Praetura Ventures appoints drinks industry veteran as an operational partner

Praetura Ventures appoints drinks industry veteran as an operational partner

Praetura Ventures has named Mark Roberts as its latest operational partner following the announcement of its fund management role for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II – Equity North West (£100m).

The role will see Mark support Praetura’s growing portfolio of early-stage businesses, from customer success to business strategy, and recruitment to C-suite hires.

Praetura established the operational partner programme in 2021 after seeing a lack of expert-led mentorship and support for early-stage businesses in the North of England.

Mark will join Praetura’s seven other operational partners, including former Dr Marten’s chief human resources officer Helen Verwoert, former AO Group CEO Steve Caunce and former general counsel and company secretary for JD Siobhan Almond.

Mark founded the online craft beer store Beer Hawk in 2012, which successfully exited to AB InBev. In 2019, he became Global CEO of the PerfectDraft business, which has become a leading direct-to-consumer player for AB InBev, before leaving in 2022.

Before Beer Hawk, Mark was marketing director for Laithwaites Wine and head of customer marketing at Lloyds Banking Group’s Insurance Division. He has also held senior leadership positions at HBOS Plc, Procter & Gamble and chaired the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership until 2023.

Mark Roberts, operational partner at Praetura Ventures, said: “The Praetura team has such a great reputation across the whole of the North because of their ‘more than money’ attitude, and this is what drew me to the operational partner programme. It’s so easy for founders to obsess over money, but in reality you need more than an injection of capital to achieve sustained growth. I’m excited to share my network, knowledge and experience with some great businesses that are putting an entrepreneurial stamp on the region.”

Colin Greene, partner (portfolio) at Praetura Ventures, added: “Mark possesses all the qualities we look for in an operational partner, with an outstanding CV and scaling journey with Beer Hawk. He’s also incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about giving back to the ecosystem and supporting the next generation of early-stage businesses with ‘more than money’, which is the reason we launched the operational partner programme.”