V-Nova

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.”

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

Trafi

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).

Virtual Clarity

Virtual Clarity is Silverpeak’s 7th transaction in the last 6 months.

Founded in 2008, Virtual Clarity is based largely in the U.K. and U.S. The company is comprised of a blend of enterprise IT insiders and hands-on experts with deep knowledge of modern tools, techniques and key industries – including Financial Services, Health Care, Manufacturing, and Telecommunications.

The acquisition of Virtual Clarity aims to further position DXC as a leading provider of IT Modernization services for applications and infrastructure. This builds on DXC’s acquisition earlier this year of Luxoft as clients increasingly are seeking industry-specific application development and innovation as part of their IT modernization approach.

Silverpeak worked with the Virtual Clarity board as adviser on their journey to a strategic realisation. We approached global strategic buyers and PE growth investors. Having secured multiple Tier 1 offers, we managed the process to a tight completion timetable.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the deal added “We are delighted to have advised Steve on this fourth transaction. Steve and his team at Virtual Clarity have built a great business and will be able to accelerate its impact to leave a footprint in the sand, reporting directly to the DXC CEO.”

Steve Peskin, CEO and founder of Virtual Clarity said, “This is my fourth transaction with Paddy and his team, starting 20 years ago. He has always outperformed but this time Paddy, Matteo and their team absolutely nailed it. From first offer to completion in 50 days, and from LOI in only 19 business days, was always going to be a monumental task but they pulled it off masterfully with calming humour, great expertise and advice and nerves of steel. Bravo! ”

Thoughtonomy

The acquisition will see Blue Prism’s connected-RPA platform distributed and supported as a turnkey SaaS offering, helping accelerate the deployment of digital workers across market verticals and into mid-tier enterprises worldwide. Silverpeak acted as exclusive Lead Adviser to Thoughtonomy.

Thoughtonomy’s secure, award-winning enterprise grade SaaS solution, leveraging Microsoft Azure, enables an on-demand Virtual Workforce and full Intelligent Automation platform. This acquisition joins the power of Blue Prism’s connected-RPA platform with Thoughtonomy’s software, allowing customers to quickly and more easily drive improved productivity and customer experiences, without needing to set up a dedicated infrastructure to support their program.

It gives enterprises a way to access and leverage embedded and fully integrated AI technologies such as computer vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to address a complete range of use cases from back office to front office. Additional features, including ready-to-use channel interfaces such as chatbots and web-forms coupled with Thoughtonomy’s integrated AI-enabled digital workforce manager, IADA®, helps companies scale their automation strategy at speed.

“The acquisition of Thoughtonomy will support a broader strategy to strengthen our portfolio with cloud offerings that deliver value and enhance customer experience,” says Alastair Bathgate, Co-founder and CEO, Blue Prism. “Thoughtonomy brings valuable knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of cloud-based intelligent digital workers, with a successful track record of delivering its solutions to mid-tier enterprises in a number of industry verticals complementary to the areas of the market Blue Prism has served.”

Thoughtonomy’s intellectual property and embedded Marketplace will also extend Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange DX capabilities – an intelligent automation marketplace comprising customers, technology and channel partners – while enhancing the company’s overall push to deliver RPA services with leading cloud services providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM.

“We’ve been working with Blue Prism since our foundation in 2013, and we’ve built out our unique SaaS and intelligent automation capabilities to leverage their best in class RPA software,” says Terry Walby, CEO & Founder of Thoughtonomy. “Together as leaders, we plan to broaden and simplify access to the most advanced digital workforce capabilities on the planet.”

This combination of capabilities will provide enterprises with even greater flexibility for their automation projects offering them the ability to choose between SaaS or dedicated infrastructure. Together both companies will continue to build out the strongest partner network in the industry aimed at driving up customer adoption in key market verticals including financial services, telecoms, insurance, retail, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, professional services, energy, utilities, public sector and outsourcing providers. This also includes commitments to support partner enablement, sales, pre-sales and implementation on a global scale.

Thoughtonomy has delivered year on year growth of over more than 250 per cent over the past three years and has customers spread across four continents. In 2018, the company was ranked fourth in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and 11th in the Deloitte 2018 UK Technology Fast 50, cementing its position as one of the fastest growing UK-headquartered technology companies and one of the brightest stars in global AI.

Silverpeak worked with Thoughtonomy as lead adviser examining both private equity investment and strategic acquirers globally culminating in the agreed acquisition of Thoughtonomy by Blue Prism.

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process added, “Terry and the team at Thoughtonomy have developed a great business in the six years since founding, developing the market leading intelligent automation SaaS RPA platform. Blue Prism will provide a great strategic and cultural fit to continue to exploit the market opportunity.”

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

Other advisers to Thoughtonomy were: Taylor Wessing, lawyers; Smith & Williamson, tax.

Oxbotica

We also advised Oxbotica on their successful £14m funding in their first institutional investment round in 2018. The additional investment coincides with the appointment of Ozgur Tohumcu as CEO joining from Tantalum and previously Ericsson, who will lead the business on its next chapter of development.

Oxbotica, whose mantra is “any vehicle, any environment, any time” customers include: driverless shuttle trials at Gatwick airport; driverless cargo pods at Heathrow airport; partnering with Addison Lee to bring self-driving taxis to London; and other sectors in every hemisphere.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak said “ This is our sixth transaction announced in eight weeks. It is great to see this iconic British HQ deep technology global business demonstrating the confidence of its investors so quickly. And I’d like to congratulate Co-Founder CTO Paul Newman, who also is the Director of the Oxford Robotics Institute, on being awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal.

Dictate IT

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.”

Loot

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to UK Digital Bank, Loot, on Royal Bank of Scotland/Bó’s investment, who join strategic investor Portage (Wealthsimple) as well as SpeedInvest (investors in Holvi, Curve) and Global Founders Capital (investors in iWoca, Kreditech, Facebook).

RBS has taken a 25 per cent stake via Bó, the digital-only bank it plans to open later this year. Mark Bailie, CEO of Bó, said: “Loot is a really exciting brand and one that we’re proud to be associated with. Through its innovative use of technology and intention to change the status quo, it’s quickly built a following of loyal customers, with potential for rapid future growth.”

Loot launched in 2014 to help students and young people better manage their finances. All verified customers are provided with a pre-paid debit card and offer personal insights into spending patterns, allowing users to set daily or weekly budgets or even put aside money for larger #LootGoals.

Commenting on the transaction, Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak, said: “Having advised Loot on this strategic investment by Royal Bank of Scotland, we look forward to working with Ollie and the team on their next phase of growth.”

Ticketer

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.”

Oxbotica

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.