Silverpeak advises on investment in video compression solutions leader V-Nova

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to V-Nova on its $22m equity financing round.

V-Nova is a London-based, IP and software company founded by Guido Meardi, Pierdavide Marcolongo and others. The company’s technology improves data compression as the core enabler of a vast portfolio of innovative applications based on the game-changing use of AI and parallel processing for video and image compression and analytics.

The capital raised will be used to further develop and accelerate the commercial rollout of V-Nova’s video compression software:

  • MPEG-5 LCEVC, the first and only enhancement standard that improves any video codec, can address the totality of the video distribution market. It boosts the quality of experience of existing video services and enables new user experiences while improving video delivery to the end-user in a cost and energy-efficient way.
  • SMPTE VC-6 is a professional production codec that offers higher quality at faster speeds than existing alternatives. Furthermore, VC-6 accelerates AI media indexing multi-fold, enabling the next generation of intelligent media.

Silverpeak was appointed due to its expertise in Deeptech, relationships with global growth investors and reputation as a trusted advisor to the best tech companies. The deal team worked with management to determine the ideal funding strategy. Silverpeak then ran the optimal process exploring multiple funding options, which culminated in the $22m financing by prominent tech entrepreneurs, investment firms and returning shareholders.

Guido Meardi said: “Silverpeak has been at our side with huge dedication and provided very valuable support throughout the deal. They have brought unparalleled skills in presenting V-Nova’s unique story and created a lot of interest from investors. Their professionalism, drive and execution capabilities gained them the trust of our Board and management team. It has been a pleasure working with them.”

Pietro Strada, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak added “We are proud to have advised V-Nova and to have worked with Guido, Pierdavide, Antonio (Filippi) and the other team members. V-Nova is a true global leader and has huge potential. We are confident that this financing round will accelerate its growth and propel it to even greater successes.”

For more information please contact Pietro Strada ps@silverpeakib.com

Silverpeak advised Playgiga on acquisition by Facebook

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Playgiga SL, the Madrid-based cloud gaming company, on its acquisition by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). This acquisition has enabled this month’s launch of the Facebook Gaming cloud streaming service.

Founded in 2013, PlayGiga has been working with telcos to create streaming game technology for 5G, to help tech companies to reach more mobile gamers. It also developed a gaming-as-a-service platform, using Intel’s Visual Cloud platform, that enabled telcos and communication service providers to offer streaming games to their customers. Investors included Adara Ventures and Caixa Capital.

More than 380 million people play games each month on Facebook, and people will play cloud-streamed games alongside those playing instant games in HTML5. Facebook intends to add more games to its library, including PC games, but it is prioritising free-to-play titles at the moment. Facebook joins Google Stadia, Sony PlayStation Now, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna and Microsoft xCloud in the game streaming market.

Silverpeak were engaged by Playgiga to run a twin track process of: a series B fund raising from both financial and corporate investors; and a sale to strategic acquirers. After numerous discussions with counterparties globally, the management and shareholders found Facebook’s strategic need and proposition compelling. Silverpeak negotiated the sale, and worked with lawyers J.G.H. & Abogabos in Madrid and Gunderson Dettmer in San Francisco.

Paddy MccGwire, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak, added “We are thrilled to have advised Playgiga in this highly strategic transaction with Facebook. Playgiga has a proven cloud gaming technology platform in an high opportunity market that was evolving fast. To be the enabler of Facebook’s Gaming cloud streaming service is a great outcome for Playgiga’s core team and shareholders.”

For more information please contact Paddy MccGwire: pm@silverpeakib.com

Silverpeak advises Armilar Venture Partners on Continuation Fund transaction

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Armilar Venture Partners on the creation and financing of a Continuation Fund backed by a heavyweight new investor.

Armilar Venture Partners, the largest venture capital firm in Portugal, is an investor in several leading software companies, having started to invest more than a decade ago. Since then, their stakes have grown enormously in value, as the companies went from strength to strength and some became widely regarded as the market leaders in their sector.

Armilar Venture Partners wanted to offer its limited partners a liquidity option through a Continuation Fund.

Silverpeak was appointed due to its track record with enterprise software/SaaS growth companies, deep relationships with late-stage technology investors, and excellence in execution of complex transactions. The deal team designed an accelerated process, targeting a selection of knowledgeable investors who could confidently invest with a limited due diligence process. Silverpeak advised Armilar Venture Partners on structuring the transaction and managed the process from start to finish.

Joaquim Sérvulo Rodrigues, Partner at Armilar Venture Partners said: “Silverpeak provided exemplary support throughout this complex transaction. The strength of their relationships with investors enabled us to solicit indicative offers within a few weeks of their engagement. Their team then skilfully negotiated the right structure to accommodate the requirements of all parties. We were able to rely on their advice throughout the entire process.”

Pietro Strada, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak added: “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Duarte, Joaquim and the Armilar Venture Partners team in establishing their new Continuation Fund. They have an impressive track record with great tech companies. This new vehicle will facilitate additional value creation over the next few years for their limited partners and the new investor.”

Silverpeak advises fibre broadband network operator Zzoomm on £100m investment by Oaktree

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Zzoomm on an initial £100m equity investment by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”).

Zzoomm was founded by industry veteran Matthew Hare, who launched rural broadband player Gigaclear a decade ago, and this year hired former Virgin Media and TalkTalk executive Richard Sinclair as its chief operating officer. The company has built a full-fibre network in Henley-on-Thames over the past 12 months and plans to expand to similar locations to build a telecoms company focused on market towns that need higher internet speeds. The Oaktree investment will fund a rollout to pass 1m homes with freshly laid fibre optic cables within five years.

Silverpeak was appointed due to its expertise in growth fundraising and connections with global investors. A range of infrastructure investors with strong interest in telecoms and tech infrastructure were approached. The deal team advised the company on the funding strategy and managed the process from start to finish.

Matthew Hare said: “Silverpeak has been at my side with huge dedication and provided very valuable support throughout the whole deal. They have created a lot of interest from investors, helped us to choose the right financial partner and skillfully negotiated the deal. The Board really trusted their advice”.

Pietro Strada, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Matthew and the Zzoomm team and helping them bring in the right partner for the next phase of their journey.”

For more information please contact Pietro Strada: ps@silverpeakib.com

WEBINAR Optimising exits for European technology companies – 17 September 2020

Silverpeak, in association with international law firm Taylor Wessing, held a webinar on Thursday 17 September 2020.

A recording of the webinar is available to view here.

This briefing was to provide practical guidelines and best practice for those seeking to sell or make a partial realisation in the current environment with real-life stories from an entrepreneur’s recent exit experience together with a viewpoint from the Private Equity industry.

Who attended

CEOs, Chairmen, FDs/CFOs, Non-executive Directors, shareholders and VC/PE investors with a stake in technology companies.

Programme

08.30 Introduction
08.35 M&A trends & valuation metrics
08.45 Trends & Risk in M&A Transactions
09.00 Achieving a strategic value
09.10 My Exit Experience
09.30 Panel discussion – Lessons for an optimum exit
09.45 Q&A to Panel
10.00 Close

Optimising exits for European technology companies

Silverpeak advises multi-modal urban transport platform Trafi on Series B financing

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Trafi, the Vilnius and London based multi-modal urban transport platform, on its financing round led by Sumitomo Corporation and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance. The two Japanese corporates were joined by existing investors Octopus and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Founded in 2007, Trafi is a technology platform for mobility. Their holistic technology suite enables partners to offer multi-modal transit services and systematically optimize cities., Trafi works with cities such as Berlin, Zurich and Munich, and with leading companies like Lyft, Google, Apple, Gojek and the Volkswagen Group.

David Ford, Managing Director at Silverpeak, said, “Trafi clearly is a leader in multi-modal mobility and its technology is chosen by the most demanding clients. Martynas and the Trafi team continued to execute on their plan even in the current environment, which provided the comfort to the investors to get the transaction done.”

Silverpeak was appointed due to its expertise in the Mobility sector, to advise the company on its financing strategy, aimed at capturing the growth in demand for multi-modal enabling technologies. We approached a range of financial and strategic counterparties who have strong interest in Mobility investment and then managed the transaction to closing.

Pietro Strada, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak, said, “It’s been a pleasure working with Martynas and helping them on this next step in their journey. They’ve built an amazing platform and we’re excited to follow their progress over the coming years.”

This is Silverpeak’s fourth deal in the Mobility sector in the last two years.

UK cross-border Software & IT Services (SITS) deals dwindle

Cross-border M&A activity plummets in Q2 but strategic deals complete
Although Q2 transaction numbers collapsed, as many transactions were initially frozen or terminated entirely, Silverpeak has seen activity in the market begin to rebound with a number of highly strategic transactions announced in June. The SITS market, in particular, has been seen as robust and a beneficiary of any long-term impact of COVID-19, as reflected by the share prices of SITS businesses recovering strongly in the public markets and already returning to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Strategic M&A transactions remain resilient
Despite the fall in M&A activity, completed transactions in Q2 appear to be those with strong underlying strategic rationale. Perhaps the most notable transaction in UK SITS was the acquisition of London-based Eggplant, by NYSE-listed Keysight Technologies, in a deal valued at $330m. Keysight is seeking to build out a testing software portfolio of high-quality recurring revenue, to complement its existing testing hardware business. The transaction is rumoured to have taken place at a valuation of c. 10x Eggplant’s 2019 revenues.

IPOs surprisingly robust
Despite a fairly poor volume of European IPOs in 2019, there has since been an uptick in the first half of 2020. The highlight in the European SITS market was the $200m+ IPO of Pexip, a video conferencing service and Zoom competitor that could only be described as a “COVID-19 beneficiary”. While the remainder of 2020 remains uncertain, with the highly unpleasant combination of winter flu and COVID-19 resurgence on the horizon, there continues to be a stream of announcements of major upcoming SITS IPOs – especially in the US.

IndustryViews Corporate Activity Q2 2020 270720

COVID-19 triggers a significant market decline

Welcome to the latest edition of the Silverpeak Benchmark report – Application Software Sector, a review of key company valuation metrics in the US, UK and European application software sectors. By reviewing sector median averages, our aim is to provide a set of software industry benchmarks against which individual company performance can be measured.

This quarter, we’ve also created a COVID-19 index, analysing its impact on the Enterprise Value of various sub-sectors within our data set.

Report highlights

  • The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a U-turn of last quarter’s growing revenue multiples, which has also amplified the decline of EBITDA multiples across all categories. Europe, UK Small & Mid and US Vertical revenue multiples have all sunk to pre-2015 levels.
  • US Horizontal revenue multiples have fallen dramatically since their immense growth of 22% last quarter. But, for the first time since mid-2017, US Horizontal EBITDA multiples are now higher than US SaaS multiples, despite having a 3% lower median EBITDA margin.
  • US SaaS revenue multiples have crashed by 28%, to a similar level to Q2 2017, despite only a 1% decline in forecast revenue. In practice, most revenue guidance has been suspended. The multiples fall was amplified for EBITDA multiples, where they now lie at 23.7x, plummeting 40% since last quarter.
  • Proportionate falls in revenue multiples have been greatest in the US. However, reduction in forecast growth is greatest for UK Small & Mid and Europe, both reducing by 1/3 to c.10%.

Silverpeak Benchmark Report Q1_2020

Revenue growth forecast doubles from Q3 to Q4 for UK and European software

Welcome to the latest edition of the Silverpeak Benchmark report – Application Software Sector, a review of key company valuation metrics in the US, UK and European application software sectors. By reviewing sector median averages, our aim is to provide a set of software industry benchmarks against which individual company performance can be measured.

Starting this quarter, we have included a snapshot on European software M&A.

Report highlights

  • US SaaS revenue multiples were predicted to continue their descent from Q3, however, they rebounded from a 7.7x trough to end the quarter at 8.2x. Contrastingly, EBITDA multiples have continued to fall, reaching a low of 35.6x in H2 2019 from their H1 peak of 44.0x.
  • US Horizontal revenue multiples have done a U-turn since last quarter’s 11% fall; increasing 22.3% to 6.9x.
  • UK Small & Mid EBITDA multiples have shot up 3.3x to 19.6x. They look on course to match their historical peak of 22.0x in H2 2018. Furthermore, their median forecast annual revenue growth has doubled since last quarter, showing positive signs for these companies, despite the recent political events surrounding Brexit.
  • European revenue multiples were the only ones to fall in Q4. However, they have had the strongest growth in EBITDA margin (+4.9%) out of all the categories.

Silverpeak Benchmark Report Q4_2019

Applied AI Leadership Dinner – 26 November 2019

On the evening of 26th November, Silverpeak hosted a Leadership Dinner for Applied AI businesses in association with Spectrum, the retained executive search and HR consulting firm for the technology sector, and Wiggin, the technology law firm.

We brought together 19 peers from artificial intelligence organisations, at founder, CEO and Chairman level, for a ‘Chatham House rule’ discussion on the rapidly evolving developing AI landscape during a private dinner in central London.

This dinner was the second AI themed dinner we’ve co-hosted. The previous dinner took place 2 years previously, and it was interesting to see how AI thinking has matured during that time.

In particular, the core discussion theme has moved on from AI acceptance then, to ‘safe’ (ethically sound) AI today.

The conversation also explored how safe AI could be demonstrated and proven, and, conversely, also explored how properly adopted AI eliminates the conscious or unconscious bias in systems and processes that currently exist.

The discussion began with a brief talk from Pietro Strada from Silverpeak, which served to highlight the availability of capital for European growth companies, but also the predominance of the US and of China in AI funding, and included breakdown of the companies between ‘light’, ‘medium’ and ‘heavy’ in AI intensity.