Venture December 2019
Our latest deal, CloudNC, was quickly oversubscribed and underlined the strength of the investor profile of the Elkstone Venture Club. As 2019 draws to a close, we look back on a year that saw us make eight new Venture Club investments, including four international deals, alongside several follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies, while also making fantastic progress on the inaugural Elkstone Ireland Venture Fund. We aim to build on this momentum in 2020 by launching a new deal for the Venture Club in January.
Paddy Dillon is a Venture Analyst at Elkstone.
CloudNC deal closed
Our final deal for the year was CloudNC, where our initial allocation was fully subscribed twice over by the Elkstone Venture Club members. UK-based CloudNC is an innovative CNC manufacturing technology company that manufactures high precision components, primarily for the aerospace and automotive industries. The company is now finalising this $8m+ post-Series A bridge round led by Atomico, which is one of the world’s leading VC funds and was founded by Skype founder Niklas Zennström.
VENTURE CLUB COMPANY NEWS
The Meatless Farm Co. recently appointed former Lidl CEO Jesper Højer as its Executive Chairman. Read more here. Højer, who worked his way up through the ranks at Lidl to lead its global business by the age of 38, is another key hire by Meatless, following the appointment of fellow Dane Lone Thomsen as Chief Marketing Officer. Thomsen was previously Head of Media and Communications Strategy at Coca-Cola and recently gave an interview about marketing and her decision to join Meatless. Meatless is currently seeing phenomenal success through quick service restaurant channels, with JD Wetherspoon selling 200,000 Meatless burgers per month. Read her interview here.
Flipdish has announced the roll out of its latest product release, digital self-service kiosks. This marks the company’s first foray into the in-restaurant experience as it aims to reduce waiting times and allow for superior customer service. These kiosks are already in 15 restaurants across Ireland and the company believes that there is a huge opportunity for this offering in the quick service restaurant space. Flipdish now has a headcount of 90 staff and licenses its food ordering technology to over 1,500 restaurants across 12 European countries. Read more here.
Congratulations to Output Sports on winning the best early stage company category at InterTradeIreland’s Dublin final of its Seedcorn investor readiness competition. The company received a €20,000 prize. On winning the prize, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr Darragh Whelan said that “the prize money will help accelerate the commercialisation process of the company – initially we aim to expand the team and accelerate growth in Europe and the US.” Read more here.
SoapBox Labs was chosen to work on the State-backed €6.9m Data-center Audio/Visual Intellience on Device (DAVID) project. The project, funded by the State’s €65m Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), will see SoapBox work alongside FotoNation and NUIG to privacy-proof artificial intelligence that can be used in children’s toys and smart home devices. Read more here.
OTHER VENTURE NEWS
Congratulations to N-Pro, which was recently selected as the first participant in a trial held by World Rugby aiming to reduce the risk of head injuries and concussion. N-Pro has developed a headguard which provides protection against impacts using material that can deal with repeated energy. Current offerings on the market only protect against scrapes and abrasions. Read more here.
Congratulations to Change Donations Co-Founder Will Conaghan, who was listed on the Irish Independent’s 30 under 30 in Irish Business for 2019. Change Donations recently underwent a rebrand and is in the process of closing an €800,000 investment round.
Amsterdam Ventures hosted their first StartupBanking.co event in Dublin to a select group of VCs. They provide a unique and helpful platform for corporates and service providers who want to engage with Europe’s early stage tech ecosystem. Alan Merriman attended and spoke at this event on behalf of Elkstone and we look forward to engaging with them further on international venture opportunities.
Pictured at this event is Jaap Dekter, Partner at Amsterdam Ventures.
Well done to all of the entrants in the 2019 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition which took place in Dublin. This is the largest competition of its kind in Ireland offering a total cash prize fund of €280,000. Tracworx from Limerick has been named the overall winner.
Pictured at the event were L-R: Alan Merriman, Elkstone Executive Chairman and members of the Thriftify team.