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Industry leaders back new specialist led investment company for technology start-ups
Bloc Ventures attracts over £20M in funding to support European deep technology
27 January 2020, London. Bloc Ventures Limited (Bloc), the venture capital company focussed on early stage European deep technology investment, today announces it has raised over £20m in equity funding from UK industry leaders.
The latest funding round was led by Michael Spencer’s investment company IPGL Limited and supported by a number of other industry leaders including Warren East, Christopher (Jock) Miller, Gavyn Davies, Stuart Roden, and Stephen Catlin, who also serves as a non-executive director on the Bloc Board. As part of the round, Samantha (Sam) Wren, CEO of IPGL, also joins as a non-executive director.
Bloc was founded by CEO Bruce Beckloff, CTO David Leftley, technology industry veterans from ARM and Vodafone respectively, and Chairman Paul Roy, to fill the gap in Europe for expert led funding of early stage deep technology companies. Andrew Griffin, former managing director of European technology equity research for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, joined as CFO in early 2019.
The team has already built a portfolio of nine companies and will use the new funds for new portfolio additions and follow-on investments in line with Bloc’s strategy to create companies of global scale with enduring value in the European deep technology market. Sectors in which Bloc has invested include high performance computing, wireless communications, networking infrastructure, and the Internet of Things.
Commenting on this announcement, Paul Roy, Chairman of Bloc said:
“We are very pleased to have reached this significant milestone and to welcome further notable new shareholders to Bloc, and Sam Wren to the Board. Sam brings considerable expertise and a full understanding of the perspectives of the professional investor to the table. Existing and new investors have supported Bloc in this funding round, and we are excited by the opportunity to accelerate the growth and success of our current portfolio and continue our disciplined approach to investing in new companies in the deep technology space.”
Bruce Beckloff, Co-Founder and CEO added:
“Our approach is to invest in companies in the deep technology sector that provide the picks and shovels for the digital world. With Bloc’s hands on approach and complementary mix of experience and expertise, we are uniquely placed to identify and invest in the next generation of technology companies, whilst de-risking the journey for our shareholders by actively helping our companies optimise and scale. It is a significant endorsement of our strategy to have such notable industry players backing Bloc. We look forward to continuing our journey to build a global brand for investing in deep technology in Europe.”
Notes to Editors
About Bloc Ventures
Bloc Ventures is a permanent venture capital company providing expert-led funding of European deep technology. Bloc is passionate about supporting and growing the next generation of European technology businesses at the forefront of telecommunications and computing. It provides its shareholders with access to the exciting, high growth early-stage European deep-technology landscape using an approach that lowers the risk of crystallising returns.
The Bloc team has a tight complementary mix of technology, commercialisation and finance expertise borne out of extensive careers in the technology industry, including many years in corporate venture capital and M&A at Vodafone and ARM. They apply expertise via detailed due diligence pre-investment, and a hands-on collaborative approach with portfolio companies to scale them rapidly post-investment.
Bloc serves as the catalyst for its portfolio companies, moving them from early-stage to growth businesses and driving substantial value-creation. This positions Bloc as the preferred investor partner for tech businesses.
About Samantha Wren
Samantha Wren joined the interdealer broker ICAP in 2009 as Group Treasurer and later became CFO and COO of the voice-broking division. On the sale of this division, Wren became the Chief Commercial Officer for NEX Markets, which houses NEX Group’s trading venues, before becoming Group CFO and COO of NEX Group Plc. In 2019 she became Chief Executive Officer of ICAP founder Michael Spencer’s private investment company, IPGL.
For further enquiries:
Andrew Griffin (CFO) +44 20 3826 7100
Catriona Woolner-Winders/ Tom Buchanan/ Charlie Codrington +44 20 3012 0241