MCC launches global Earlybird Fund

Moore, Clayton & Co, the US-based financial advisory boutique, has launched its first venture capital fund. The MCC Earlybird Fund will invest globally in new technology start-ups.

The fund is seeking $50 million by the end of July. Old Mutual is the cornerstone investor and Genesis, the US fund-of-funds, has also pledged to invest $15 million. MCC is currently in negotiations with an institutional investor in the UK and is targeting professional high net worth investors and institutions to raise the remaining capital.

MCC is looking for new technologies that converge with traditional industries. It will focus on the sectors of energy, entertainment and healthcare where the company’s founders gained their experience. Investments in financial services, communications and education will also be considered. Portfolio companies will either be established businesses looking to reposition or start-ups. Investments of $250,000 to $2 million will be made in North America, the UK, Europe and the Far and Middle East.

Tony Moore and Sharon Clayton established the company two years ago. Moore was previously president and CEO of New Energy Technologies and also worked for Barclays de Zoete Wedd and Goldman Sachs. Describing the firm he said: “MCC is much more than a venture capital firm. We are a one stop strategic consulting and financial advisory house that meets all of our clients’ needs – perhaps a combination of management consultancy and merchant banking.” Clayton previously owned Presentations, an international strategic consulting firm. The firm is based in Malibu, California with offices in New York and San Francisco.

Nick Brigstocke, who retires as chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston de Zoete & Bevan this month, will become chairman of MCC’s European operations and chair the advisory board. He will be based in MCC’s London office. The company also has an exclusive deal flow arrangement with Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany and partnerships in Dublin, Spain, Italy, Singapore and Tokyo.

MCC’s advisory service currently has around 30 customers and it has invested in 20 of these. These investments have been made from the company’s cash flow, however the fund will enable MCC to expand its investment resources. Although the 60 per cent of MCC’s clients are US-based Brigstocke anticipates that only 40 per cent of investments will be in the US.