Qi3 Ventures aims to support faster and more effective commercialisation by sharing risk for technology businesses that need industry and commercial expertise as well as investment. There are two types of companies in which Qi3 Ventures is looking to invest:
- Accelerate to Growth – established companies seeking a step change in their growth
- Accelerate to Market – new technology businesses looking for support and/or investment to take them to their first stage of revenue
We will also consider companies at an earlier stage Accelerate to Investment where we can help the company to achieve investment readiness. For us to consider investment, the technology or product has to be at a satisfactory level of readiness. We need to ensure that we can add sufficient value on a moderate timescale. Please note that we receive a number of enquiries from businesses that are at the concept stage, where first revenues are realistically over 2 years away. We will do our best to advise such companies but we are unlikely to invest in them. Before an investment is made we follow a staged selection process. This process comprises four stages prior to investment and two stages post investment, with the evaluation made against a list of criteria and assessed accordingly. If all of the stages are passed successfully, then an investment is likely to be made. To understand how the investment process works, the key stages are outlined in brief below.
A simple, top level assessment usually judged upon a meeting, phone call, or presentation. Here we will ascertain whether your technology fits with our investment landscape, both in terms of sector, time scales and financial scope, and whether we have suitable expertise. It is also an opportunity to assess our ability to work with you as a team, as it is important to forge a good relationship based on trust and integrity from the start.
This is a more detailed assessment where we look at the business plan in more detail, assessing gaps and asking questions. We will start to look at potential value added for us and the finance required as well as the quality of the offering itself, its stage of development and the sector as a whole. This assessment is made at face value based on the information you give us. We prefer not to sign any form of Non Disclosure Agreement before this stage is completed.
This is our most rigorous stage of evaluation where we undertake our own analysis and may meet several times with the potential investee to scrutinise the business plan in greater detail. This opens up a number of questions and challenges to the assumptions made in the business plan. Within Qi3 Ventures we have access to a set of proprietary and commercial databases that allow us to investigate markets in some detail. We have also commissioned a series of Investment Landscape Analyses in areas in which we have specific interest. Our investigation extends to financial and risk analysis. Subject to the company fulfilling these criteria, we will indicate our in principle willingness to invest and then move on to the pre-invesment stage
At this point we will undertake our own or shared due diligence, ensuring that any key questions from the previous stage are satisfactorily answered. We will also determine a financial structure for the investment and tax arrangements and formalise a Qi3/partner team, plus a post investment support and/or monitoring plan. If all questions are successfully addressed and the financial structure is agreed by all parties, then the next step is to make the investment itself.
Stage 5 – Sweat Equity or Financial Investment
There are various ways in which Qi3 Ventures can make an investment. It can include either of the above or a combination of both. The Sweat equity support model options can include: acting as Non-executive Director, Executive Chairman, and / or Business Development support via Qi3’s services The benefits of having Qi3 as an investor include; access to industry experts, unique access to a wide variety of income sources, and having us act as the commercial interface, leaving the business free to focus on technology, product development and operations. Qi3 also supports millions of pounds of leveraged grant finance each year. We are also active in several Business Angel networks and have good contacts within the Venture Finance sector.
Stage 6 – Post Investment Support/Monitoring
We remain actively interested in our investments and require regular communication. We will do our utmost to help invested companies to achieve their commercial goals. In companies in which we have an active sweat equity relationship, we will be flexible throughout this period and seek to develop the business as quickly as possible to a position where we can support the recruitment of permanent business development staff to replace us. If your business works in one of our priority domains and seeks acceleration to growth or market, please contact Nathan Hill on +44 7976 707246 for a confidential discussion.