Esprit officially launched on the back of Newham investment

It finally hits officialdom (as in VentureWire): the Caz/Prelude merger results in Esprit Capital Partners, to be headed by Simon Cook, to whom I will be talking to tomorrow.

Simon Cook, chief executive of Esprit, said the new fund will manage Cazenove’s vintage 2000 Cazenove New Access Europe Fund of GBP234 million ($442 million) and the roughly GBP50 million ($94 million) under capital from the Prelude Trust PLC, giving the new firm a capitalization of about GBP284 million ($536 million).

Great site, I was particularly amused by the background picture on this page.  Nice one Simon ;-)  Amadeus team, when is your site revamp due ?  Esprit also boasts  a fellow VC blogger, MC Nic "The E Kicker".

The site puts forward the following exits:

"We have had great success with KVS (sold to Veritas for $225m), Alphamosaic (sold to Broadcom for $123m), Fillfactory (sold to Cypress Semi for $100m), DRI (sold to Invitrogen for $60m) and Blackspider (sold to Surfcontrol for $40m)."

New deals include Xanadu Wireless B.V and Newnham Technology, which Simon chose to highlight in his VentureWire interview. Martin Gibson led the Series A on Newnham.  Newnham’s product is the NIVO (Network In Video Out) which essentially enables a display to become a networked device, much like a printer.  Besides the typically hardcore Cambridge innovation and difficult spelling, the company is interesting for a number of reasons:

  • Founders include Quentin Stafford-Fraser of webcam fame (the legendary trojan room coffee pot) and Martin King, the man behind T9 predictive texting.  They know a thing or two about making a technology into a market standard…
  • New CEO is Hamid Farzaneh, second in command at Genesis Microchip, which he was instrumental into turning into the dominant display silicon vendor. 
  • … and they got a deal with Kensington to make Dell’s next gen docking stations a reality (shipping today)

UPDATE: I do commentary not breaking news but should have linked to this nice coverage of Newnham and ECP at a:c who were kind enough to help my readership grow.


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