2012 saw some important milestones. By most accounts, the year was the first full year in which video exceeded half of global consumer internet traffic. This was driven by the continued aggressive consumer adoption of web-delivered video, through providers such as Hulu and Netflix in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK. The adoption of smart or connected TVs also achieved a milestone passing 30% penetration in some markets. This confluence of web TV services and internet-connected devices represents a significant channel to consumers, a point not lost on entrepreneurs. A number of Amadeus companies, including Unruly Media and Edgeware, have already successfully capitalised on this opportunity. We expect this internet video market trend to continue to attract hungry entrepreneurs to build great businesses.
For us, 2012 was, above all, a year of doing what venture capitalists can do well: actively working alongside our companies to support them in their development. For our early stage companies, the year was one of bringing products to market and winning first customers; for our later stage companies, there were new markets to enter and new products and services to launch. The evidence from the portfolio is clear: in difficult economic times, those products and services that combine technological excellence with cost savings are essential purchases for businesses of all sizes.
Two related areas in which we were particularly active in 2012 were medical technology and information technology for healthcare organisations. As medical research produces cures for more diseases and many governments are faced with the needs of ageing populations, the management and costs of healthcare are major issues. It is our belief that the technologies that effectively address these issues will be in demand for years to come and offer exciting investment opportunities.
We are grateful to our investors, advisers and the fantastic management teams of our portfolio companies for making 2012 another interesting and successful year and we wish you all a productive and profitable 2013.
A few highlights of 2012:
A strong exit for Amadeus’ Seed Fund
Early stage investment oneDrum was acquired in April by Yammer Inc., the world’s leading provider of social networks for companies (www.yammer.com). oneDrum, a UK software company offering file sharing and collaboration solutions, enabled files to be shared across multiple users’ desktops. oneDrum’s technology also provided collaborative functionality to Microsoft Office applications, allowing multiple authors to work together on Excel and PowerPoint documents in real time. This was a powerful technology and we like to think it was no coincidence that Microsoft shortly afterwards acquired Yammer, achieving more than 6x their money for the investors in our Amadeus & Angels Seed Fund.
AePONA’s SAM Platform launch
In February, software platform pioneer, AePONA (www.aepona.com) launched its new Services Aggregation and Merchandising platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The SAM platform has since proved popular, providing a powerful suite of service life-cycle management tools to service providers.
Glysure’s successful pilot trial leads to funding for clinical regulatory trials
In March, early stage company Glysure (www.glysure.com), developer of blood glucose monitoring systems that facilitate Tight Glycemic Control in intensive care units, presented the results of its successful pilot trial to much acclaim at a major industry event in Brussels. This trial was an important precursor to European and US clinical regulatory trials, for which the company is now preparing and for which it attracted additional funding of $13.6 million in November, a round in which we participated. The year has also seen Glysure strengthen its intellectual property portfolio and expand its management team.
XMOS sees substantial growth
Progress was been rapid in 2012 at multicore microcontroller maker XMOS(www.xmos.com), with the launch of a new range of USB-equipped devices in March, new recruits to the management team in June, and a major new release of design tools, accompanied by a rebranding and website relaunch in October. The company moved to new offices in its home city of Bristol and plans a number of major product announcements in 2013. The website relaunch provided XMOS with a 10x increase in traffic during launch week, with a corresponding increase in the number of people downloading design tools – a key precursor to using XMOS’ devices in a design. There are now over 3000 users of the company’s tools. In recognition of XMOS’ success this year, the company was awarded the prestigious Semi360 Award by the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI).
TrialReach wins new customers
TrialReach (www.trialreach.com), a search business whose platform helps patients and the pharmaceutical industry in recruitment for, and information on, clinical trials anywhere in the world, continued to win major customers this year as Nestle Research Centre and Quintiles both selected it to assist with clinical trials.
CBNL expands into eight new markets
Cambridge Broadband Networks (www.cbnl.com), the global leader in the development and deployment of next generation multipoint microwave networks, completed a strong twelve months with a $5.6m order from MTN in Nigeria. CBNL has expanded into eight new markets in 2012; the company’s VectaStar multipoint microwave technology now serves operators in 36 countries. The company’s success has established multipoint microwave as a key technology for developed and emerging markets alike.
Forescout’s strategic alliances grow
Forescout Technologies Inc. (www.forescout.com), a leading provider of automated security control products, built on an already-impressive series of alliances by deepening collaboration with McAfee as the company’s preferred network access control platform for existing and prospective customers; joining IBM’s Security Intelligence Partner Program; and working with RSA to optimise security access, compliance and log management processes. In October, Forescout launched its CounterACT7, a new product enabling commercial enterprises and government agencies to achieve continuous network access and endpoint compliance, while upholding end-user experience and critical operations.
GreenRoad launches world’s first smartphone driver performance service for fleet drivers
Driver safety company, GreenRoad (www.greenroad.com), launched the world’s first smartphone fleet management driver performance service in October. GreenRoad Smartphone Edition uses smartphone native functionality, including GPS and built-in accelerometers, to eliminate the need for professionally installed telematics devices in vehicles. Over 70,000 drivers worldwide now use GreenRoad devices, saving fuel and reducing accidents.
Qinec moves premises, wins first customers and attracts new funding
In November, Amadeus and Archimedia completed a funding round totalling £1.6 million in Qinec (www.qinec.com), an early stage web-based medical practice management business. By streamlining processes such as appointment booking, patient record-keeping, prescribing and billing, Qinec’s powerful cloud-hosted software platform offers outpatient medical care providers the opportunity to improve patient care and deliver significant cost savings. Qinec has moved to new premises, won its first major customer and established a partnership with a US healthcare provider. The company will now be expanding the team and developing its products.
Linkdex attracts new funding
At the end of the year, Amadeus led a £1.6m financing of rapidly-growing online data business, Linkdex (www.linkdex.com), alongside a number of Angel investors. Linkdex has evolved from being a successful search engine optimisation platform to become the market leader in online Influence Tracking, adding to its products data that provide an edge to PR advisers.
Our congratulations to the many companies in the portfolio that have won awards in 2012. They include:
AePONA (www.aepona.com), whose API Monetisation Platform was named the best Mobile Cloud Enabler in the Best of 4G Awards at 4G World in Chicago.
Edgeware’s (www.edgewaretv.com) Convoy VDN System attracted the judges’ special recognition in Broadband Technology Report’s diamond awards and was shortlisted in the Society for Broadband Professionals’ (SCTE) 2012 Technology Innovation Awards. Edgeware specialises in distributed video delivery systems that enable operators to monetise content.
Forescout Technologies (www.forescout.com), won several awards for its new CounterACT product, most notably Computing Security’s Network Access Solution of the Year, Network Solutions Guide’s Best Network Access Control award and SC Magazine’s 2012 Reader Trust award for the company with the best network access control product. Finally, for the second year in a row, Gartner recognised ForeScout’s leadership and ascent in the Network Access Control market standings. The 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for NAC – a market Gartner predicts will grow 63% in 2013 – shows only two market leaders now: Cisco and Forescout.
Nomad Digital, provider of IP-based communications to the transport sector
(www.nomadrail.com) and Unruly, the global technology platform for social media advertising
(www.unrulymedia.com), ranked #7 and #10 respectively in the 2012 Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100, a ranking of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies.
Nyx Security (www.nyxsecurity.com) won ‘Security Company of the Year’ in the Swedish Security Awards 2012.
Openbravo (www.openbravo.com) won InfoWorld’s award for best open source ERP software – for the fourth year in a row. Unruly also came in at #2 in the Deloitte 2012 UK Fast 50 and was named one of OnMedia’s 20 ‘Ones to Watch’.
And finally, Robbie Hughes, CEO of Qinec, and Pablo Gravier, CEO of TrialReach, both featured in the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK 100 list of CEOs of young companies with the potential to reach £100m turnover in the next five years.
Engaging with the wider world:
Anne Glover leads EVCA’s Venture Capital Council in presenting the case to policy-makers for an EU regulatory regime that is appropriate both for venture funds and for innovative, high-growth companies. As part of her work in this field, Anne joined the eleven-member European Research and Innovation Area Board, established in September by The European Commission to advise the Commission on research and innovation issues.
Richard Anton completed his year as BVCA Chairman at the end of March (see his speech at the Chairman’s dinner http://www.bvca.co.uk/home/Home-for-launch/features/RichardAntonsSpeechtotheBVCAChairmansDinner). In January, the BVCA will publish research he commissioned as Chairman from the LSE, in which the determinants of success in venture investing are analysed.
In April, Hermann Hauser was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society, in recognition of his role as a science entrepreneur. The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. Fellows, who are elected for life on the basis of scientific excellence, have included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, James Watson and Stephen Hawking. Today’s Fellows and Foreign Members include over 80 Nobel Laureates.