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Interregnum gets into corporate venturing

IT investment and advisory company, Interregnum has set up a corporate venturing division to foster cross-sector corporate venturing partnerships between non-technology businesses and early stage IT firms. The new division will operate alongside the existing venture marketing, venture capital and research and consulting divisions.

Former DTI minister, Ian Taylor has been appointed managing director of the new division. Taylor, who is well connected in the technology space throughout Europe joined Interregnum in October 2000 as non-executive director and now assumes an immediate executive directorship role.

Interregnum chairman Ken Olisa said: “We believe there are considerable international opportunities for cross-sector corporate venturing, where corporations are operating in an increasingly competitive environment and require the professional expertise Interregnum offers in advising them on investment partnerships with early stage IT firms.”

Interregnum’s experience in corporate venturing dates back to the spin-off of Adaptive from Abbey National in 1996 and the publication of its seminal report, Cross-sector Corporate Venturing: The opportunity, produced in 1999 in partnership with Computer Weekly and Certus.

Graham Ransom, head of venture marketing, said: “There will not be a specific amount allocated to the corporate venturing division, but whatever good opportunity comes along we will be happy to allocate funds to. We view this as a great way for a European industry to generate fast-track technology growth.”

Interregnum floated on AIM in March 2000. As at December 5, 2001, the firm was capitalised at GBP22.5 million. The firm is currently fund raising for its first venture capital fund, which has a target of e75 million, of which Interregnum has committed GBP20 million of its own capital. The fund raising was announced in summer 2000 and has yet to see a final close. Ranson said: “It is a very tough climate for fund raising, particularly for a technology fund, but we are confident and hope to be in a position to close soon.”

Interregnum currently has a portfolio of over 30 IT and IT-related investments with holdings in hardware, software, services and Internet infrastructure businesses. Recent investments include GBP500,000 in Adaptive, an enterprise repository software firm, and a GBP2 million commitment in Respond, a CRM software and services vendor.