Martin Sutton has joined River Capital as a venture partner following the recent launch of its dedicated artificial intelligence fund, fund: AI, which is focused on the North. 

Sutton has spent the last six years at Manchester-based AI business Peak. He was one of the first team members to join in 2016, holding positions including commercial director, business development director and chief revenue officer with responsibility for sales, customer success and data science teams.

Prior to Peak, he spent 20 years working in high-growth teams at global tech firms including Sun Microsystems, Hitachi Data Systems, Fujitsu and Dell EMC. 

Sutton will work with the fund: AI leadership team in enabling early-stage, data-focused businesses to achieve their full potential, raise the fund profile and help consolidate an already healthy pipeline of investment prospects.

River Capital is seeking to capitalise on the untapped AI prospects in the North and will look to invest in around 15 AI-driven businesses over the next five years. 

Investments are expected to range from £500,000 to £2 million and will focus on two broad categories of SMEs: businesses seeking capital to accelerate their growth or build out AI platforms, and companies with untapped data sets who wish to use AI to create data IP and enter an AI machine learning or data science journey. 

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“This is a dream role for me at River Capital as I’m passionate about helping early-stage AI and data-focused businesses to achieve their full potential,” said Sutton.

“Coupled with the fact that fund: AI has a laser focus on Northern businesses made this a no-brainer for me.

“I’ve always believed we have amazing tech firms in the North but they are sometimes overlooked and underserved compared to their London peers.

“With fund: AI, and the highly experienced team at River Capital, I’m looking forward to addressing the imbalance and making this a thing of the past.”

River Capital CEO Mark Borzomato said: “We are thrilled to welcome Martin to the River Capital team in a venture partner capacity following the recent launch of fund: AI, hot on the heels of our recent rebranding and subsequent launch of the Business Growth Loan Fund.

“Martin brings extensive knowledge of the AI landscape within the North, and his knowledge of the region’s ecosystem and extensive contacts will ensure we maximise the fund’s full potential. 

“The AI, machine learning and data science industry presents fantastic investment opportunities, and securing Martin’s services is a real coup as we look to capitalise upon this.”

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