Sure Ventures plc (‘Sure Ventures’ or ‘the Company’)
Portfolio Update Q1 2020 period
Sure Ventures plc, a London listed venture capital fund which invests in early stage software companies in the rapidly growing technology areas of augmented reality (‘AR’), virtual reality (‘VR’), Internet of Things (‘IoT’) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Fintech. We are pleased to provide an update on the Company’s investment portfolio.
SURE VALLEY VENTURES FUND
Sure Ventures made a €7million commitment to Sure Valley Ventures Fund (‘Sure Valley’) representing an interest in Sure Valley of approximately 25.9% (assuming no other funding commitments are made). This commitment was made at a price of €1.00 per share.
Sure Valley has several investments across the fintech, AR, VR and IoT sectors:
VR Education Holdings – http://immersivevreducation.com/
VRE is a ground-breaking developer of Virtual Reality (‘VR’) software and immersive experiences with a specific focus on education and enterprise learning and development. VRE’s core platform is the Engage VR platform that enables educators to develop VR education experiences and enterprises to develop corporate learning and development VR simulations for workplace training.
The company has released five major products to date and has recently signed a commercial agreement with Deutsche Telecom for the launch of a 5G VR device. The current COVID-19 outbreak really has highlighted the use/power of virtual reality for teaching, seminars, business meetings and conferences. This is reflected in the market reaction to VR Education since mid-March.
• Apollo 11 VR: immersivevreducation.com/apollo-11-vr
• Titanic VR: immersivevreducation.com/titanic-vr
• Berlin Blitz: immersivevreducation.com/1943-berlin-blitz
• Engage VR: immersivevreducation.com/engage-platform
• Raid on the Ruhr: https://immersivevreducation.com/raid-on-the-ruhr/
WarDucks – www.warducks.com
Founded by former Facebook employee, Nikki Lannen, WarDucks mission is to build incredible, high quality, fun augmented and virtual reality games. The company has six bestselling titles under its belt, the latest two of which were Top Ten on PlayStation VR. To enable the company to take this product to the market it completed a series A round of €3.284 million in Q1, with new investors EQT investing €2.58 million, Sure Valley following on to maintain it percentage with €453,858.32 and existing investors making up the remaining investment. The transaction completed on the 29th of March 2019. This represented a 4x unrealised uplift in our initial investment.
Nikki and her team received high public praise from Tim Cook (Apple CEO) on the AR game being built and was quoted as saying ” WarDucks set out to create a game with fun, engaging and colourful characters and they nailed it”.
Wia – www.wia.io
WIA is a ground-breaking Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform enabling developers to turn any type of sensor device into a secure, smart and useful application in a matter of minutes. WIA is the easiest and fastest way to link sensors and devices to develop IoT applications. WIA’s end-to-end platform provides full device and application management, security, data capture and storage, analysis, control, as well as launched the seamless integration of enterprise systems. WIA also just launched its own hardware product called the “Dot One” https://www.wia.io/dot-one as an entry level device for first time makers
Cameramatics – www.cameramatics.com
Cameramatics is the leader in CameraMatics solutions for commercial fleets, they deliver products that allow fleet managers to reduce fleet risk, increase driver safety and comply with growing governance and compliance regulations. Cameramatics has merged 4 key technologies: video input systems (cameras and scanners), smart processing systems, communications systems and unique algorithmic IP to deliver intelligent driver and fleet safety systems. To support further growth and USA market entry the company has started meeting investors to lead its series A round which we had expected that to close in Q1, but is now anticipated to close in Q2.
NDRC Arc Labs – http://www.arclabs.ie/
The NDRC@ArcLabs investment was structured as a subscription and as a limited Partner to the Accelerator. The purpose of the Accelerator is source and develop 30 start-ups over two years that Sure Valley has the right to invest in. The Accelerator is running three calls for 10 start-ups over 2 years in areas that are related to the fund’s investment strategy of AR/VR, IoT and AI. As a result of the Accelerator’s programme significantly overlapping with the Fund’s investment areas we see this Accelerator being a source of proprietary deal flow.
Nova Leah is the leader in cyber security for connected medical devices and is an IoT investment by Sure Valley Ventures. Nova Leah sells directly to the top medical device manufactures typically in Boston, MA and the west coast of the USA. The company’s first product SelectEvidence helps medical device manufacturers identify and address cyber-security issues throughout the manufacturing and release process of their connected medical devices. Sure Valley Ventures invested 750K euros in the company for 10.62% of the business fully diluted. Anita Finnegan (CEO) is happy with progress and Nova Leah is now working with 6 of the world largest medical device manufacturers.
Admix has developed what is called a Supply-Side Platform (SSP) which enables developers to monetize their content by creating, managing and sell advertising inventory. Being an SSP, Admix is a broker that sells developers (think WarDucks) inventory programmatically at scale. Being programmatic automatizes the buying/selling process. Admix enables, for the first time, VR/AR inventory to become immediately available to thousands of advertisers connected to the existing ecosystem, which provides VR/AR developers with instant revenue. The company completed a Series A funding round to scale their platform announced on April the 15th at a 4.5x uplift from the seed round where Sure Valley Ventures originally invested. We followed on with a further £443K pounds in the institutional led investment round.
VividQ is a deep tech software company with world-leading expertise in 3D holography: the next generation display technology. Holography has long been considered the ultimate display technology. The science fiction ideal of engineering and manipulating light to produce 3D projections appealed to the imagination of millions through franchises such as Star Wars or Star Trek. Holography overcomes these issues, and paves the way for immersive 3D without the need for glasses at all. VividQ disrupts existing ways of creating 3D images, such as stereo or autostereo-display, to power the next generation of holographic VR headsets, AR smart glasses, and automotive head-up displays. Sure Valley Ventures invested £500K in preference shares at a pre-money valuation of £6.5m for a total stake of 5.23% fully diluted. Sure Ventures have invested alongside Fluxunit and UTEC and adoption of the technology is accelerating, announcing partnerships with Himax and Compound Photonics, with a strong pipeline developing with some of the world’s leading and well-known brands.
Ambisense’s Ambilytics™ platform optimises the delivery of environmental risk assessment on some of the world’s largest infrastructure projects across industrial, Oil & Gas and Waste Management verticals, partnering with global multinationals such as CEMEX, SGS & Arcadis. Ambilytics™ encompasses both IoT and AI solutions, combining information from remotely deployed field devices with contextual data sources such as weather, satellite, geophysical and operational data to build machine learning models.
Ambisense were awarded a contract supporting Highways England in the planned Lower Thames Crossing project. The project is the largest single biggest road infrastructure project since the M25 was completed more than 30 years ago.
GetVisibility was established on the 31st August 2017 by Ronan Murphy and Mark Brosnan. The Co-founder and CEO, Ronan Murphy worked as a C-level executive in the Cybersecurity industry since 2005. He is widely regarded as an expert in the field. Ronan has acted as a strategic advisor to many publicly traded organisations on improving their cybersecurity posture and worked with IBM on the first IBM’s Watson for Cybersecurity deployment globally.
The company has developed and launched a software platform called GetVisibility targeting this data security sector. This software delivers visibility over unstructured data, e.g. Word documents or pdfs, for enterprises, by automatically, accurately and precisely scanning and classifying the data to a corporate taxonomy using artificial intelligence (AI) at scale (NLP and Neural Networks).
Investments made directly by Sure Ventures plc:
Immotion PLC (‘Immotion’), is a UK based company that creates its own high-quality VR content and enhances the immersive experience by coupling this content with motion simulation. Sure Ventures made a £500,000 investment in February 2018. Immotion’s Q1 trading update released on the 15th of January to showed a strong pace of headset deployment, with 93 headsets to be installed by the end of Q1. They have installed their out of home headsets in the London Sea life centre on the South Bank and numerous aquariums and entertainment sites. The company had forecast EBITDA breakeven at or around the end of Q1 and its pipeline was strong. The Covid-19 outbreak has of course hit their model hard as stated in its trading update released on the 11th of March 2020. The management team are taking steps to cut costs and ensure working capital requirements are met.
In addition to the Sure Valley Ventures stake of £500K, Sure Ventures has also made a direct investment into VividQ of £500k at the recommendation of the AIFM. The board identified the opportunity as a suitable and complimentary investment for Sure Ventures and agreed that this was an exciting deep technology company that could have developed a solution that changes the way that people view content in 3D. Holography could be the next generation of display technology and the types of companies that are early stage adopters of VividQ’s software offers shareholders and exciting opportunity. We remain excited about the progress being made here and anticipate that 2020 could be a transformational year for the company.
Sure Ventures Director, Gareth Burchell said, “We remain pleased and positive about the progress made by the AIFM this quarter. The market volatility and outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted businesses all over the globe both big and small. Immotion PLC is a business model that has been significantly affected by trading conditions, but the price improvement in VR Education and the uplift achieved by the closing of the Admix Series A has largely offset this fall. We also welcome GetVisibility to the portfolio, which is an exciting and deep technology play in the cybersecurity space. We are pleased that the portfolio as a whole has been resilient to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in and this gives us confidence in the future performance of this diversified portfolio”