Greenhouse Ventures unveils maiden fund

Corporate venturing specialist Greenhouse Ventures is raising a GBP50 million venture capital fund through its sister company DSG Venture Consulting Limited. The fund will invest in corporate spinouts and is currently seeking FSA regulatory approval, which it should have in place by November. DSG Venture Consulting will also offer a corporate advisory service to complement the fund.

Executive director and founder of Greenhouse Ventures, Michael O’Leary-Collins said: “We are seeing an increased demand from enterprises for co-investors to help back spin-outs of non-core businesses and for very practical guidance on ensuring new ventures rapidly become successful profit centres.”

Greenhouse Ventures was founded in April 2000 and helps corporates to extract value out of their assets to develop and implement innovative venture portfolios by leveraging off current assets. With its new fund the firm is now able to get a piece of the action.

Fund raising is not going to be easy in the current climate, says O’Leary-Collins, particularly as this is a first time fund and has yet to prove itself. He has modest expectations and anticipates a first closing of GBP15 million in a year’s time. The team will be looking for strategic partners for its investments as early as possible, so the fund won’t be reliant on the IPO market for exits.

O’Leary-Collins describes the team’s core strategy as venture consulting: “It’s all about executing and implementing, getting a business started and making it work. We are dealing with start-ups that aren’t actually start-ups as they have some critical mass supporting them and so have the ability to grow at a faster rate.”

DSG Venture Consulting has recruited Alex Pegley, former chief operating officer of e-capital investments, as chief executive officer of the new fund.