Mercia Technologies has appointed Dr Alistair Forbes as head of its software and the internet specialist investment team, which focuses on areas including AI, cyber security, ad technology and software as a service (SaaS).

Dr Forbes has over 20 years of experience in this sector and brings "extensive technical and business leadership knowledge" to the Mercia team, Mercia said.

He has created, built and sold start-up software businesses, helping them to develop and execute their growth strategies, as well as taking general management roles in large organisations.

"I am excited to be joining Mercia to lead the Software and the Internet team as part of Mercia's rapidly-growing business," Forbes said.

"I believe that Mercia’s model of deploying patient capital into high growth sectors such as this and the combination of deep sector experience and financial expertise within the team, the strong network of university partnerships and the financial resources that it can bring to bear, positions the company very well as the partner of choice for the most ambitious businesses in the UK."

Prior to joining Mercia, Alistair co-founded SaaS business HoundDog Technology, which was sold to GFI Software in 2009 for $20m.

He continued in the role of general manager as the business grew to reach $100m in annual recurring revenue before being acquired by SolarWinds, a US-based infrastructure software company.

Earlier in his career, Forbes held the role of technical director at Intuitus, a leading provider of expert technology and IT advice to the European private equity sector and mid-market companies, for five years.

Matt Mead, chief investment officer of Mercia Technologies, said: "We are delighted to welcome Alistair to the team as he has considerable experience in the software industry and has been an active board member for a number of early-stage companies.

"With Alistair’s impressive expertise and insight, he will be a great asset to the team and we look forward to seeing how he can support Mercia with its continued growth as one of the leading investment companies in the UK."