Symvan Capital focuses on dynamic early-stage technology companies with high growth potential. Symvan was co-founded in 2013 by Kealan Doyle and Nicholas Nicolaides, building on their extensive experience with technology companies.
The Patient Capital Review shifted the focus onto knowledge-intensive companies with high growth potential. Rather than investing purely for a tax rebate, the new era of venture capital enhances the opportunity to invest in the type of genuine growth funds that Symvan manages. Although carrying higher levels of risk at the individual company level, the potential for returns of high multiples from the winners makes this type of investing, across a diversified portfolio, a highly attractive prospect.
Investing in emerging technology offers the ability to scale and benefit from the wealth of UK technology and managerial talent. It is now able to produce its own ‘unicorns’ and Symvan provides investors the opportunity to access some of today’s most exciting tech companies.
Kealan has worked with venture capital companies for 15 years, both in a corporate finance advisory capacity as well as a fund manager. Company interests include big data analytics, fintech, SaaS, and network security. Prior to VC investing, Kealan led a structured equity products team at HSBC and worked at Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and UBS. Kealan holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto.
Nicholas’ early capital markets experience at Paribas seeded his involvement in technology, working on numerous transactions including the IPO for Autonomy Corporation Plc. He is particularly interested in high performance computing and the opportunities for disruption in the education and recruitment sectors. Nicholas worked with AiM broker and the ECM team at Lehman Brothers, focussing on European Telecom & Media. He has also worked in the TMT Corporate Finance and European Equity Capital Markets teams at BNP Paribas. Nicholas has a BSc (Hons) in Statistics & Economics from UCL and a MBA from Imperial College Management School.
Rob, Adviser and Investment Committee member. Since 2014, Rob has led the Center of Excellence in Machine Learning and Big Data product architecture at Akamai Technologies, Inc. In 2006, Rob founded Red Lambda, Inc., a Florida machine learning-based network security company. In 2004, Rob testified as an expert witness to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Rob is the author of 10 issued patents in distributed systems and machine learning and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Big Data.
Julian, Adviser and Investment Committee member, Regulatory & Compliance. Founder of Fulcrum Compliance Ltd, Julian was a registered Compliance/Money Laundering Reporting Officer for 15 years, Chairman of the CISI Compliance Forum from 2009 to 2015 and is a member of the CISI Membership Committee. He was a Member of the Steering Committee for Standards (BS 8453) at the British Standards Institute and has been published in Compliance Monitor.
Symvan’s “lifecycle” philosophy of working with investee companies into which they originally invested via its SEIS funds, allows investors at the EIS level to benefit from opportunities which are extremely familiar to the investment team.
Both Kealan and Nicholas have sector-focused SME corporate finance experience with large institutions, and accordingly have significant technology, media and telecommunications (‘TMT’) transaction experience which is especially relevant in generating exits. Both have invested into the funds themselves, aligning their interests with their Investors’.
Underpinning Symvan Capital’s strategy is our “Lifecycle Approach” to investing. Symvan Capital nurtures and sources as many EIS investee companies as possible via its SEIS funds. This enables Symvan Capital to understand and manage its investments on a far deeper level, meaning the due diligence process plays out over the evolution of the company’s developmental journey, rather than at a static point in time. There are no upfront or ongoing charges to the investor. We charge the investee companies instead. Therefore, investors can claim 100% of the EIS tax reliefs.
The only fee Symvan eventually charges investors is a 20% performance fee, dependent on a successful exit. Consequently, Symvan is very exit focussed.
Key Services and Funds
Both SEIS and EIS funds are evergreen. The EIS fund has quarterly tranched investments. The Funds concentrate on commercially viable, disruptive investments that are demonstrably scalable.
- Target return is £2.85 per £1 invested, over an investment term of 5 to 7 years.
- Symvan’s highly selective approach typically adds 5 to 7 companies to the portfolio per year.