subscription management and billing SaaS platform eSuite. MPP’s clients include Sky, NBC Universal and L’Equipe. 

At exit, MPP Global had grown to over 100 employees plus offshore development teams and £9m ARR. 

Siobhan Almond

Operational Partner

Siobhan was General Counsel and Company Secretary at JD Sports, holding the most senior legal role at the FTSE 100 company. A qualified lawyer, she spent 10 years at JD, helping to steer the brand to global success across 32 countries, with profits approaching £1bn.

During her time at JD, which followed a spell at Manchester City, Siobhan oversaw many pivotal mergers and acquisitions, including global takeovers and minority stakes in smaller brands. Her extensive knowledge covers M&A, governance, and corporate, commercial and regulatory law.

Mark Horncastle

Operational Partner

Mark was previously a partner and the UK head of healthcare at the multi-sector management consultancy PA Consulting, where he spent 12 years driving innovation and transformation within the health sector. He specialises in system design, digital transformation and utilising data to enable patient and service outcomes.

As well as leading on PA’s global health & life sciences strategy, Mark led the business’ Manchester office and was heavily involved in Greater Manchester’s healthcare transformation through its devolution plans, including the design of urgent and emergency services, integration of health and social care, and the scaling of primary care services.

Penny Attridge

Operational Partner

Penny has worked in healthcare for over 50 years, first as a research scientist and later as the founder director of Id-Tech Ltd, a company specialising in the prevention of sharps injuries in medical settings.

In more recent times, Penny has worked as a healthcare consultant and, while at Spark Impact, led a successful bid for £15m of European funding for the North West Fund for Biomedical (NWF4B). This coincided with securing an additional £15m and leading an investment team from Spark Impact’s Liverpool HQ.

Why partner with us?

Choosing a VC partner is a massive step in your journey as a founder. We want to make that step as easy as possible. We also want to make sure Praetura Ventures is right for you...


Praetura aren’t like any other VC. The more than money promise goes to the core of what they’re trying to create. Consistently, they’re trying to find ways to support us and help us build the best business we can.

Gemma McCall, FOUNDER, Culture Shift

Our Track Record


We’re recognised by Insider Dealmakers, EISA Awards, Growth Investor Awards, Investment Week and more for the quality of our service and our team’s dedication.


We’re the first Manchester-headquartered VC to receive funding from British Business Investments, which is part of the British Business Bank.


We work with hundreds of investors and advisers. We have £220m assets under management and have made 70 investments into 40 active portfolio companies since 2019.

Our Specialisms


We’re a Manchester-based VC with regional BBI funding that’s committed to the North, with most of our portfolio based here.


Our major strength is helping predominantly B2B businesses from a wide range of industries to grow, develop and scale.


We’ve helped businesses across our portfolio increase their annual recurring revenue through clear strategies and product development.

Join Our Portfolio

Our portfolio spans creators who are building new digital worlds, medical professionals who are redefining personal health and innovators who are giving a voice to victims of harassment. Let us support the exceptional work you do with more than money.

Learn more about our Portfolio and Investment teams. Download our Playbooks below.

Interested in funding and want to pitch to us?

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