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
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
TEN 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.
Cambridge Temperature Concepts (Sensiia): Despite good technology, educating the market (parents, retail channels and healthcare providers) proved too expensive in terms of time and money. Apparently the company helped parents conceive over 1000 babies - which of course is priceless.
alive and growing (I am a board director/OBSERVER of the seven in BOLD):
Intelligent risk and compliance technology
The global marketplace for original art, supporting independent artists
Intelligent sound detection through embeddable software sensors
Natural healthcare products with clinically proven benefits
Military grade masks to filter pollution, bacteria and viruses
An early-stage medical materials company developing patented polymer coatings
The first backhaul solution that makes outdoor small cells truly viable
Advanced perpetual power systems for mission critical assets
Making wireless sensor networks ubiquitous in the most important industries
Leading bio-tech company creating high-tech proteins
Creating innovative advances in the fields of positioning, navigation and timing
The best global source of Corporate Venturing data
Real-time one-to-one therapy online for people dealing with depression and anxiety
Eagle accelerates the opportunities offered by genomics and new data generation technologies
Share your travel insights, recommendations, and know-how Interact with other business travellers
Biopharma company developing eyedrop treatment for Age Related Macular Degeneration wet AMD
Dislays on the tops of cabs and other commercial vehicles used for advertising and mesaging
Human cell culture systems and custom services for disease modeling and drug discovery markets
Productising FPGA expertise, developed over the last decade
Improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Production of ‘two-dimensional’ materials, primarily graphene, and the development of devices based on these materials.
The company uses the concept of convergence to create new closed-loop models of care, integrating real-time feedback to optimise outcomes for patients.
Manufacturing high sensitivity MEMS mass sensors to transform industrial and consumer products
Developing state-of-the-art robots to tackle costly and high risk operations in the agricultural industry, initially in strawberry picking.
Unrivalled fulfilment for eCommerce
Linear Power Systems technology
Advanced collaboration products for education, training, and corporate
Sleek, light-weight rebreathers for diving
Award-winning space technology business
Clinician-designed electronic patient records
Novel solutions for active fire protection
Innovative radio technology systems
A better way of searching for genomic data
Invest from idea to IPO, all on one platform
At the forefront of a revolution in image capture
Online software to set clear and actionable priorities
Complete and precise visibility of your program’s execution
Leaders in retrofit hybrid bus engines
Rovco is delivering innovation and changing the way we survey subsea. Using 3D and working on artificial intelligence solutions that significantly reduces the risk for subsea asset owners.
Hotels with omma.tech’s smart bed bug monitors can protect their guests from bed bugs. Prevention is better than the cure!