Isomer Capital has launched a €150 million investment fund to help investors capitalise on the boom in European technology-based businesses.
Isomer’s entrepreneurial approach accesses high-potential opportunities through limited partner investments in funds, company co-investments, and providing liquidity to firms and founders via secondary purchases.
According to the recently published, Tech.eu ‘European Tech Exits Report for 2015’, last year nearly 600 disclosed European tech company exits generated €137bn. A figure which, according to Isomer, most traditional institutional investors missed out on given how difficult and resource intensive research, selection, and execution of small technology investments can be.
Many of the best deals in the European technology market are private, move fast, require specialist expertise and still have high individual risk profiles. In fact, initial start-up funding for over 33,000 new European companies each year comes mainly from business angels or high net worth individuals (HNWI). Local funds provide subsequent capital to growing companies, however throughout Europe, US-based investors provide capital to two out of every three financing rounds over $10m in size.
Isomer’s strategy takes a diversified, entrepreneurial and institutional approach to early stage technology investing. Run by seasoned investors Joe Schorge (former executive at Pomona Capital and Cambridge Associates) and Chris Wade (former founder and CEO of Cambridge Positioning Systems), has already made commitments to a number of Europe’s leading early stage Venture Capital Funds such as Hoxton Ventures, White Star Capital, Entrepreneur First, Felix Capital and Connect Ventures. Focussing on accessing European technology opportunities at early stages, the firm has created a diversified portfolio already comprising 96 companies and spanning 9 countries.
Joe Schorge, founder, Isomer Capital said: “Europe is building a new generation of high growth technology companies, formed by experienced technologists and serial entrepreneurs at higher volumes, quality and ambition levels than ever before. The opportunity has outstripped the supply of capital and Isomer is seeking to exploit this demand/supply imbalance by working with some of the most inspiring fund and company entrepreneurs.”
The portfolio includes companies already recognised in their respective industries. Cyber Security company Dark Trace was awarded Technology Pioneer at the 2015 World Economic Forum, fashion tech company Unmade won Fashion Forward awards Most Innovative Company, and retail e-commerce company Mirakl won a Retail Systems Award. E-commerce platform Yieldify, high-end delivery food delivery service Deliveroo, and Financial technology company Algomi are part of the U.K. Prime Minister’s Future 50 High Growth Company Programme; the latter was also recognized in the Forbes 50 most innovative FinTech Companies.
Isomer’s opportunistic approach accesses high-potential opportunities through limited partner investments in funds, company co-investments, and providing liquidity to firms and founders via secondary purchases. Its investment process is based on on-going iterative primary research, meeting technology and investment executives who operate or are in the process of creating new funds. The typical background of Isomer’s venture capital partners includes experience from both sides of the Atlantic, as entrepreneur, blue chip VC, and/or executive within a large technology group.
Schorge concluded, “We operate as a network of networks to help all our partners prosper; bringing opportunities, capital, expertise, contacts and assistance to our GPs, LPs, and investee companies alike. Isomer will seek to represent the new face of Venture Capital in Europe.”