British Business Bank partner Amadeus raises £33m towards new early stage programme
Technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners has raised £33.2m in the first closing of the Amadeus IV Early Stage Funds, a programme of funds that will invest in UK companies developing disruptive technologies in high-growth sectors, including ‘big data’ analytics, cloud computing and cyber security, low-power computing and the ‘internet of things’, medical technology and digital healthcare.
The Amadeus IV Early Stage Fund is an Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) supported by the British Business Bank and is Amadeus’ second ECF. The £33.2m raised to date comes from investors including corporates, trusts, foundations and high net worth individuals and includes a £15m investment from the British Business Bank. This fund is registered as an EuVECA (EU Venture Capital Fund).
Amadeus has invested in early-stage companies since 1998. The most recent exit from the Amadeus & Angels Seed Fund ECF was Stirling, Scotland-based online collaboration software company OneDrum, which was sold in 2012 at a high cash multiple to Yammer Inc.
Early stage entrepreneurs are increasingly adopting ‘lean start-up’ techniques, whereby minimal viable products are developed, tested with customers, and immediately and continuously adapted to meet market needs. This iterative process of constant innovation reduces the amount of initial funding required and increases the likelihood of rapid success. OneDrum was a textbook case of this process, and Amadeus expects to invest this new fund in similarly rapid-growth companies.
The UK currently offers one of the most dynamic business environments in Europe for innovative companies. Government has directly encouraged innovation and early stage investment through a range of initiatives, including the British Business Bank-backed ECFs, the Technology Strategy Board, Tech City, the R&D tax credit scheme and Entrepreneur Visas.
Alex van Someren, Managing Partner of Amadeus’ Early Stage funds, says: “Demand for investment for potentially disruptive technology start-ups is increasing at a time when early stage capital is very scarce. This presents a real opportunity for early stage funds such as ours. The Amadeus team has been building and backing technology companies for a long time; we see a wealth of potential today in certain sectors. Naturally, I am grateful to all our investors who have made it possible to invest in and support that potential.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director of Venture Capital Solutions at the British Business Bank, said: “Our Venture Capital solutions, such as the Enterprise Capital Funds, are designed to help unlock funding for ambitious, innovative businesses. This new fund from an established team at Amadeus is an ideal fit for us and we are delighted to be making this investment. The Amadeus team brings a wealth of experience in building successful businesses and in making and managing early stage technology investments.”
For further information, please contact: Chantal Ligertwood, PR for Amadeus, +44 (0)7976 229 210
Amadeus Capital Partners, based in London and Cambridge, is one of Europe’s leading technology investors. Since its inception in 1997, the firm has raised more than £600m for investment and backed more than 85 companies in communications technology, cleantech, medtech, enterprise software, digital media and e-commerce. Major businesses built by Amadeus include CSR (LSE:CSR), the leading producer of single chip Bluetooth radios for short range connections; Optos (LSE:OPTS), a leading retina imaging company; Solexa, the developer of next generation genetic analysis systems, merged into Illumina (ILMN) to create the world-leader in gene-sequencing technology; and Transmode (ST:TRMO), an optical networking solutions business now listed on Stockholm’s NASDAQ OMX exchange. For more information, please visit www.amadeuscapital.com
Alex van Someren has worked in the technology industry since the 1980s. In 1990, he co-founded ANT Ltd, which listed on AIM in 2005 and was acquired by Espial in 2013. In 1996, he co-founded nCipher, which became a world leader in IT security and, under Alex’s leadership, raised £14m in venture funding before listing on the London Stock Exchange, valued at £350m. Thales subsequently bought nCipher plc. Alex was an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and joined Amadeus in 2010 to manage the firm’s early stage investments and funds.
About the British Business Bank and ECFs
The British Business Bank is being set up to create more effective and efficient finance markets for smaller businesses in the UK. It is a key element of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and its programmes are already contributing to making the UK the best place in Europe to start, grow and finance a business.
Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) are commercially-focused funds, supported by the British Business Bank programme, that bring together private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. In total there are 15 Enterprise Capital Funds generating £508m of investment.
The British Business Bank programme is currently run directly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Once HM Government has received European Commission State aid clearance, which is expected in 2014, this programme will be transferred in its entirety to the British Business Bank plc, which will operate as a Government-owned financial institution.