The buyout was led by Cambridge-based venture capitalists Nigel Brown, Ed Stacey, Max Bautin and Kerry Baldwin. The firm has taken with it three funds, IQ Capital Fund I and two seed funds – GEIF Ventures and COIN – bringing the total under management to £35m.
In a statement, the new firm said it will be distinguished by “its unique relationships with ‘IQ Angels’, private investors with strong industry expertise, who can dedicate significant time, investment and expertise in supporting investments alongside IQCP.”
Bautin, a founder partner of IQCP who has been at NW Brown for five years building up the seed business, said: “Ed, Kerry, Nigel and I are delighted to have had this unique opportunity to bring all our expertise together to create a venture capital house with a distinct focus and investment philosophy. Between us we share experience of helping well over 50 technology companies grow through early and later stages of their development. A key element in this is investing and working alongside ‘IQ Angels’, who we know from experience make a huge difference in helping investments by utilising their sector specific experience and contacts.”
The firm will operate the very small end of the market, offering funding from £100,000 upwards, mainly to early-stage technology companies, with an upper limited of £3m per investee business. The current portfolio includes Shortfuze, Spikes Cavell, OnRelay and 25 seed investments.
Chairman of IQCP Nigel Brown said: “We have been working together for several years and have many venture capital successes behind us. I have made the decision to step back and take a more active role in this new business, which I feel has the perfect blend of experience, energy and opportunity. I am looking forward to building a VC business which can really service nascent technology businesses whilst delivering excellent returns to investors.”
In April 2006, IQ Capital became the first fund manager to be awarded funds under the UK government-sponsored Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) initiative. It was awarded £16.7m, after raising £8.3m from its members (the scheme pays on a 2:1 basis up to a maximum of £25m) bringing the total funds available for investment to £25m.