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Mercia Ventures has expanded its platform to further support the expansion of its portfolio companies and help them gain entry into the competitive US marketplace.

The service has been bolstered by the addition of two new growth partners, both of whom are based in the US and have experience in board-level roles at technology scaleups.

Edwin Abl is a sales and marketing ‘go-to-market’ advisor who specialises in working with B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. Now based in San Francisco, Abl led marketing in Europe and the Middle East for Appirio, which was acquired by Wipro for $500m, and was also CMO at Modulr, one of the first embedded payments infrastructure scaleups.

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Julian Castelli, based in Park City Utah, will focus on helping companies with internationalisation, in particular targeting the US market. The founder of online travel agency, Castelli has also served as CFO of video insights platform Voxpopme and is now a Venture Partner at Next Coast Ventures.

The growth partners will offer hands-on support, sharing their expertise and providing Mercia’s portfolio management teams access to a network of industry contacts. This support addresses two of the key challenges for early-stage companies – sales and marketing, and internationalisation – and will complement Mercia’s existing support for portfolio businesses such as mentoring and help to recruit board members.

“Most CEOs are struggling with making a million decisions at once – such as the go-to-market strategy, how to align teams around it and deal with people in the process,” said Abl. 

“We can help them by following a systematic process, working through ‘sprint cycles’ and solving one problem at a time.”

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Castelli added: “It can be lonely expanding into a new country, just like it is lonely at the top running a tech company. We are here to help, and are excited to be working with the next generation of tech leaders in Mercia’s portfolio.”

Lisa Ward, head of portfolio talent at Mercia Ventures, said: “We know that CEOs value practical help to grow their business just as much as they do the money.  

“Julian and Edwin are welcome additions to our team, and will be critical in providing support to founders and CEOs to navigate through the challenges and help minimise the risks. 

“Having a local presence on the ground also provides access to the tech and venture communities and gives added credibility for those looking to enter the US, which is a key market for tech companies.”

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