Pall Mall celebrates first close

Newcomer to the venture capital scene, Pall Mall Partners has reached the first close of its maiden fund at EURO15 million, double the amount set at its launch. Cambridge-based Pall Mall Technology Ventures fund hopes to reach a final close of EURO50 million by the second quarter of next year.

The time is right for tech funds, says Pall Mall partner Mark Rayner and while fundraising is still tough he is confident Pall Mall is entering the market at the right time with prices that have come down to more reasonable levels. “There are deals to be done in the technology sector. The playing field is a lot clearer than it was 18 months ago and the wheat has been separated from the chaff.” He adds that there are two types of deal that are ripe for the picking brand new technology deals and also follow-on investments for start-ups that have had trouble attracting second round funding.

The fund is about to close its first deal in the next few weeks. Typical investment size will be around GBP3 million in broadband application technologies, data security and storage, biochip technologies and bio-informatics. The fund will primarily be targeting investments in the UK, but will also look into Europe and the US, although deals in those regions will have to be bigger diamonds to attract funding, says Rayner.

Pall Mall Partners is a six-strong team with experience in investment banking and IT and biotech expertise. The firm will shortly be adding another team member with experience of the North American market with a view to expanding portfolio companies internationally in the long term.