Pires sees first return from investment in Sure Valley Ventures
Pires Investments said on Monday that it has been advised by Sure Valley Ventures (SVV) that an agreement has been signed to sell one of the companies in the SVV portfolio - Artomatix - for cash to a “leading technology company”.
The AIM-traded firm said Artonatix provides an artificial intelligence platform that is able to automate the creation of 3D content.
Pires had announced its initial initial investment of £1.1m into SVV on 21 November.
It explained on Monday that, when realisations are made within SVV, the proceeds were distributed to the fund's investors.
As a result of the sale, the amount accruing to Pires was expected to be around €0.8m, of which €0.72m would be distributed shortly, with the balance expected in 18 months, subject to certain terms and conditions.
Pires hold around a 13% interest in SVV.
The sale of Artomatix represented a cash multiple of around 5x the initial investment made by SVV, which Pires said demonstrated “the quantum and speed” with which potential returns could be generated from the SVV portfolio.
Additionally, it said the return achieved by Pires was “even more significant” given that the company only recently completed its investment.
SVV is a venture capital fund founded by Barry Downes and Brian Kinane, in partnership with Shard Capital, focussed on investing in the software technology sector with a specific focus on artificial intelligence, the ‘internet of things’, and augmented and virtual reality.
SVV currently has a portfolio of nine investee companies at different stages of development.
“The sale of Artomatix represents a very substantial return from our investment in SVV over a matter of months - our investment in SVV is proving to be an even more exciting investment than we initially expected,” said Pires chairman Peter Redmond.
“We look forward to good progress being made at the other companies within the SVV portfolio and expect further positive developments in the portfolio during 2020.”
Brian Kinane, co-founder and general partner of Sure Valley Ventures, added that the sale of Artomatix was a further demonstration that the focus of SVV on the machine and deep learning sector was an effective strategy.
“[It is] one where we believe many of our portfolio companies will benefit from the global secular trend of substantial capital investment in the use of AI to automate traditional labour-intensive knowledge industries.”
At 1408 GMT, shares in Pires Investments were up 9.74% at 2.14p.