Fund in Focus – Symvan’s SEIS and EIS Technology Funds

Symvan Capital

Introduction

The UK has never had a problem with innovation, punching well above its weight in terms of inventions and university research. However – and this is only slightly facetious – it is also the country that invented both the computer and the world wide web and didn’t commercialise either of them.

Symvan Capital rather immodestly believe they can help to address this tragic imbalance, through investing in and nurturing technology companies that have not been well served by either the tax-efficient market or by the traditional venture capital industry.

Symvan are investment return evangelists, not product evangelists. Yet it is the development of exciting technology products and services that lead to remarkable growth and high exit values, leading to outstanding investor returns. And all of this is provided in an environment characterised by transparency and authenticity.

Background

Symvan Capital has been operating since 2013, but most of the principals have been involved with technology investing since the early 1990s. The Symvan team and the Fund’s Investment Committee have a breadth of experience that is unusual in early stage technology investing in the UK.

Rob Bird is a leading global expert and practitioner in big data science and artificial intelligence. Kealan Doyle and Nicholas Nicolaides each have over 20 years in technology investment and capital markets experience. Julian Sampson is a highly experienced compliance professional with a deep understanding of the regulatory framework. The team brings considerable experience and judgement to the task, with expertise on Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, company valuations, due diligence and the ability to mentor growth companies.

Proposition

The ‘asset-backed’ EIS market officially dies this week, leading to investors seeking growth managers who know what they are doing. If you have not “done your 10,000 hours”, you have no business running other people’s money.

Symvan intend to return £2.85 for every £1 invested over a 5/6-yeartime period. But they believe this is probably a conservative estimate.

Symvan do not charge investors any fees, meaning that investors receive 100% tax relief on a £100 investment, as opposed to circa 90% tax relief in much of the industry.

Investors will have access to a portfolio of companies who all have the potential to disrupt specific industry verticals and make outsized investment gains.

News

1. Award Winning

Symvan have won a number of best fund manager awards in recent years, but not this year. In fact, they came a very close second to winning Best SEIS fund manager at the Growth Investor Awards once again and would have won except the winner’s ‘performance’ figures were stronger. Ironically, Symvan have two upcoming exits in the next few weeks which would have alleviated that issue altogether.

2. Two exits

The Symvan technology portfolio will witness two exits during Spring 2018, and the first one involves previous Kuber investors who invested into Symvan’s EIS fund.  The first company is being wholly acquired by an Insurance Tech company. It is an all-paper transaction which will make us a 3 x return for our investors who invested in mid-2014, which is not a bad return in 3.5 years. Moreover, the Buyer has a Series B European institutional investor lined up at a valuation that is 4 times the current valuation in September 2018, which would make it more like a 12 x in six months’ time. Sadly, there are no more investments to be made into this company, but existing investors should be very pleased.

The second exit involves a seriously dynamic cyber-security company (watch out Darktrace), and they will be doing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ stock exchangebefore June 2018. They are told that the ticker will be ‘REDL.’The lead underwriter is Hambrecht & Quist, the San Francisco technology investment bank who underwrote the IPOs for Apple, Genentech, Adobe, Netscape and Amazon amongst others. Not too many EIS fund managers have had NASDAQ IPO exits I would be willing to bet!

3. Four Due Diligence reports

Symvan have reports available from Allenbridge, MICAP and Hardman.

If you are interested in further information about Symvan Capital EIS or SEIS, please contact us on on info@kuber.uk.com or +44 (0) 20 7952 6685.