We reveal the shortlist for the Best Venture Investment category for this year’s Growing Business Awards…
- SEP: Gigle: Semi-conductor firm Gigle was founded in 2005 by Juan Carlos Riveiro. Scottish Equity Partners invested in the business two years later (when Gigle was still pre-revenue) and led a $20m funding round, with partner Stuart Paterson (a founder investor in Wolfson Microelectronics) joining the board as a non-executive director. Scottish Equity Partners helped Gigle to launch its first chip (the world’s first Gigabit product) in 2009 and grow its US presence. The company was sold to Broadcom Corporation for $83m at the end of 2010.
- SEP: Zeus Technology: Scottish Equity Partners first invested in Cambridge-based Zeus Technology in 2005, stumping up £2m in return for a third of the business. Scottish Equity Partners helped to upgrade the executive team, bringing in Michele Fitzpatrick (formerly of Oracle) as chairman and Jim Darragh (formerly of Computer Associates) as chief executive. By the time Zeus Technology was bought by US-based IT firm Riverbed Technology in July 2011 for $140m (a revenue multiple ten times projected current year revenues), its products were being used by more than 1,500 customers worldwide – including Amazon, Virgin Media and the BBC.
- YFM Equity Partners: GO Outdoors: GO Outdoors is an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer with a chain of 30 out-of-town superstores nationwide. YFM Equity Partners backed the company in 1998 to buy its very first store and has turned its initial £500,000 investment into £6m – realised this year through the sale of a minority stake to 3i – and a residual shareholding worth £10m. GO Outdoors now employs 700 people, pulls in sales of £130m and plans to open another ten stores over the next year.
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