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

Silverpeak advises Armilar Venture Partners on Continuation Fund transaction

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.”

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).

Playgiga

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

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.

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 we 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

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! ”

Sentryo

Sentryo is the pioneer in solutions dedicated to managing the cyber risk of M2M networks and industrial control systems. Sentryo’s ICS CyberVision empowers control engineers as the front line of defence to ensure integrity, continuity and security of their industrial processes. It leverages unique AI algorithms to give them comprehensive visibility on their industrial assets, so they can easily identify vulnerabilities, detect anomalies in real-time and work with IT to fight cyber-attacks. Sentryo’s ICS CyberVision is used every day by large corporations in the energy, manufacturing and transportation markets.

Silverpeak originally worked with Sentryo on a fundraising round during which time we assisted management in developing a comprehensive long term strategic growth plan to become the de facto leader in Europe and enter the US market. Shortly thereafter Sentryo were approached by a strategic buyer and again as lead adviser, Silverpeak were appointed to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential buyers and negotiate a transaction through to final completion.

Thierry Rouquet, CEO of Sentryo said, “Silverpeak have been the long-term corporate finance advisers to Sentryo, and helped engineer the previous round of financing based on an ambitious international drive. When Sentryo was approached unexpectedly they were once again ready to help and conducted a rapid scan of interested parties before helping us negotiate the win-win deal with Cisco. During this whole process, Silverpeak always acted speedily and professionally. We especially appreciated their international reach as well as the local support. To be honest, at many junctures, they helped us to convince our shareholders of the considerable potential of Sentryo, resulting in a price which, in many ways, went beyond our expectations.”

As a serial entrepreneur, Thierry knew the ropes and had a clear objective of building a world leader in the cybersecurity sector applied to industry. From starting the business to reaching a leadership position in Europe and to joining forces with the world leader in networking (and the inventor of the Internet of Everything moniker) took just 5 years, which is a credit to the team and its backers. Along the way, Silverpeak helped keep the ambition alive through funding first and then the Cisco transaction, which proved to be a fantastic exit for the financial shareholders, as well as a great recognition for the team and the resources of a large firm to continue with their vision.

Throughout the journey, Silverpeak delivered steadfast support maintaining the level of ambition required in the face of startup competitors who were raising up to 10x more funds than Sentryo who, in the end, proved to be the most capital efficient of all. The Cisco transaction demonstrates we were right in supporting Sentryo and its backers, and shows, once again, the value of Silverpeak’s technology specialisation as well as its efficient delivery across Europe.

This is the fifth transaction that Silverpeak has completed in the last three months.

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.

Choice

Maxxton is a software as a service (SaaS) solution to simplify the operational and reservation processes for hospitality managers. Its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform caters specifically to the needs of the short & medium-term accommodation rental sector. Maxxton automates time-consuming manual work, improves efficiency, increases bookings and reduces staffing costs for hospitality organisations.

Silverpeak worked as lead adviser to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential buyers and negotiate a transaction through to final completion. We approached both strategic & financial buyers globally and closed the transaction with Fortino to continue building the business with the CEO.

Justin Stebbins, Director, added “This transaction represents the most logical next step for all parties involved and Fortino will strategically assist management during its next stage of growth.”

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process added “We are delighted to have advised on this transaction – further strengthening our position in hospitality software.”