Amadeus Capital Partners, one of the UK’s most successful technology venture capital firms, has won Government backing to establish an Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF). The Government funding of £6.5 million will be put to work alongside £3.5 million from private investors and business angel groups and up to £10 million from Amadeus’ main funds to provide around £20 million of investment into technology businesses in the UK. The new Amadeus and Angels Seed Fund (AASF) will target seed stage technology businesses with real growth potential. Amadeus is one of between three and five ECFs that will be awarded by the Government in this Pathfinder round, for which there have been 45 bids. 

Amadeus was founded in 1997 by Anne Glover, Hermann Hauser and Peter Wynn and has backed over 50 companies in the UK and continental Europe in computer hardware and software, mobile and fixed communications and medical technologies. It was one of the first investors in Cambridge Silicon Radio, which floated on the LSE in 2004 and also in Optos, which also floated on the LSE, earlier this year. Of its earlier investments, Entropic was sold to Microsoft and Element-14 to Broadcom Corporation.

In 2001, Amadeus, perceiving a gap in the £250,000 to £1 million funding range, raised £3 million through the Amadeus Mobile Seed Fund to finance the development to Series ‘A’ stage of technologies with particularly strong potential for commercial success. The Fund’s two investments, Nujira and Enigmatec, have both gone on to raise Series ‘A’ rounds from other leading venture investors, together with Amadeus’ main funds.  

AASF, which will invest across the UK, will be managed by Laurence John, CEO of the Amadeus Mobile Seed Fund, and his team. The fund anticipates making up to ten investments, supporting each with mentoring, follow on finance and Amadeus’ global technology networks to the stage at which they can attract Series ‘A’ financing. The role of the business angel in the ECF process is underlined by the fact that the structure of the DTI-supported funds is tilted in favour of the private investor. Archangel Informal Investments has already committed to joining AASF.  

Commenting on the award, Laurence John said: “We work closely with a number of angel investors; they are an important part of seed financing, especially in our business where the idea is often driven by technology entrepreneurs with little or no business experience. This space is where some of the world’s most disruptive technologies have started and it is a vital part of the UK’s future. I am delighted the government is backing the commercial development of technologies at a very early stage and very proud that Amadeus has been chosen to be part of this strategy.” 

Amadeus’ CEO, Anne Glover, added: “We have long believed that there is an investment opportunity in backing high potential technology companies at seed stage. Our research shows that it takes over £1 million to fund a company through seed stage to Series ‘A’ funding and that thereafter it may take many millions to create a sustainable company. A critical factor in the success of these businesses is the specialist knowledge that seasoned technology investors can bring during the founding stage, which is why we are delighted to have been awarded this Enterprise Capital Funding and aim to make it a success for all parties involved.”