Bookham founder launches €100m tech fund

Angel investors the Rickman brothers have launched a €100m fund for investment in UK technology companies.

Led by Andrew Rickman, founder of optical components group Bookham, and his brother Robert, a former director at fund manager FIM Services, the Rockley Group is looking for a €50m first close for its new fund in the summer and is sounding out institutional investors and high net worth individuals for backing.

Led by the newly launched Rockley Fund Managers team, the Rockley Follow-On Fund will invest in established globally-minded UK-based technology businesses operating in the areas of energy, sustainability, ICT, mew media, data management and healthcare.

Chairman Dr Andrew Rickman, 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.”

It will invest between €5m and €15m per deal, targeting companies with strong cash flow potential and with business models that ensures that are able to take advantage of the global economic crisis. Investments will be made as development capital and through the purchase of secondary shares where existing shareholders need liquidity.

A sister fund is also on the cards, with a focus on overseas technology companies. Both funds will sit alongside the existing four in the Rockley Group’s portfolio. As well as managing another venture capital fund – investment period from 2004 to 2008 – it also manages three funds from Oxford Ventures.