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Twitter acquires VCT-backed Magic Pony


VCT provider Octopus has announced a successful exit for investors in its GBP300 million Octopus Titan VCT (Titan VCT) as Twitter acquired portfolio company Magic Pony Technology, a technology company which has pioneered new machine learning techniques for visual processing.

 Stuart Lewis, VCT Business Line Manager at Octopus, says: “There’s been a real shift in the way VCTs are now viewed by financial advisers and investors. Further restrictions on the amount investors can put into their pensions are propelling VCTs into the mainstream as a tax efficient investment option to consider when planning for retirement. There is a real need to provide complementary ways for people to invest as part of their existing retirement planning, and VCTs have the potential to offer a compelling option for those comfortable with the higher level of risks associated with smaller company investing.”
With the new restrictions on lifetime and annual pension investment limits coming into force on April 6 this year, demand for VCTs is expected to remain high.
“Yet, many people are still new to  VCTs,” Stuart Lewis says. “67 per cent of investors in the last fundraise period were new to Titan VCT, demonstrating a real surge in interest from a wider group of people. I would urge everyone to seek professional advice to help them make the most of their hard earned money, understand their options for retirement in an increasingly complex investment environment, and make their money work as hard as possible for them to enable them to enjoy their later years.”
The deal, which sees Twitter join the likes of Microsoft and Amazon in acquiring a VCT backed company, is further evidence that the UK’s entrepreneurial scene continues to go from strength to strength in developing attractive, high growth businesses, Octopus Ventures says. “VCTs are a great way for individual investors to access this potential while also offering attractive, government endorsed tax benefits for those comfortable with the risks associated with investing in the UK’s small, entrepreneurial companies.” 
Octopus Ventures, which manages Titan VCT, is one of the most active venture capitalist investors in Europe. Luke Hakes, Octopus Ventures, says: “Twitter’s acquisition of Magic Pony Technology is another fantastic example of the growth potential of the UK’s smaller companies. With our investors’ support through the Titan VCT, we are lucky enough to work with some of the most talented entrepreneurs in the UK as they look to build the big global businesses of tomorrow. It’s an exciting time for UK entrepreneurship and VCTs continue to play a critical role in supporting the next generation of UK business.”

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