Autonomous vehicles, shared mobility, and Mobility as a Service – the future of the urban transport market is already here.

The urban transport sector is on the cusp of great change, thanks to a confluence of new technologies. From self-driving cars, to Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), to shared mobility and convenience apps – the potential is truly extraordinary.

“MaaS is the concept of being able to use mobility tools to buy a number of different trips on a variety of transport modes, but in one place,” says Pietro Strada, managing partner at Silverpeak. “You could leave home in a taxi, then jump on a tube, take a train then finish your journey with another taxi. That’s four separate trips, in four different vehicles, which you pay for four different times”.

“But with MaaS, you would simply pay once for the entire journey.”

With this technology starting to get deployed in major cities, there is a very clear need for more investment, innovation and regulation in the urban transport market.

The world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1970, just 30 per cent of the population lived in urban areas. This figure had risen to 54 per cent by 2014, and the UN estimates that a massive 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities and urbanised areas by 2050.

Meanwhile, concerns around air pollution are growing, emphasising the need for clean technology in densely populated areas. According to the World Health Organisation, 90 per cent of people living in cities are not breathing clean air, and we know that transportation emissions are responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gases.

We are also more connected now than ever before, thanks largely to the advent of affordable mobile technology. There are five billion mobile phone users in the world today – that’s 68 per cent of the total population. By 2023, it has been predicted that one billion of these mobile users will have a 5G subscription, which would allow them to connect to the internet anytime, anywhere.

As a result of these developments, the urban transport market is primed for disruption. This could come in many different forms, from MaaS; to the advent of autonomous driving; to the wide adoption of shared mobility services.

Silverpeak has analysed data on financings and acquisitions in this market, and it has concluded that the next few years will see a sustained level of investments and M&A activity.

1. Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

At its core, MaaS is a mobility distribution model which brings together multiple services in one place, allowing the user to streamline their journeys by planning and booking trips via a single platform.

Across Europe, a number of integrated mobility services are being rolled out, from UbiGo in Sweden, to Qixxit in Germany, and Whim in Finland. Also, car manufacturer Daimler has gotten in on the act, with its Moovel ride-booking service, which is currently being tested in the U.S. and Europe.

There is still some way to go before MaaS becomes mainstream, but the early signs are promising.

“We’ve done a number of deals in different areas of what we are now calling the mobility sector,” says David Ford, director at Silverpeak. “It’s relatively new right now but we think there’s a lot more activity that’s going to go on.”

Transit information providers have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in investment over the past ten years, underlining the enormous value embedded in these services. Germany’s GoEuro, for instance, has raised $296m since it was founded in 2012. It provides a multi-modal search tool that compares and combines rail, car, bus, train and aeroplane routes and prices

In some cases, transit information providers have already started to take the first steps towards becoming fully-fledged MaaS providers. Public transport tracking app CityMapper is using the travel data it gathers from millions of user-planned journeys to run an on-demand, shared rides service in city areas that the data has shown to be underserved by existing transport links.

While these developments are still very much in their infancy, there is a clear first-mover advantage to be won, both in the UK and across Europe.

“There is a lot of activity in the MaaS space,” says Matteo Pozzi, director at Silverpeak. “Many companies are raising significant capital to position for the dramatic anticipated growth in revenues.”

2. Autonomous vehicles

Mass-market self-driving cars have yet to become a reality, but some huge strides have been made in the area of autonomous vehicles.

At Oxbotica – an Oxford University-based firm which is run by professors from the Oxford Robotics Institute – self-driving software is already being used in cars, trucks, forklifts, pods, shuttles, mining and construction vehicles.

“Their technology is amazing – world class,” says Paddy MccGwire, managing partner at Silverpeak. “Last year, they were approached by a huge international car company and another tier one supplier, but they found that these deals would never get to completion. They realised they needed somebody to help them get from A to B, so we started to work with them in March 2018, and five months later we completed a £14m funding round.”

Since then, Silverpeak have helped them raise another round in July 2019, which will be used to accelerate Oxbotica’s growth plans in the coming years. And while we are still a few years away from self-driving commutes, MccGwire points out that on private turf such as airports or docks, this technology can be rolled out far more quickly.

“For instance, one airport found that they could cut the number of vehicles air-side by a third if they were autonomous,” says MccGwire. “And that’s everything from the bus to bring people to baggage handling, to the tug that pushes aeroplanes. So, it’s exciting and there are quite a lot of different benefits for what vehicle automation can do.”

3. Shared mobility

Ride-hailing apps already take up plenty of space on the average smartphone, and the shared mobility market is only just getting started.

Since the Uber and Lyft IPOs, in the ride-hailing sector alone, nearly $70bn (£57bn) has been raised between the top 4 companies: the American players Uber and Lyft as well as their Asian rivals Didi and Grab. Meanwhile, established brands such as GM and Toyota have begun investing in new car-sharing technologies from the likes of Turo and Getaround, with a view to expanding their business model to become service providers as well as vehicle manufacturers.

According to Silverpeak’s research, 2019 investments in ride-hailing, car sharing, and carpooling services rose to an all-time high of $21.7bn. These figures reflect a demographic shift in how transport is viewed in urban areas.

“Millennials in particular live more in cities and buy fewer vehicles,” explains Strada. “They are more likely to rent a vehicle, use a rideshare scheme or take public transport and that’s threatening the business model of the automotive OEMs.”

In fact, in preparation for the “death of car ownership”, BMW and Daimler have pooled their mobility assets into five new joint ventures (now three) to give them additional scale and create vertical mobility powerhouses focused on urban areas.

Scooter sharing and bike sharing schemes have also been gaining traction in the investment community lately. Over the last five years, approximately $9.4bn has been invested into bike and scooter sharing or rental schemes. China is very much in the lead on this trend, with the top three Chinese players raising a significant proportion of the combined fundraising in the market.

Uber, Didi and Lyft have already acquired some of the most promising bike-sharing and scooter-sharing innovators, in a clear indication that urban transport is going green. However, without regulation, this has led to unfavourable unit economics due to a large proportion of bikes and scooters getting damaged, resulting in players such as Ofo verging on bankruptcy.

“Car ownership in urban areas is going to die sooner than outside of urban areas where people need their own vehicles,” adds Strada. “We’re still tens of years away, but once the trend becomes mainstream it’s obviously too late to take a position. You want to be prepared and starting much earlier than that.”

“There are a lot of different players who want to get into the mobility sector for a lot of different reasons and hence, there’s likely to be a lot of consolidation and activity in this space.”

Chinese market dynamics and the future of urban transport

China is a market that is experiencing its own dynamics and in some areas is leading. As well as taking the lead on bike-sharing and scooter-sharing innovation, China is poised to become a global leader in the autonomous car market. Since 2015, China has spent at least $24bn more than the US on 5G technology – an essential component for autonomous vehicle manufacturing. Both Alibaba and Baidu are in the advanced stages of testing self-driving cars, and Alibaba is even looking into the creation of ‘smart roads’ which feed data to cars as they travel.

“China is investing in a lot of AI at the moment,” says Strada. “But there is not a lot of transparency in China. It’s hard to discern what is being done for political purposes and what is being done for economic value.”

Having said this, Strada believes that everyone can learn from China’s commitment to innovation in the urban transport space. And one thing is certain – the urban transport landscape is changing fast.

“We expect that over the next five to ten years, there is going to be sustained activity in investment acquisition in the automotive sector where the traditional players will either have to team up with technology companies that provide a piece of the new infrastructure or they will face competition from new entrants who have completely different business models,” says Strada.

“There is so much change happening in this growing area. Players cannot afford to stand still.”

Q4 multiples correction across the application software sector

Welcome to the latest edition of the Silverpeak Benchmark report – Application Software, 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.

Silverpeak Benchmark Report Q4_2018_final_v2

 

Silverpeak instrumental in sale of Dictate IT to Clanwilliam Group

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Dictate IT, a leading provider of digital dictation, outsourced transcription, and speech recognition services to 27 healthcare providers in the UK and Ireland, on its sale to Clanwilliam Group, the global healthcare technology provider.

The acquisition brings Dictate IT under the umbrella of the rapidly expanding health investor, Clanwilliam Group, as part of the mergers and acquisitions strategy that it launched in 2014. As a result, Dictate IT will be able to expand its reach, make further investments in its solution and realise all the benefits of partnering with other companies in the Group to strengthen its market position.

Silverpeak played a significant role in the sale, working with Dictate IT as financial advisor running an M&A process: from the preparation phase, identifying and contacting a global array of knowledgeable counterparties, negotiating the deal terms with multiple parties, and managing through to completion.

Commenting on the deal, Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak, said: “This is another successful health-tech company sale to a strategic acquirer having followed a twin track private equity and strategic process. I have been impressed watching Dictate IT’s Managing Director, Mark Miller develop the business over the last 14 years. This has included developing its proprietary medical speech recognition engine built on a state of the art DNN (Deep Neural Net) acoustic model and using cutting edge RNN (Recurrent Neural Net) language rescoring – the solution outperforms all other solutions currently available and has achieved the market leading position. The sale to Clanwilliam Group provides the opportunity for Dictate IT to accelerate its growth trajectory in an entrepreneurial culture. The simultaneous sale of its Indian associate company added complexity to this multi-jurisdiction transaction. “

Mark Miller, Managing Director at Dictate IT, said: “I would recommend Silverpeak without hesitation. A sale of a company is, for most, the culmination of many years of work and the outcome of the sale will likely define much of the hope and aspiration for the years ahead. It is important to get it right and to choose people who are totally committed to the best outcome. The Silverpeak team work extremely hard, are capable and knowledgeable and involve themselves in every aspect of the transaction. They maintain a steady focus on the outcome and a good humour which is important when dealing with things over which so much importance is attached.”

Silverpeak facilitates €10m funding round for industrial internet cybersecurity pioneer, Sentryo

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, has been instrumental in securing €10M in Series A Financing for the cutting-edge Industrial Internet cybersecurity firm, Sentryo. The funding, which completed in November this year, reflects the growing significance of Sentryo’s distributed technology architecture against the backdrop of increased industrial cybersecurity attacks.

Advice on the valuation of the company and the size of the round was provided by Silverpeak to the Sentryo Board. Silverpeak’s team of finance experts also delivered strategic guidance prior to approaching the market for investors in Europe and the United States. In order for Sentryo to move forward with its expansion activities in the US from Q2 2018, Silverpeak recommended a two-phase approach for the funding. The first phase with Sopra Steria and BNP Paribas Développement completed in April, and the second tranche with Omnes and Alliance Entreprendre which has just been finalised.

Thierry Rouquet, CEO at Sentryo, said: “It was a pleasure to work with the Silverpeak team across their London and Paris offices. Silverpeak worked tirelessly to close the round and came up with an innovative two step closing which allowed Sentryo to meet its goal by bringing together both financial and strategic investors. We look forward to driving the business forward, including its expansion in the US which the financing in place now allows.”

Sentryo specialises in solutions that protect operational technology from the threat of cyber-attack. The company’s ICS CyberVision platform gives control engineers comprehensive visibility on their systems, detects anomalies and accelerates response to cybersecurity incidents to minimise the impact. The funding will be used to accelerate not only expansion in the US, but across Europe too.

Jean-Michel Deligny, a Senior Advisor at Silverpeak, said: “Industrial cybersecurity is a strategic topic but still an emerging market. Sentryo shows technical excellence as well as a focused indirect selling strategy and is expanding to the US, based on key partnerships with the likes of Cisco and Siemens. This makes Sentryo one the most capital innovative and efficient companies in the business and this is why Silverpeak took on the assignment. As always, Silverpeak showed the sort of tenacity which is needed for a successful financing.”

Alex de Gandt, Director at Silverpeak said: “We explored various financing options, and contacted investors globally, both strategic and financial. In the end, the round brings the best of French investors, to support an ambitious plan to expand in Sentryo’s core European markets, as well as grow in the US. We look forward to continue working with Sentryo as the company accelerates internationally.”

Silverpeak advises EFFECT Photonics on its Series B funding

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to EFFECT Photonics B.V., a leading developer of high performance DWDM optical components based on its optical System-on-Chip, on its Series B funding round led by Innovation Industries.

The funding round accelerates the ramp of its tunable SFP production line and the development of future technologies. EFFECT addresses the need for low-cost, wavelength-tunable optical transceivers with industrial temperature specification to be deployed within the next generation 5G mobile infrastructure, as well as in other networking applications. The global market demand for optical transceivers is expected to grow to $12bn by 2023, from $6bn in 2017 (Lightcounting, 2018).

Silverpeak worked with the company as financial advisor supporting it during the entire process: from the preparation phase, to identifying and contacting a global array of knowledgeable investors, to negotiating the deal terms, through to completion.

James Regan, CEO of EFFECT Photonics, said: “Silverpeak’s deep understanding of optical technologies combined with their relationships in the global investor landscape proved invaluable. They showed total dedication throughout the process and their expertise and advice were instrumental in closing this round of financing for our growth phase.”

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner at Silverpeak and leading the mandate, added: “We are proud to have worked with James and the whole EFFECT Photonics management team and Supervisory Board at this pivotal stage in the company’s trajectory. EFFECT Photonics is at the global forefront of ultra-fast optical integrated circuits and are well placed to take advantage of the huge opportunities in their space.”

Nard Sintenie, General Partner at Innovation Industries, said: “We are delighted to have invested in EFFECT Photonics. We believe that the company and the deal process benefitted from Silverpeak’s assistance and enjoyed working with them.”

UK Small & Mid revenue growth forecast +35% QOQ

Welcome to the latest edition of the Silverpeak Benchmark report – Application Software, 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.

 Silverpeak Benchmark Report Q3_2018

 

The State of the Market for Growth Rounds in European Tech Companies

Silverpeak publishes its latest report on the state of the market for growth rounds in European tech companies showing a healthy environment for Series B & C rounds and a trend towards larger deal sizes.

 2018_Silverpeak_State_of_the_Market_for_Growth_Rounds

 

 

 

Silverpeak advises smart ticketing technology provider Ticketer on investment by Tenzing

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ticketer, the UK’s leading provider of bus ticketing technology, on its investment by Tenzing Private Equity

Since entering the market in 2010, Ticketer has grown to become the UK market leader at the forefront of smart electronic ticketing technology across the bus sector. Ticketer’s software enables passengers to use the latest payments technologies, whilst providing bus operators with real-time performance insights to improve efficiency, service levels and profitability.

Widely renowned as the most innovative provider in the industry, Ticketer’s clients include some of the largest national operators, including First Bus, Arriva, and Go-Ahead, and some 70% of the UK’s regional operators. The company has achieved outstanding revenue growth of over 50% year-on-year over the last three years.

Tenzing has backed the senior management team, led by John Clarfelt and Gordon Montgomery. Together with its Entrepreneurs Panel, Tenzing will support the team’s ambition to grow the business in the UK and internationally.

Silverpeak worked with the company as lead advisor to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential investors and negotiate a transaction through to final completion.

Gordon Montgomery, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ticketer, said: “Silverpeak were incredibly professional and supportive throughout. They went above and beyond in helping to get the deal over the line.”

David Ford, Director at Silverpeak, said “With the current growth in Smart Transit and Mobility-as-a-Service, Ticketer has many opportunities to help its clients produce better transport experiences. Working with the great team at Tenzing will help them achieve that much faster.”

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner at Silverpeak added, “We are very proud to have worked on this transaction with John, Gordon and the whole Ticketer team.”

This is the fourth transaction for Silverpeak in the mobility sector following the fundraising announced last month for Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle software company.

 

SEMINAR: Selling Out vs. Scaling Up

Paddy MccGwire, Silverpeak Managing Director, spoke this morning at Selling Out vs Scaling Up hosted by ScaleUp Group at techUK.

Other speakers included

David Richards: CEO of £300M+ valued AIM listed WANDisco

Tola Sargeant: MD of leading Technology analysts TechmarketView

John O’Connell: Sold Staffware for $200M+ and Chair, ScaleUp Group

 

Selling Out vs Scaling up – Silverpeak presentation – Sept26

Silverpeak advises Oxbotica on £14m funding to accelerate deployment of self-driving vehicles

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle software company, on a £14 million round of funding to support the next stage of its growth strategy. Funds were secured from three leading investors: IP Group plc, Parkwalk Advisors and AXA XL (formerly XL Catlin).

The autonomous vehicle software developer will use the funding to scale its activities in Europe, Asia and the US market, further accelerating Oxbotica’s sustained growth. Oxbotica’s customers include some of the world’s most prominent businesses in sectors including aerospace, automotive, construction, logistics and mining. Its software has been deployed across multiple industry-leading projects where the future application of autonomy is being trialled, such as with Ocado, at Heathrow Airport and on major city streets.

Based in Oxford, Oxbotica was founded in 2014 by Professors Paul Newman and Ingmar Posner. Oxbotica’s software uses the latest in computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable vehicles to operate autonomously in any environment and on any terrain. This has made it an attractive solution for many enterprises looking to increase efficiency, productivity and safety.

Silverpeak worked with the company as lead advisor over six months to identify and contact a global array of potential investors creating a competitive selection.

Clive Scrivener, Chairman of Oxbotica, said: “Silverpeak ran a full process and provided us with a choice of investment options. We are delighted with the investment partners we have brought on board.”

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner leading for Silverpeak added, “It was a pleasure working with a world class team. We are very impressed with the way Oxbotica has been built so far, and this funding will unleash the next stage of planned development. This is a truly exciting company.”

Paul Newman, Co-Founder of Oxbotica, said: “The domain-agnostic design of our technology, as well as its independence from external infrastructure such as GPS, makes it uniquely versatile across a range of industries. This has allowed us to trade from day one, attracting a significant blue-chip customer base.
“Together with our customers and partners, my fellow founder Ingmar Posner and I look forward to taking our technology – and our products – to the next level.”

Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, said: “We are on a mission to bring autonomous software to the world’s biggest markets. We have already seen extraordinary demand from a range of sectors and markets, with the successful deployment of our technology across a strong customer base over the previous four years.
“This injection of funds comes as we move the business into its next growth phase, enabling us to deliver our ambitious plans to scale our capabilities and international presence. To help us achieve this, we are very pleased to welcome our investors to the company and Jamie Vollbracht from IP Group on to our board.”

Jamie Vollbracht, Cleantech Partner at IP Group, said: “IP Group is extremely excited about Oxbotica; the company’s highly differentiated approach unlocks a wealth of opportunities. Impressively, by winning substantial contracts with major customers, Oxbotica has been able to fund activities to date without the need for investment. IP Group is therefore delighted to have been selected by Oxbotica as its investment partner as it looks to capitalise on the next phase of growth. I’m very much looking forward to working with the rest of the board and wider team to help capture the many benefits of this technology for all stakeholders.”

Gowling WLG, who have had a relationship with Oxbotica since the spin-out, were lawyers to the company.