Albany Ventures gets to first base

Edinburgh-based Albany Ventures has reached a first close of GBP22 million on its first fund as an independent entity, Albany Ventures Fund III. A final close is expected during 2002 and the firm is confident it will meet its original target of EURO40 million, in spite of challenging fund raising conditions.

Chairman Malcom Murray, said: “In a tough fund raising environment, the first close represents a significant step in the development of Albany Ventures. I believe we have an energetic executive team with the vision and ability to become a leading early stage technology investor.”

This is Albany Venture’s first independent fund and has attracted investments from four major institutions Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking, The Alliance Trusts and Martin Currie Capital Return Trust. In addition, the Albany Ventures directors committed a total of GBP300,000 to the fund.

The team was formerly known as British Linen Equity, part of the Bank of Scotland and invested directly from its parent’s balance sheet. The team’s previous experience stood the firm in good stead when fund raising. Graham Sturrock, Bank of Scotland’s head of investments and mezzanine, said: “Bank of Scotland knows the Albany investment team well from their period as venture capital managers with British Linen Equity. I am looking forward to continuing a close working relationship with Raymond and his team as part of the overall financial community support for technology investment based in Scotland.”

Albany Ventures Fund III will invest in early stage technology companies, based in the UK and Ireland, with a particular focus on the enterprise software and healthcare sectors. Albany Ventures’ investment executives have, in aggregate, over 25 years investing in such companies. The team is already considering investment opportunities and expects to deploy substantially all the commitments over the next three years. The firm has been treading carefully in the current climate and only made two investments last year, instead concentrating on its fund raising and existing portfolio of investments.