PORTFOLIO - EXITED, THEN LIVE ONES below

I've invested in over 65 early stage companies, most of which are below. These are largely made up of deep product technology businesses, reflecting my skills and background.

Five Exited, with a return for shareholders

Neul: Developed innovative and disruptive wireless network technology to enable the use of TV 'white space' spectrum. Sold in 2014 to Huawei for $25M

Ept Computing (NED): Acquired by Redgate Software in November 2009 for a 15+ multiple. Founder went on to found Rapportive and sell that to LinkedIn.

Worksnug: Sold after 5 years, returning a small amount of cash to the investors. Product purchased by our community manager, and continues.

Cambridge CMOS Sensors (board observer): Sold with a 3X to 7X multiple to AMS.

The Outside View: Sold with a 1X to 2X multiple to Rightmove plc

  Plumis and James and James Fulfilment where I am chair and a shareholder both won this award in 2016

Plumis and James and James Fulfilment where I am chair and a shareholder both won this award in 2016

Nine Exited, with no return for shareholders

I have several investment failures. All companies had had one or more rounds of investment and had not proven a good enough product market fit for investors to continue supporting the loss-making businesses (all comments are my own opinions):

Open Frontiers: SaaS front- and back-office software for theme parks.  Market adoption stalled. Struggled to raise enough new capital.  Insolvent closure

Phase Vision: High-end 3D scanning devices using a binocular camera to replace conventional 3D precision measuring machines.  Business model (large capex spend) failed. Solvent closure.

Lumejet: The LumePress printer range delivered significant cost and quality advantages especially where documents are image intensive or where output quality is key.  Possibly too disruptive for a conservative industry. Insolvent closure and sale to a team led by a founder.

Proxly: Was a platform for businesses and developers to build mobile experiences powered by proximity and contextual relevance. Failed to monetise. Solvent closure, A founder has a new start-up hopefully having learnt many lessons.

Captive Media: Despite building a 100+ portfolio of venues, DOOH (Digital Out of Home) advertising is not yet widely recognised as a medium by the industry.  A case of a startup that was too early; spent time/cash in educating the multiple stakeholders between brands and their potential consumers; was probably subscale and thus investors stopped funding. Various  exit options were investigated, unsuccessfully. Well run solvent closure

e-Go aeroplanes: Prototype flew in 2013.  However, the UK market size was not big enough (very low margins generated by very low volume manufacture) for shareholders to support entry into other markets.  The other markets (eg USA) would have increased production to a sufficient level to reduce sales prices and increase margins.  Solvent closure and sale to one of the founders.

isotera: Seven year journey, having raised £6.7M from 50+ angel investors plus 8 funds. Patented technology, revenue over the life of the company in the £Ms.  However, the route to market is complex, and little/none of the value created is returned to the product specifier.  Since formation, had 3 CEOs and 3 chairs.  Insolvent closure and sale to their biggest customer.

Gene Adviser: With only 18 months from investment to shutdown, the founders realised that although some sales traction had occurred, the market was changing too rapidly and it was, disappointingly, better to close solvently than seek more funding.

Knowledge Transmission: Six years from first investment to shutdown, achieving limited market traction, but a combination of investor misalignment and founder illness (and one founder leaving) meant the journey was cut short.  Insolvent closure and phoenixed by a founder.

alive and growing (I am a board director/OBSERVER of the seven in BOLD):