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London venture capital boss: We want to build UK-listed decacorns, but companies naturally 'seduced' by US

The release of the latest official inflation data in the US showed that prices rose faster than expected last month (Martin Keene/PA) (PA Archive)
The release of the latest official inflation data in the US showed that prices rose faster than expected last month (Martin Keene/PA) (PA Archive)

The boss of venture capital firm Molten Ventures says he hopes to help build the next UK-listed decacorns, but the tech firms it invests in are naturally “seduced” by the US’ deep capital markets

CEO Martin Davis told the Standard that Molten wants to “build the next decacorns” - $10 billion companies - that stay in the UK and Europe when it’s time to IPO.

But he said: “Ultimately the business has to do what’s right for itself. You can see why people are seduced to go where the deep pools of capitals are.”

Molten’s past investments include London-listed Trustpilot and new York-listed UiPath.

The comments come as Molten’s portfolio value was up slightly in the year to 31 March at £1.38 billion, picking up in the second half. Value had fallen by 3.7% in the first half of the year before rebounding.

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The business raised £55 million in December, which it said would be used to “pursue follow-on investments and access exceptional secondary investments at attractive valuations”.

The shares surged on the back of the results, as well as wider optimism in the tech sector in the markets today. The stock was up 8.4% to 245p this morning. But that still only values the firm at £463 million, a 66% discount to its net asset value.

Numis analysts Tintin Stormont and Jasmine Rand said: “Markets remain fragile, but we believe the discount will be increasingly compelling as markets recover. Importantly, a better realisations market should start to help unlock value, allowing the group to deploy capital and generate value. The resilience of the portfolio remains encouraging and provides a strong underpin.”