EDINBURGH-based smaller companies specialist Amati Global Investors is seeking to raise £30 million for its funds, in a move that could boost assets under management at the three-year-old company by nearly 40%.

Amati is making the sales drive on behalf of its two venture capital trusts (VCTs), specialist funds that benefit from tax breaks designed by the Government to encourage investment in young and small firms.

Amati co-founder Douglas Lawson, one of a triumvirate of managers overseeing the trusts, said: "We think the prospects look good and the deal flow has been good of late."

The investment team at Amati includes its other co-founder Paul Jourdan, and David Stevenson, who joined from Edinburgh-based Cartesian a year ago.

Between them they run Amati's VCTs which specialise in investing in companies listed on the junior Alternative Investment Market. Some investors have been disappointed by the level of overall returns from the Aim market since it was launched in 1995 and a fall-off in share issues since the financial crisis has heightened worries.

This is particularly significant for VCTs because they must buy new shares issued by companies rather than from other investors on the secondary market.

But Mr Lawson said that he believes the quality of companies seeking money has improved vastly in recent months.

"Brokers know if they are going to get the company away it has to be of high quality. The stuff that is coming to market is very good," he said,

He added that rather than seeking money to strengthen their balance sheets, companies were now asking investors for funds because they saw growth or acquisition opportunities.

If Amati's fundraising drive is successful, it will see a significant boost to the £80m it currently has in funds under management.

Mr Lawson said: "I feel that we are in a good place. We are profitable."

The minimum investment in the trusts is £3000.

There is an annual management fee of 1.75% plus a performance fee.