3i sells VC assets

Coller Capital and HarbourVest Partners in partnership with European venture capital firm DFJ Esprit, through its new fund Encore I, have acquired 3i’s European venture portfolio.

3i, whose venture assets has been on the sales block for some time, is reported to have made £130m in proceeds, a discount of 16% of 3i’s holding value. This is on top of a 50% write-down on 3i’s venture portfolio in March.

The portfolio will be managed by DFJ Esprit through a new division called Encore Ventures, which will focus on acquiring and managing secondary venture portfolios. Some of 3i’s venture portfolio team will also join Encore as partners.

The acquired portfolio includes some of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in technology, media, telecoms and healthcare, such as Icera Semiconductors, a disruptive wireless soft modem company; Light Blue Optics, a leading developer of miniature laser projector systems; ApaTech, a world leader in orthobiologics; The Cloud, Europe’s leading wireless broadband network; CamSemi, a provider of energy-efficient power technologies; and FastBooking, the global leader in direct bookings on hotel websites. Significant follow-on capital will be provided to support and further accelerate the growth of these companies over the next few years.