Rockley Group press release
11th May 2009
Rockley Group announces $100 million fund and major initiative to support companies driving sustainable development in China
Rockley Group, the technology funding group led by Andrew and Robert Rickman, has signed an agreement with the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation and the Shandong Academy of Sciences to raise a $100 million fund and work together on a major new initiative to further develop the enterprise environment in Shandong Province, China. Shandong is China’s second largest provincial economy and a leading industrial and manufacturing region with a population of almost 94 million.
The Rockley Group, with support from its partners, will establish the fund and associated advisory and investment management business based in Jinan, Shandong. The partners have already committed 20% of the fund, with 10% committed by the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation and 10% coming from Rockley Group.
The Rockley Shandong team will assist the Shandong Academy of Sciences (SDAS) with spinning out and developing technology businesses and will work closely to provide development capital, management expertise and globally sourced technology, in collaboration with the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation (SDHTIC).
The Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation (SDHTIC) - the high technology venture fund which is wholly owned by the Shandong provincial government and has taken four companies to IPO since its foundation in 2000 - will provide access to development capital, deal flow and advice on regulatory issues.
Complementary technology management and further investment opportunities will also be sourced from Rockley Group, which has a substantial portfolio of high quality technology companies in the UK, USA and China and will also advise on investments and optimising exit opportunities. The Shandong Academy of Sciences (SDAS), the province’s leading scientific organisation encompassing 12 research and development institutes, will provide access to spin-out companies and specialist technical evaluation.
Rockley Group is currently finalising the appointment of a prominent entrepreneur as chief executive officer to lead the fund management team it has assembled in Jinan, Shandong. Rockley has also identified other Shandong-based partners.
The Rockley Shandong team will focus on investments in and support for established technology companies in the Energy, Sustainability, ICT, Healthcare and Industrial sectors as well as firms in the Media and Financial Services sector. Target companies will have strong cash generation potential and/or the likelihood of a major liquidity event within a two to five years horizon. At the same time these businesses will align with the add-value assistance the Rockley Shandong team can provide.
Speaking at the official signing ceremony for the initiative held in Jinan, Shandong Province, Dr Andrew Rickman, Chairman of Rockley Group, said: “We are delighted to be working with two such prestigious partners as the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation and the Shandong Academy of Sciences and pleased that they have agreed to commit capital and resources to this exciting initiative.
“There is continuing strong demand for sustainable, technological solutions to support economic growth in China. Through the Rockley Shandong initiative, our investors will have unique access to very high quality deal flow from growing, technology companies with products and services to meet that significant demand in China and beyond.
“More broadly, together with our partners, we will be contributing significant expertise and resources to support the development of an advanced enterprise environment in Shandong. This combination makes the initiative a very compelling investment opportunity and should also result in real lifestyle improvements, wealth and jobs for the region.”
Mr Li Gongchen, General Manager of Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation, said: “We are pleased to partner with Rockley Group and SDAS and to make a significant commitment to support the initiative. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that the initiative is a great success and delivers good returns for investors and real economic development benefits for Shandong Province.”
Mr Di Jiang, Vice President of Shandong Academy of Sciences, said: “We are delighted to participate in the Rockley Shandong enterprise and fund management business. The sector focus is aligned to Chinese and world growth markets and the partners’ experience. We are pleased to provide access to high quality, spin-out companies with proven technologies that are addressing expanding markets, important for the sustainable economic development of China.”
Rockley Group, its partners and networks of investors already offer access to a portfolio of 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 networks have personally developed the portfolio companies from the start-up stage into stable, valuable businesses that are closing major commercial contracts and rapidly scaling profitable business models.
The Rockley Group portfolio includes such rising stars as Shandong Micro-Sensor Photonics, China, a spin-out from the Shandong Academy of Sciences, 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.
Another portfolio company, Green Biologics (GBL), is an industrial biotech company that produces advanced fermentation technologies which convert waste by-products (eg molasses from sugar refineries) to renewable chemicals and sustainable fuels, in particular butanol. GBL is working with existing bio-butanol producers to take its technology into existing facilities and has a technical collaboration agreement with the Energy Research Institute, Shandong Academy of Sciences (SDERI), for the production of bio-butanol with a particular focus on the use of waste cellulosic feedstock to produce the low cost sustainable bio-fuels of the future. The agreement involves the transfer of GBL’s advanced technology into a purpose built pilot facility at SDERI’s research centre in Jinan, Shandong.
Apart from technical collaboration on the use of cellulosic feedstock, the pilot facility is also serving as a local commercial demonstrator to support the marketing of GBL’s advanced technology to Chinese bio-butanol producers and GBL has recently signed a letter of intent for a strategic partnership with a Chinese producer.
Emerald Gas is a UK company that commercialises stranded gas resources using compressed natural gas technology (CNG). This enables the cost effective and environmentally beneficially local use of gas from oil well flares, remote resources and coal bed methane as a substitute for fuel oil in electricity generation, for industrial and domestic use. Shandong Province has significant oil and gas reserves.
For more details of portfolio companies, please refer to the Editors Notes.
Press enquiries to Margaret Henry, PR Consultant, Rockley Group.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 811199 Email: email@example.com
Photo available on request
At the official signing ceremony for the Rockley Shandong enterprise initiative in Jinan, Shandong Province:
L-R: Mr Di Jiang (Vice President, Shandong Academy of Sciences); Dr Andrew Rickman (Chairman, Rockley Group) and Mr Li Gongchen (General Manager, Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation).
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.
The Group also operates the Rockley Follow-on Fund, a €100 million fund that will focus on investments in technology companies in the UK.
For more information: www.rockleygroup.com
2. About the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation
Founded in 2000, the Shandong High-Tech Investment Corporation (SDHTIC) is wholly owned by the Shandong Provincial Government. The Corporation’s focuses on investments in the electronics, IT, biologics and engineering sectors and has invested over $200 million in 30 companies. SDHTIC was named top domestic venture capital company in 2003 and 2004.
3. About the Shandong Academy of Sciences
Founded in 1979, the Shandong Academy of Sciences (SDAS) is the leading scientific organisation in Shandong Province with over 2,000 staff. It encompasses 12 institutes that focus on research and development in marine instrumentation, lasers, automation, materials, renewable energies, bioengineering and agricultural and information technologies. To date, SDAS has successfully spun out around 60 high tech companies.
For more information: http://www.sdas.org/sdaseng/index.htm
4. About Rockley Shandong Fund Managers
Investment management for the Rockley Shandong Fund will be carried out by Rockley Shandong Fund Managers. The firm is in the process of seeking authorization.
The team focuses on the following sectors of major growth markets:
• 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 and retro-fit to existing facilities
• ICT – technologies to lower power consumption and increase speed
• 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.
• Industrial – technologies to deliver cost and efficiency advantages eg advanced sensor systems based manufacturing; sensor systems to improve health and safety.
• Media and Financial Services – targeted advertising, pension products, software driven innovation.
5. 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, in particular butanol.
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.
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 current focus is on the control of Dengue Fever. 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.
Spikes Cavell is 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, track compliance, increase opportunities for collaboration and measure the environmental impact of spend in the supply chain.
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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