New Technology Investment Group is launched
2nd March 2009
Andrew and Robert Rickman, who have established a track record as ‘super angel’ investors that back high growth, technology companies, have announced that they are launching a new technology funding group. Rockley Group is currently raising a €100 million fund that will offer investors unparalleled access to high quality investment opportunities in growing technology ncompanies located mainly in the UK but which have a global reach.
Investment management will be carried out by the Rockley Fund Managers team, led by Dr Andrew Rickman, Founder and former CEO of Bookham Inc, world No 2 in optical components,
and chairman of venture backed companies in the UK, USA and China, and his brother Robert, a director of listed and unlisted companies worldwide, and previously a director at regulated specialist fund manager FIM Services Ltd.
The other core members of the Rockley Fund Managers team are also successful entrepreneurs and venture professionals with substantial experience as business managers, investors and fund managers across a range of technology sectors. They include: John Laurie, Founder of Oxford Ventures Group, the original lead investor in Sophos plc, and chairman of a number of technology companies in the UK, USA and China; and John Scott, who has senior fund
management experience with Oxford Ventures, British Technology Group and Strategic Capital Corporation and in both CEO and CFO roles within venture backed companies.
The Rockley Fund Managers team is initially raising a €100 million fund, with a first close of €50 million planned for this summer that will be backed by institutional investors and high net worth individuals.
Known as the Rockley Follow-On Fund, it will have a remit to invest in established, high quality technology companies in the UK that are well-placed to weather the recession. The Fund will focus on the Energy, Sustainability, ICT, New Media, Data Management and Healthcare sectors and invest around €5m to €15m per deal. The Fund will exclusively target companies with strong cash flow potential and business models built to deliver exceptional competitive advantage through the current global recession and beyond. Investments will be made as development capital and through the purchase of secondary shares where existing shareholders need liquidity.
Rockley Group is also planning to raise a complementary sister fund to focus on investments in technology companies with a proven track record which are located overseas.
The Rockley Group and its associated networks of investors can already offer access to a home-grown portfolio of thriving technology companies that are classic examples of the prime investment opportunities which are attractive to fund investors. The investors involved with the Group and its associated networks have personally developed the portfolio companies from the start-up stage into stable, valuable businesses that are now closing major commercial contracts and rapidly scaling up with profitable business models.
Dr Andrew Rickman, Chairman of Rockley Fund Managers, said: “The focus of Rockley Group is on growing companies that operate in large and timely markets. We will back technology based business that represent great investment opportunities but also allow us to unlock hidden value which we can share with our investment funds and partners.
“The diverse international experience of our Rockley Fund Managers team has enabled us to develop opportunities throughout the world and our technology investment strategies provide us with extraordinary deal flow quality. Our businesses address global and expanding markets including energy extraction and efficiency, ICT, new media, data handling, human health and safety.”
Robert Rickman, Managing Partner at Rockley Fund Managers, said: “We have been delighted by the enthusiastic response from prospective investors who are attracted by Rockley Group’s ability to provide access to high quality, stable investment opportunities in the technology sector.
We have chosen to focus on substantial opportunities driven by trends in the marketplace, where we and our associates have knowledge, experience and worldwide contacts. We are on track to achieve a first close of €50 million during the summer.”
The Rockley Group portfolio includes such rising stars as Shandong Micro-Sensor Photonics, China, which provides fibre optic sensor systems and services to the energy sector. The company’s clients include major coal, oil and power producers. The sensors are used in the coal mining industry to improve safety. They are also applied in the oil and gas industry to improve well extraction efficiency and in electrical power generation to optimise load efficiency. New markets to monitor CO2 sequestration and capture methane from coal mines are also emerging.
In the UK, the portfolio includes Spikes Cavell, the leading provider of data-driven spend management and sourcing solutions to the UK public sector. The company manages and maintains the Spikes Cavell Observatory - an online database containing the enhanced expenditure data of almost 600 local authorities, universities, colleges, central and government departments, police forces and other public sector bodies nationwide. Spikes Cavell data, tools and analysis enable the public sector to reduce costs, improve operational performance, trackcompliance, increase opportunities for collaboration and measure the environmental impact of spend in the supply chain,
Another portfolio company, Kotura Inc, LA, USA, is the world’s leading producer of silicon photonic circuits, which are used in fibre optic communication and sensing systems by telecom system manufacturers and computer companies. There is a high level of demand for the integration of optics facilitated by silicon photonics, which Kotura is in a unique position to satisfy. The company has secured a $14 million contract with Sun Microsystems to develop a next generation computer optical backplane. Sun intends to use the silicon photonics technology to speed up computer processors, dramatically improving performance and reducing power consumption.
For more details of portfolio companies, please refer to the Editors Notes.
Notes for Editors
Press enquiries to Margaret Henry, PR Consultant, Rockley Group.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 811199 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo available on request
The Rockley Fund Managers team: Dr Andrew Rickman; John Laurie; Robert Rickman and John Scott.
1. About Rockley Group
Rockley Group specialises in co-founding, growing and developing technology based businesses focused on large and timely markets. Our motivation is to build valuable companies that contribute to global sustainability and the improvement of human well-being through the effective use of technology.
Rockley Group invests in and manages a portfolio of investment funds and companies. Our businesses address global markets including energy extraction and efficiency, ICT, new media, data handling, human health and safety.
For more information: www.rockleygroup.com
2. About Rockley Fund Managers
Investment management for Rockley Group is carried out by Rockley Fund Managers. The firm is in the process of seeking FSA authorization.
The Group focuses on the following sectors of major growth markets to provide the best conjunction of economic drivers, opportunity and the expertise of the Rockley Team.
• Energy – focused on technologies for extraction, transportation and utilisation efficiency eg sensors, low power technologies.
• Sustainability – technologies that enhance value from agro-industrial by-products, environmental technologies.
• ICT – technologies to lower power consumption and increase speed New Media
- ‘building new billboards’ eg mobile client applications and linear TV targeted advertising.
• Data Management - data handling and security have been identified as key areas where superior technology allows the rapid establishment of a dominant market share. In the public sector, the joint pressures of budgetary constraint and the need for accountability provide a major business opportunity.
• Healthcare - imaging and software based medical diagnostic equipment provide defensible business models and moderate development costs. Novel applications of new technologies can produce breakthrough solutions to previously intractable problems.
3. About The Rockley Group portfolio
The Rockley Group portfolio includes the following technology companies:
AIT specialises in the manufacture of interconnection products based on the pattern plating of copper onto ceramic. It works with each of its customers to extend the technology and, in doing so, cost effective solutions to demanding requirements are developed and then taken into production.
Antex is a leading manufacturer of traditional and advanced soldering equipment and solutions for a range of markets, ranging from the professional, the DIY enthusiast and the hobby craft market.
Blue Whale Mail is a software company that delivers affordable Blackberry-like email and social network messaging on existing mobile phones for both consumers and corporates. The service is supported by advertising. The company has partnered with a leading provider of media services.
Emerald Gas is a company that commercialises stranded gas resources using compressed natural gas technology (CNG). This enables the cost effective and environmentally beneficial local use of gas from oil-well flares, remote resources and coal bed methane as a substitute for fuel oil in electricity generation, industrial and domestic use.
Firecomms creates optical communication products for consumer electronics applications.
The company is a leading supplier of components for high speed home entertainment and computer networking.
Green Biologics is an industrial biotech company that produces advanced fermentation technologies which convert waste by-products (eg molasses from sugar refineries and pulp from paper mills) to renewable chemicals and sustainable fuels, such as butanol.
NDSL is a global provider of battery monitoring solutions. Its CELLWATCH monitoring system is used on some of the world’s most critical computer systems by companies such as Citibank, Schering Plough, GlaxoSmithKline, TeleCity, Shell, Globix, EDS as well as in UK and US government installations.
Novarix is a healthcare company, which is developing a portable, infra-red, real-time vein viewing device to aid the process of first time cannulation. The device reduces infection risk and improves patient welfare.
Oxitec is a developer of environment-friendly techniques to control insect pests that are damaging in agriculture and public health. The company has partnered with the Malaysian health authorities and is supported by the Gates Foundation.
Oxsensis produces optical instrumentation and sensor systems for high efficiency aeroplane and car engines.
Packet Vision is a new media company that is the pioneer of advanced video advertising. Their service enables broadcasters and network operators to increase advertising revenues through targeted advertising over IPTV (internet protocol television). Packet Vision carried out the world’s first IPTV targeted advertising trial with Channel 4 over the INUK IPTV network in late 2007.
Secerno is an Oxford University spin-out company that has developed a new kind of intelligent information security platform. Its technology provides dynamic protection around digital assets, such as vital databases, without increasing processing overhead or interrupting the flow of business.
Suntech Medical designs and manufactures ambulatory blood pressure monitoring systems for both its own brand and OEMs. It is a global business with offices in the UK, US and China.
Virus Bulletin is an online magazine which is a source of independent intelligence about computer viruses that is viewed as an indispensable reference source for ICT professionals concerned with the prevention, detection and removal of computer viruses and spam.
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