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Jenson Funding Partners LLP
Jenson Funding Partners LLP (Jenson) was founded in 2012 by Paul Jenkinson and Sarah Barber from Jenson Solutions Ltd (a network of Finance Directors who continue to provide support to the investee companies). Since 2012, we have launched five SEIS and four EIS Funds. We are now on our 10th tranche and have invested £16 million in 100 entrepreneurial UK businesses which have typically launched their product or service and are typically close to or post revenue. In addition, we have supported 20 follow on funding rounds, all at premium to initial launch cost. We have recently become FCA authorised and have split our SEIS & EIS Fund into two separate Funds, retaining the same ethos and strategy across both evergreen Funds.
We are an experienced team of finance professionals providing a variety of services to a number of clients, ranging in size from start-ups through to fully listed companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
Our team of professionals has a wealth of experience across a number of sectors, enabling us to provide an efficient service and bring relevant experience to most organisations to support their strategic requirements.
We also work closely with a group of private investors who often supply equity and debt funding to our clients. Jenson Solutions services continues to expand and can be found throughout the UK.
The Fund has a mandate to focus on long-term capital growth and enables private investors to invest in a range of committed and ambitious entrepreneurs and their early stage growing companies. All companies will be small unquoted UK companies that qualify under the EIS tax rules.
The Funds aim to target exciting new innovative and disruptive technologies to be nurtured alongside existing investment opportunities that require follow on investment to fully exploit commercialisation of a proven business model.
The fund is a generalist fund, thereby the sector focus is agnostic and the type of businesses and opportunities can be anything that is S/EIS compliant (typically small early stage companies in non-capital intensive sectors). The specific focus of the fund is to target companies with: strong management, momentum in the business (i.e. not pure start-ups) and low risk for a start-up (e.g. have a low cash burn).
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Key team members
After qualifying with Deloitte as a Chartered Accountant, Sarah spent two years working as an audit manager before moving into Reorganisation Services working on a variety of projects, including turnarounds, cash flow management, financial reviews and receiverships. Subsequently, Sarah moved into the interim market, providing services to a wide variety of clients gaining a broad experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management. Sarah has direct experience with interim finance director roles, financial modelling, IFRS conversions, due diligence reviews, share option valuations, planning and complex analysis. Sarah joined Jenson Solutions in 2005. Sarah has been involved in the Fund since its inception. Over the past five years Sarah has been instrumental in the growth of Jenson Funding Partners, leading the team in fund raising, deployment and managing the portfolio of investee companies utilising her experience and knowledge gained as an FD.
Specialising in early stage companies, Jeffrey joined Jenson in 2013 and is now responsible for managing all aspects of the investment process from deal sourcing through to completion and including post completion support. Jeffrey is also responsible for the Fund’s internal processes.
Before joining Jenson, he was a Technical Director working for WS Atkins across the Middle East where he ran a large technical team. Prior to that, Jeffrey spent the previous 10 years working as a design consultant advising clients on complex commercial and infrastructure projects. Jeffrey studied at the University of Surrey, receiving an MSc in Structural Engineering. He also holds an MBA from the London Business School.
The Jenson SEIS Fund 1 exited Twizoo in 2017
The travel search company Skyscanner has bought London based user- generated content business Twizoo.
The six-strong Twizoo team, founded by Madeline Parra and John Talbott, have been incorporated into Skyscanner’s existing team of over 900 and are now based from the travel search site’s London office at Tottenham Court Road.
As part of Skyscanner’s aim to make travel search simple, Skyscanner will make use of Twizoo’s social content integrations to bolster hotel reviews and recommendations.
Madeline Parra, CEO and cofounder of Twizoo said: “Skyscanner is built by travellers, for travellers. Their emphasis on authenticity and transparency reflect Twizoo’s own values. Travel is inherently social, and we’re excited to work with the Skyscanner team to integrate our technology into their world-class travel search products, giving travellers invaluable insight through user generated content shared on social media.”
The Jenson SEIS Fund 2 exited agency:2 in 2019
Next Fifteen Communications Group Plc has acquired the entire issued share capital of Market Making Limited, a London-based social media agency.
The current return is 4.0x investment with a mix of shares and equity (before tax incentives and performance fee), with earnouts this could potentially reach a 12x return.
Social Insight Engine (SIE) – as part of the exit, existing shareholders have received an interest in SIE in proportion to their shareholding in Market Making Ltd. SIE holds the Atom technology that was developed in Market Making Ltd, so in effect investors in this company could receive a second exit from this one investment.
Jenson originally invested in Market Making Ltd (trading as agency:2) in March 2014. agency:2 started as a consultancy that specialised in social media marketing providing their clients with in-depth insight and understanding about key target demographics, thereby significantly improving the ROI on their digital marketing spend.
Following our investment the business grew from strength to strength with the launch of the Social Insight Engine (“SIE”) in 2015 and the business has doubled in size every year. The team continued to grow in size and scope and new client wins meant that the exponential growth looked set to continue.
The business has won a number of awards such as Deloitte Top 50 Fast Tech Growth, Shorty Award ‘Best Use of Facebook’ Winner in 2017 as well as being nominated finalists in The Drum Social Buzz Award and CIM Award and more recently the Financial Times ranked them the UK’s fastest growing #socialad specialist in The FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies 2019.
The Jenson SEIS Fund 2 invested in Futurium in March 2015. Futurium developed an integrated digital 3D interactive visual system for the Architecture Engineering and Construction sectors and their supply chains. Jenson exited Futurium in August 2019.
Example portfolio companies
Angoka is a company focussed on managing the cyber security risks inherent in Connected and Autonomous vehicles, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities and IoT devices.
The Incredible Bakery Company is a craft bakery producing high quality bakery and pastry products that are all free from gluten, dairy, eggs and soya. Using innovative ingredients and at all times striving to create products that have the same good taste, appearance and nutrutional qualities as mainstream products.
Passive Eye has developed and patented a self- IBC Food & Beverages sustaining, energy harvesting technology and our first go-to-market product is a self powered tag for asset and Passive Eye Logistics Tech environmental monitoring that NEVER needs battery recharging.
SpeakInConfidence (our first SEIS investment) provides an online anonymous dialogue system which allows staff in organisations to discuss matters with management in an anonymous way. This provides a solution to enhance organisational communications and improve corporate SiC HR Tech governance at a time when both are high on the agendas of organisations.
Fiovana cordials (formerly Elderbrook drinks) are a delicious blend of premium fruit concentrate, superfoods and coconut nectar which is low GI and full of goodness like amino acids, vitamin C and calcium. Once diluted with water, Fiovana has one of the lowest levels of natural sugar of any soft drink in the UK. Currently sold in Sainsbury's, Ocado and other leading retailers.
Roto VR, a chair which has been designed for VR from the ground up, physically rotates players in the real world, to match their movements in the virtual – adding a greater sense of immersion to all VR Fiovana Food & Beverages Roto VR Games experiences.
DRI is a leading immersive entertainment studio with a pedigree of making innovative games and experiences. Dr Dave Ranyard, CEO, previously Entertainment Games Dream Reality Interactive worked at Sony PlayStation's London Studio, working on titles such as PlayStation VR Worlds and AR games for PlayStation's Wonderbook series.
Hike is an automated SEO workflow SaaS platform. This is done through an automated workflow system that the founders created using their own SEO expertise. The Hike SEO Tech automated workflow is the key differentiator between Hike and other SEO platforms who provide the raw data intended for use by SEO practitioners.
Tailwise, a platform matching dog buyers with responsibly bred dogs, is on a mission to improve animal welfare in the UK through technology. The London-based startup is a staunch supporter of Lucy’s Law –a legislation to ban the sale of puppies by pet shops and all Lifestyle Tech Tailwise commercial third-party dealers– and helps breeders find the best homes for their litters, whilst giving new dog owners transparency and guidance throughout their search.