‘A Chat with Bruce Beckloff, CEO at Early-Stage DeepTech Investor: Bloc Ventures’. Bruce is featured in TechRound this week, sharing some of the key focus areas of Bloc and how we support deep tech companies as they take products to market. It was first published on techround.co.uk

The full article can be found here.

‘Investors seek to profit from groundbreaking ‘generative AI’ start-ups. OpenAI’s ChatGPT is part of a rise in sophisticated computer programs that have driven a surge of venture capital interest’

David Leftley was featured in the Financial Times commenting on the rise of generative AI and how it could impact the future of technology as we know it. He specifically commented on the impact of AI on carbon emissions: “We are in a world where companies are chasing net zero [carbon emissions], and the luxury of having chatbots we can talk to through AI is burning a hole through the earth in a data centre.”

The full article can be found here.

We’re so excited to welcome Dr Alisa Molotova to the Bloc Ventures investment team. She is based in Cambridge and will help us discover new deep tech entrepreneurs looking for a specialist investor with Arm and computing as a core part of its DNA.

Alisa has been working in deep science and technology since studying genetics at University of Glasgow (placement as an engineer at GSK) and then completing her PhD (sponsored by Wellcome Trust) in Stem Cell Neuroscience at University of Cambridge, researching at the intersection of biology and physics.

Whilst studying, Alisa became Head of Commercial Strategy at a deep tech startup named Labstep, where she led their business development strategy on their mission to simplify and accelerate scientific discovery. Following her time at Labstep, Alisa moved into the investment world, looking for early-stage technology companies to back on behalf of the investment arm of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge Enterprise).

She focused primarily on Pre-seed and Seed stage investment opportunities, working on all stages of the investment process (including technical due diligence, legal negotiation and board governance), whilst building a strong network in the Cambridge ecosystem. She also organised and judged startup competitions, represented the University in raising a new social innovation fund and mentored underrepresented venture capital candidates to create a fairer and more diverse industry, through Diversity VC.

Alisa then joined Marshall Aerospace and Defence and their newly established in-house accelerator called Marshall Futureworx as a Business Development Executive. As part of the senior management team, she worked on strategic innovation projects and took the lead in developing business cases for investment into emerging technologies across space, air, land and sea for both civilian and military applications. Primarily she focused on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), sustainable aviation and energy management.

With experience in business building, world-leading academia, early-stage investing and corporate development, Alisa possesses skills and experience that are core the Bloc DNA and fundamental to the way we operate. Her role at Bloc will be to work alongside our research team to find deep tech investment opportunities and help us grow the Bloc portfolio as we scale.

Alisa commented: “It’s an exciting time for deep tech investing and an equally exciting time to be joining Bloc Ventures on their growth journey. I have always enjoyed working with technologists who are not content with the status quo, and I have found this determination to create change in the Bloc team and the entrepreneurs we back. I’m very excited to get started and start meeting some deep tech companies!”

Outside of her career, Alisa is a registered beekeeper, a keen photographer, long distance runner and speaks four languages. You can meet Alisa and the rest of the Bloc team on 19th May in Cambridge where we’ll be hosting an event titled ‘From PoC to IPO: the journey of a deep tech company’. Sign up here.

Join us on Thursday 19th May at The Bradfield Centre, Cambridge, from 6-9pm.

Description:

This event is designed to provide deep tech founders with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the journey ahead and meet investors or other entrepreneurs that might be able to support them on the way. Brought to you by Bloc VenturesSilicon Valley Bank and The Bradfield Centre.

Agenda:

– 6pm: Arrival and refreshments

– 6.30pm: Welcome from Bruce Beckloff, CEO at Bloc Ventures

– 6.40pm: Getting to Series A stage (Chaired by Dr Alisa Molotova)

Panellists: Miles Kirby (Deeptech Labs); Dr Elaine Loukes (Cambridge Enterprise); Rick Hao (Speedinvest); Dr Lee Thornton (IP Group)

– 7.20pm: Getting to Growth stage and beyond (Chaired by Michael Dimelow)

Panellists: Dr Manjari Chandran-Ramesh (Amadeus Capital); Simon King (Octopus Ventures); David Delfassy (Ahren Innovation Capital); Sonya Iovieno (Silicon Valley Bank); Pete Hutton (Cambridge Angels)

– 8pm: Refreshments and networking

– 9pm: Ends

About:

Bloc Ventures is a deep tech investor with a team made up of technologists with experience building globally successful companies like ARM and Vodafone. Typically we invest at Seed to Series A stage in companies across Europe and Israel, focused on cloud, connectivity, data science and security. Our portfolio includes companies in AI, quantum computing and IoT security. Companies can pitch directly to the Bloc investment team.

Silicon Valley Bank. The Bank of Innovation Economy. Our mission is to increase the probability of our clients’ success, by helping innovators, enterprises, and their investors move bold ideas forward fast. We provide a full range of financial services to companies of all sizes in innovation centres around the world. Learn more about Silicon Valley Bank.

We’re delighted to welcome Max Neuberger to the team, who joins Bloc as General Counsel, as we scale our operations to support fundraising and investment capacity.

Max joins Bloc as the fourth key hire of 2021, adding to a Head of Research, Head of Marketing and Finance Manager joining earlier in the year. Max’s role will be to manage legal, regulatory and company secretarial affairs as the company scales, help raise new capital to support deep tech entrepreneurs across Europe and Israel and drive the IPO readiness in anticipation of a 2023 entry to the public markets.

Max joins us from Virgin Group, where he spent eight years working across the group’s portfolio of assets, from large value corporate transactions involving well-known Virgin businesses, to incubating new Virgin businesses, to participating in venture and growth capital investments. Max studied Economics & Management at Oxford University, following which he side-stepped into law and qualified as a solicitor in the Corporate Division of Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading international law firm. He spent five years there advising clients on public and private M&A and company law matters, before moving to Virgin.

As General Counsel, Max will work across all legal elements of Bloc’s operations, including preparing the company as it considers a potential IPO, implementing financial regulatory processes as the company explores raising new forms of capital and overseeing the contractual arrangements with its portfolio companies through their lifecycles. This adds further strength to the firm’s leadership and management, following Andy Green CBE and Sue Prevezer QC’s appointments as Non-Executive Directors earlier in the year.

Max commented “I’m thrilled to join Bloc at this exciting stage, as it looks to raise and deploy significant amounts of venture capital and become a multi-stage investor across the European deep tech ecosystem. A small, ambitious, and hugely talented team is trying to achieve so much in a short space of time. Joining at this pivotal stage, supporting Bloc’s growth and that of its early-stage investment portfolio, is a challenge I’m relishing.”

In addition to Max, we’ve made three more key permanent hires in 2021. David Pollington joined as Head of Research, to support and supplement Bloc’s investment capabilities and understanding of key areas of innovation globally. Ryan Procter joined as Head of Marketing at the beginning of the year to support Bloc’s pipeline growth, investor relations and support portfolio companies as they scale outbound activity. Finally, Richard Yates joined as Finance Manager, taking over responsibility of accounts, future investment modelling and supporting portfolio companies on financial management.

Digimarc and EVRYTHNG unite to build the world’s most powerful product identification engine with the industry’s most advanced product intelligence cloud platform

BEAVERTON, Ore., Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC), creator of Digimarc watermarks that are driving the next generation of digital identification and detection-based solutions, announced today it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Product Cloud company EVRYTHNG Limited in a stock transaction.

“This acquisition allows us to provide a complete solution set to our customers,” explains Digimarc CEO Riley McCormack. “The best determinant of a technology product’s value is how much of the customer’s problem it can solve. By combining Digimarc’s unique and advanced means of identification with the pioneer and most advanced supplier of product item business intelligence using any means of identification, we are now uniquely positioned to unlock additional solutions for our customers and enhance their Digimarc journey.”

EVRYTHNG is the market leader and pioneered the Product Cloud category, linking every product item to its Active Digital Identity™ on the web and joining-up product data across the value chain for visibility, validation, real time intelligence, and connection with people.

From enabling more sustainable, more transparent, and more secure supply chains to empowering consumers to verify the authenticity of products and recyclability of their packaging, combining Digimarc’s unique means of identification with the EVRYTHNG Product Cloud® makes it possible to gather and apply traceability data from across the product lifecycle, unlocking end-to-end visibility and authenticity through item-level, real-time intelligence and analytics.

“Not only are our product solutions and technology competencies directly complementary and naturally connected,” explains EVRYTHNG CEO & Co-founder Niall Murphy, “but our company values and cultures are deeply aligned, with a focus on executing as a team, committing to audacious goals, and genuine innovation with exceptional talent. We’re excited to join the Digimarc team to meet important customer needs with product data driven solutions.”

The acquisition expands the geographic footprint for both companies. EVRYTHNG, based in London with offices in New York, Beijing, Minsk, and Lausanne is finding much success in North America. Conversely, Digimarc, based in the Portland, Oregon area, has a growing customer base across Europe.

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Andy Green CBE as Senior Independent Director and Sue Prevezer QC as Non-Executive Director as we bolster our board of directors ahead of a potential public offering in the future.

Andy Green CBE spent 22 years at BT in leadership roles including as a board member, four years as CEO of Logica (a £4bn turnover business ahead of its acquisition by CGI in 2021) and five years as a NED at Arm (working with Bloc’s CEO, Bruce Beckloff and CCO, Michael Dimelow in the process). He’s held Chairman or NED roles at multiple global technology organisations and has in-depth experience working with public companies. Andy was awarded a CBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list for services to the Information Technology Sector and to the British Space Industry.

Sue Prevezer QC has over 25 years of experience arguing large complex commercial cases at every level of the UK judicial system and in arbitration, and has sat as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery Division of the High Court. Until recently, Sue spent 12 years as the Co-Managing Partner of London office of Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, where her clients included major corporates, funds, investors, trustees, office holders and high net worth individuals, for whom she managed complex, high value, domestic and international litigation. She is also a Non-Executive Director at S4 Capital and Trustee of the Hampstead Theatre and Chair of the Trustees of the Freud Museum. Sue now practices at Brick Court Chambers as a mediator and arbitrator.

Andy and Sue join a board of directors that includes Paul Roy (with over 40 years’ experience in asset management and banking), Stephen Catlin (with over 40 years’ experience in insurance) and Sam Wren (CEO of IPGL and former COO of NEX Group).

Bloc has recently been profiled by research organisation Edison Group as an ‘Expert-led play on early-stage deep tech’, shining a light on the company’s portfolio, investment strategy and key strengths. The Edison report commented on the strength of the management team and their operational experience. Adding Andy and Sue to the board further strengthens Bloc’s leadership team with industry experience. You can read the full report here.

To date, Bloc has raised £28m in balance sheet capital which has been invested into 11 companies across cloud, connectivity, data science and security companies throughout Europe. Each of these companies is fundamentally innovating in their underlying technology to create globally scalable products and solutions Bloc’s intention is to raise new capital in the next 12-18 months ahead of a potential public offering in 2023.

Bruce  Beckloff,  Co-Founder and CEO of Bloc said: “We are delighted to have Andy and Sue join the Bloc team. Their technology, legal and public company experience further strengthens the board as we work towards a public offering. We place great value in Bloc’s board of directors to not only bring tremendous experience and strategic direction but also their ability to connect our portfolio companies to their valuable network of global businesses”

Andy Green CBE, Senior Independent Director of Bloc, added: “Bloc represents a best-in-class early-stage investor in deep technology across communications and computing. Given my experience with both BT and Arm, this role represents an opportunity for me to add value to the company itself but also the portfolio companies it has invested in. I am very excited to be part of Bloc and am looking forward to the journey we’re about to go on.”

Sue Prevezer QC, Non-Executive Director of Bloc, added: “Building a publicly traded investment company is a challenging journey and takes a significant legal effort to execute correctly. In addition, working with early-stage technology companies adds an exciting dimension to the undertaking and one that I’m delighted to be involved in. Having worked closely with S4 Capital in recent years, I’ve witnessed first-hand the incredible speed that companies and technology can grow across global markets.

It’s vital for deep tech companies to find the right investors at the early stage. Bloc is one of a number of specialist deep tech investors active in the UK. This post sheds some light on some of the potential partners for startups to get in touch with.

https://www.techspark.co/blog/2021/04/16/deep-tech-investors-uk/

Bloc Ventures, which raised £30m earlier this year, invests in “deep tech” start-ups, businesses working advanced technologies such as quantum computing and advanced semiconductors.

Bloc has hired Michael Dimelow, a former corporate executive at Arm, as its chief commercial officer, who will advise its portfolio companies.

Michael Dimelow, Bloc’s chief commercial, said: “Investing in deep tech businesses is hard to get right, it helps if you understand the journey that the founders are about to go on. Bloc understands that journey and brings a wealth of product, technology and business building expertise, combined with a permanent capital structure. A patient approach to venture investing is unique within the UK and Europe and enables Bloc to take a long-term view with the founders we back. Funding the next wave of technology innovation and helping to shape Bloc Ventures long term growth was an opportunity too good to be missed.”

It is understood Bloc is “gearing up” for a stock market listing that could present a rival to London listed Draper Esprit.

Bruce Beckloff, Bloc’s chief executive, said: “An initial public offering is one of several options. If you look at Draper Esprit, the market is wide open for a venture model. The most obvious [exit] would be an IPO.”

See full article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/12/07/michael-spencer-backed-bloc-ventures-eyes-float-bolsters-team/

London, UK –Bloc Ventures(Bloc), the venture capital company focused on early stage European deep technology investment, announces the appointment of Michael Dimelow as Chief Commercial Officer and Allan Bartlett as Senior Investment Analyst.

Michael is an experienced technology investor and corporate development executive. As co-founder of Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), he acted as its CIO, deploying over £85 million. During his tenure at ADV, Michael helped build a portfolio of over 30 companies which included B-secur, Push Dr, UIPath and deployed fund of fund investments in seven funds such as Entrepreneur First, IQ Capital and Seedcamp.

Before ADV, Michael spent 15 years in senior leadership positions developing two of the UK’s most progressive deep technology businesses; ARM Holdings and TTP Communications. During his career, Michael has led teams responsible for deploying in excess of $500m in deep technology businesses, through acquisition and minority investment positions.

Further, Bloc has also appointed Allan Bartlett as Senior Investment Analyst. Allan, whose 20-year career in the telecoms industry includes a recent stint at GSMA and 14 years in a number of senior roles at Vodafone,including in its corporate venture unit, brings a wealth of technology, project delivery and economics expertise that supports Bloc’s active approach.

Michael and Allan’s appointment follows Bloc’s successful equity raise in July which brought the total capital raised to just under £30 million. With further equity raises expected in 2021, they join to add further expertise and bandwidth to Bloc’s already successful operational model.

Bruce Beckloff, co-Founder and CEO of Bloc said:”We are delighted to have Michael and Allan join the Bloc team. Having worked with Michael for many years at ARM, his insight and sector expertise will prove invaluable as we continue to build deep technology companies of global scale. Allan’s significant industry knowledge and strong technical background will help us find the right companies to invest in at the right time. Having both of them on the team will add further depth and skills as we deploy our hands-on, active approach to working our portfolio companies. Their joining, and our most recent Series B round completion,underpins Bloc’s continued momentum and the confidence that we and our investors have in our growth plans.”

Michael Dimelow added: “Investing in deeptech businesses is hard to get right, it helps if you understand the journey that the founders are about to go on. Bloc understands that journey and brings a wealth of product, technology and business building expertise, combined with a permanent capital structure. A patient approach to venture investing is unique within the UK and Europe and enables Bloc to take a long-term view with the founders weback. Funding the next wave of technology innovation and helping to shape Bloc Ventures long term growth was an opportunity too good to be missed.”

Allan Bartlett added: “Bloc has a unique model of internally understanding the fundamental technologies in which they invest and the impact on business economics without the use of external consultants. I am thrilled to be joining Bloc Ventures and have the opportunity to drive forward the discovery of the best early stage companies as part of a great team. The strategy of focusing on technologies that reduce the marginal cost of businesses greatly reduces the investment risk while greatly enhancing the attractiveness of a start up to a potential customer. I look forward to being part of a thorough and rigorous approach to discovering opportunities that defy some of the most technically and commercially challenging spaces.”

ENDS-

For further enquiries:

Bloc Ventures

Andrew Griffin (CFO) +44 20 3826 7100

pr@blocventures.com

Powerscourt Group (Public Relations)

James White + 44 (0) 7855 432 699

Jessica Hodgson +44 (0) 7561 424788

bloc@powerscourt-group.com