Anne Glover: Countdown to 2008

Amadeus Capital Partners' chief executive sees good cause for optimism for technology investors in 2008.

Anne Glover

“2008 will be a year of continued progress in technology venture capital.  With increased funds available, but not oversupplied, good deals will be financed at sensible prices.

A large number of later-stage IT companies, still in private hands, show revenue progress and good market positions.  These are a great opportunity for growth and expansion investors.

Sectors that remain strong are wireless (both infrastructure and applications), broadband, (particularly anything involving video over the internet), and cleantech (evolving into a sector larger than any IT sub-sectors) – all long term innovation waves. 

The Web 2.0 wave is subsiding as winners have emerged and consolidation takes place.  Next generation Web 3.0 companies will come fast on Web 2.0’s heels.

The industry, in both the US and Europe, still needs to realise its portfolio.  Holding periods have lengthened and remain a problem, but excellent companies do break through, demonstrating that great innovation managed by great management teams can lead to great returns.  We expect there to be several such examples emerging from Europe in 2008.” Anne Glover, chief executive, Amadeus Capital Partners

2007 has seen a continued resurgence of interest in the European venture sector, from investors, from entrepreneurs and from bright, experienced people wanting to join both fund management teams and portfolio companies.  Deal flow has been strong with a high proportion of good quality opportunities and teams. 

Amadeus closed its third fund of £162 million for investment in technology businesses across Europe.   New investments this year, which included EpiServer in Sweden, its sixth Nordic company, Power ID in Israel, Intune Networks in Ireland and ip.access in the UK, have taken the total number of companies backed by Amadeus to 65, with another expected to close shortly. Some 45 percent of the current portfolio is in continental Europe and Israel. 

Exits have included the sale of a substantial part of our shareholding in NASDAQ-listed Illumina, the genome-sequencing technology company that it first backed, as Solexa, in 2001.  Solexa merged with Illumina in a $600 million transaction at the end of 2006.

Portfolio developments have included Plastic Logic’s successful $100 million fund raising to build its first production facility, Nomad Digital’s acquisition of QinetiQ Rail in a share transaction and Aepona’s acquisition of the Swedish company, Appium.