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

Comparing views on the current COVID-19 challenges and opportunities for tech growth companies

Board Chair Midsummer Drinks Reception and discussion – 22nd June 2020

On the evening of Monday 22nd June, Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, co-hosted with Spectrum, the technology executive search firm, an online event for a small group of eight plural Board Chairs of privately held technology growth ventures.

Over a hamper of wine, cheese and pâté – sent in advance – we compared views on the current challenges and opportunities for technology growth companies, in the wake of Covid-19.

We were delighted to listen to, and exchange views, with: Adam Hale; Dale Murray CBE; David Gilmour; James Bilefield; Lisa Stone; Margaret Rice-Jones; Nigel Clifford and Vin Murria OBE.

Pietro Strada began the discussion by highlighting the key observations of Silverpeak since March 2020, most notably:

  • Broadly, the technology and pharmaceutical sectors have been recent market winners
  • Within the technology sector, there are sub-sector dynamics: WFH and remote solutions attract interest, and the number 1 and 2 players in each subsegment have an opportunity to extend their leadership
  • There are different dynamics between the public and private markets; private equity does not believe recent equity market pricing
  • CEOs and management teams are cautious
  • Private equity has capital to deploy
  • Transactions are taking longer
  • Valuations are down
  • Companies are raising two years of cash

This was followed by Daniel Osmer outlining the key Covid-19 observations of Spectrum:

  • Most companies locked down well before UK government advice to do so, and the expectation is that the way of conducting work has changed permanently in many respects
  • Boards have been leant on heavily by their management teams
  • Some enjoy Chairing virtual board meetings and their efficiency; others find the difficulty in reading body language to be challenging
  • In many cases, employee productivity has gone up, but there is a question as to how sustainable this is
  • Clients are reluctant to hire at executive level entirely virtually, although we do expect a greater element of a selection process to be conducted virtually in the future than has been the traditional ‘norm’
  • It is more challenging for candidates to assess company culture via virtual selection exclusively

The key themes which emerged from the broader guest discussion were:

The significant variability of company performance, by market subsector, and by management team response.

Some of the fundamental challenges during Covid-19 have been: “the speed, scale and style of this impact has been different to other recessions”; “it is difficult to plan when management teams have little control over market demand stimulation”; “even with ARR contracts, the impact of the lack of customer cash has been felt”; “the lack of contact, especially when resources have to be on-site, as well as the simple lack of someone to talk to”; “some behaviours under pressure have not measured up to the company’s purpose”.

The importance of purpose: “executives have shone where they have remembered their company’s purpose”; “those that have forgot their purpose have created friction”; “companies have needed to look back at their purpose as an organisation”; “businesses that invested in purpose have fared well, engagement levels have remained as high as they were pre-lockdown – the challenge now is how do we keep this going, and build on it in a more disparate world”.

The importance of leadership: “there is a new level of accountability now with teams”; “many management teams have shown incredible tenacity”; “succession plans have been worked on with executive teams”; “you look closely at teams and reassess what you’ve got and what you need”; “the importance of talent during these really difficult times has been highlighted”.

Partnerships that matter: “there has been a fundamental reassessment of ecosystems”; “you know who your real partners are at a time like this”; “critical to understand your partner, to genuinely partner – and to drive quality up”.

Online meetings have (mainly) worked well: “everyone attends because the session is online, which is levelling”; “future in-person meetings will be reassessed: is it a habit, or of value”; “important to strategize and not simply react”; “quickly made, data informed decisions are important”; “online meetings are time efficient”; “easier when you already know everyone in the online meeting”; “80% of online meetings are very good”; but “interactive, brainstorming meetings are difficult online”.

The humanity now on display: “talk to customers more”; “build intimacy and genuinely partner”; “the contribution by companies to wider society is inspiring and engaging for employees”; “strength, tenacity and kindness to guide and support others”; “seeing people as human beings and not as transactional agents”; “there is nervousness and remorse being shown by people when considering leaving a team”; “we’ll end up with better corporations doing more good”.

The awareness and importance of employee mental health and the Black Lives Matter movement has been complete: “Black Lives Matter has highlighted diversity and disadvantage”; “The Black Lives Matter movement has had a profound effect on organisations”; “the mental health of employees is fundamental”; “the younger you are the tougher it has been – coaching opportunities in a virtual world are very limited”; “inexperienced CEOs have felt anxious”; “there is a fear of joining a new company at this time”.

The acceleration of innovation: “lots of innovation in a small space of time – will deliver a positive medium term impact”; “business myths have been busted – many in a positive way”; “we’ll all work smarter”; “organisations won’t go back to where they were in January”; “elephants can dance when under pressure and have no choice”; “start-up mindset”; “once the cash conservation plan is in place, you look towards re-orientating the business to the new scenario – looking at opportunities, and new ways of driving growth”.

Paddy MccGwire of Silverpeak brought the 90-minute discussion to a close, with some guests choosing to stay online for a relaxed conversation, a key theme of which was UK government support, and, in particular, the furlough scheme and The Future Fund.

Managing Partners

To further discuss these findings, to join future events, or to discuss technology investment banking (Silverpeak) and technology sector board and executive search (Spectrum), please contact:

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner Silverpeak pm@silverpeakib.com

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner Silverpeak ps@silverpeakib.com

Daniel Osmer, Managing Partner Spectrum daniel.osmer@spectrum-ehcs.com

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.

Seminar: Optimising Exits for European Technology companies

Silverpeak, in association with international law firm Bird & Bird, today hosted a joint seminar Optimising exits for European Technology companies.

Terry Walby, Thoughtonomy CEO spoke about his recent exit experience and Tom Wrenn, ECI Partners, gave a viewpoint from the Private Equity Industry in the final panel session.

Presentations from the event are now available to download.

Silverpeak_Bird&Bird_seminar_Nov19

Tech Tour Mobility Summit 2019: Investment in European mobility companies is accelerating in 2019

Silverpeak were delighted to sponsor the inaugural Tech Tour Mobility Summit 2019 in Munich last week.

With 70+investors and corporates and 30 pre-selected Scale-ups in six Mobility tech tracks, the event enabled attendees to deep dive into the future of Mobility.

Pietro Strada, Silverpeak Managing Partner, spoke on the financing environment for growth capital (B and C rounds) where data shows that the investment in European mobility companies is accelerating in 2019 in terms of both number of deals and invested amount.

Silverpeak_The State of the Market for Series B & C Rounds in European Tech Companies_November 2019

“There are many different players who want to be at the forefront of mobility the sector: some are entirely new entrants, some have to complement their traditional revenues as they come under threat. We expect to see significant investment activity and consolidation over the next few years” said Pietro, “We know this space very well having recently advised Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle software company, and Ticketer, the public bus ticketing and fleet management company.”

David Ford, Director, who moderated the ‘Smart Mobility’ session, said, “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.”

Last month Silverpeak updated its research report “The Future of Urban Transport”.

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

 

Tech Tour Deep Tech Summit 2019: Fundraising booming to record highs

Silverpeak were delighted to sponsor the Tech Tour Deep Tech Summit in London, which saw the convergence of 150+ participants including corporates, fund investors, investment bankers, thought-leaders and over 35 CEOs/Founders.

This year’s Summit covered a range of breakthrough technologies including autonomous systems, robotics, AI, IoT, cyber-security, big-data, blockchain, 3D printing, space, hardware and electronics, and other IP-driven solutions enabling digital transformation across multiple industries.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner, Silverpeak gave a keynote to investors  on “The Deep Tech Investment Landscape.”

20191015_DeepTech_Summit_FINAL

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner, Silverpeak and Shawn Atkinson, Partner, Orrick, spoke at the CEO workshops on “Later Stage Fundraising and Deal-Making for Deep-Tech Companies.”

Deep Tech Summit – October 2019

We are delighted to be sponsoring TechTour’s Deep Tech Summit 2019 in London on 15-16 October.

Europe’s most promising growth companies and “wow-factor start-ups” have been chosen by the DTS Selection Committee will be presenting following an opening keynote by Ron Black, CEO, Imagination Technologies.

This year’s Summit covers range of breakthrough technologies including autonomous systems, robotics, AI, IoT, cyber-security, big-data, blockchain, 3D printing, space, hardware and electronics, and other IP-driven solutions enabling digital transformation across multiple industries.

Pietro Strada and Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partners at Silverpeak, will be presenting at the Summit.

For more information please contact Jane Martin – jm@silverpeakib.com

 

SpaceTech Leadership Dinner – 18 September 2019

Ahead of the UK Space Conference 2019 next week, we co-hosted an enlightening SpaceTech Leadership Dinner with Seraphim Capital and Gillamor Stephens last night with over 25 attendees across start-ups, corporates and agencies from the space ecosystem.  Carissa Christensen, founder of Bryce Space and Technology opened the discussion.

SEMINAR – Optimising exits for European technology companies – 21 November 2019

Silverpeak, in association with international law firm Bird & Bird, is hosting this seminar on Thursday 21 November 2019.

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

Who should attend
This seminar is relevant to CEOs, Chairmen, FDs/CFOs, Non-executive Directors, shareholders and VC/PE investors with a stake in technology companies.

Programme
08.00 Registration
08.30 Introduction
08.35 M&A trends & valuation metrics
08.45 Trends & Risk in M&A Transactions
08.55 My Exit Experience
09.15 Achieving a strategic value
09.30 Panel discussion – Lessons for an optimum exit
09.45 Q&A to Panel
10.00 Networking
11.00 Close

 

Venue
Bird & Bird, 12 New Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1JP
Nearest stations: Chancery Lane, Blackfriars and Farringdon

 

REGISTER HERE

Winners announced at Silverpeak sponsored Enterprise Awards

Silverpeak were delighted to attend the 9th WCIT Enterprise Awards dinner last night to celebrate some of the most successful technology entrepreneurs in the UK & Ireland

Congratulations to all the winners.

Young Entrepreneur – Jack Tang – URBAN

Female Entrepreneur – Pamela Cook – INFOSHARE

Social Enterprise Entrepreneur – Alex Stephany – BEAM

Start Up Award – Niall Barton – WRISK

Public Sector Award – Jonathon Desmond, Max Smith and Michael Van De Weg – IMMJ

Deep Tech Award – Ricky Thomas – AVORA

Emerging Business Award – Priya Lakhani – CENTURY TECH

Developing Business Award – Peter Baumann – ACTIVE NAVIGATION and Emma Bowkett – CONVERTR

Scale Up Entrepreneur Award – Vishal Marria – QUANTEXA

Enterprise Award – Mark Richer – STARLEAF

Entrepreneurial Team of the Year – Neal Gandhi and Oliver Rigby – THE PANOPLY

Judges Award – Simon Hay – FIREFLY LEARNING and Bernhard Niesner – BUSUU

Mentor of Year – Stephen Kelly

Listed Company of the Year Award – Alastair Bathgate – BLUE PRISM