2014 new years greeting from 1ct "Up where you belong"
Our takeaway from 2013
In the real world, there are no straight lines, and what often works is the simple formula. 2013 was a good example of that. Increasingly – and especially during the last phases of an exhausting crisis - the ability to succeed in small, growth companies is about constantly learning, revising/improving the approach and trying harder. And, what works best is simple business models that customers can appreciate. This has been a general theme across our companies throughout the year.
“What doesn’t kill you …“.
Several general studies have shown that after 2-3 years 50% or more companies in the critical pre-growth face have disappeared. In tough times, where the cost of capital is high, most of the survivors are those that manage to grow in partnership with customers rather than innovating with their fingers crossed. Now, 5 years into our first fund, with one strong exit already in place (HentTilbud), our 7 companies remain in the “game”. Also, we see that some of our companies are making particular progress. This includes Realfiction, A2I Systems and MenuCard. These three companies in particular and our other companies as well have been agile and aggressive in their pursuit of the “keys to growth“.
Other reasons to celebrate
Apart from good progress in the portfolio, we were pleased to formally welcome Jørgen Kragbøll to the team in 2013 as Senior advisor and Limited Partner. We also concluded two external transactions and finished the year with a major back-log of projects and initiatives underway.
Agenda for 2014: Acumen!
As announced last year, our agenda for 2013 was Focus, Endurance and Acceleration. For 2014, our keyword is: Acumen, i.e. keen insight and shrewdness. We will intensify our work with experts in the industries that we are engaged in and strive to make more strong investments and exits.
We thank you all for the cooperation in 2013, look forward to the continuation and wish you all a Happy New Year !
Bruno - Jonas - Jørgen - Morten - Peter - Søren
We engage in irresistible companies
Technology in its own right is not interesting. Technologies, business-models and products that have potential to change their industry - or the world for that matter - are irresistible.
Whether early stage with a huge promise or more mature and poised to dominate, we engage if we see opportunity to develop the company and reach an attractive exit within 2-3 years. We already have the experts at hand and you must be open to embrace them.
We engage in a close partnership with you
We invest from a few million Danish kroner and upwards. We invest gradually and receive shares in exchange for the added value that we provide. Founders must maintain a big enough share of their company that they keep their “my company mindset” At the same time, our Founders understand that we are in a close partnership.
We invest in great people – and their technologies.
Making sure we can work together in a close partnership is an absolute requirement, as we work very closely with our entrepreneurs. We look for high moral standards and a match in basic values and ethical standards.
In addition, when evaluating the company we consider the following:
Last mile until exit
We focus on companies that create radical changes. New technologies, or new business models, that transform the way we buy and sell goods and services in a particular market. It’s all about going digital.
ICT (Information and Communication Technology), defined in today's context is our focus:
|At least finished and running in pilot in at least two places. "Block-buster potential".||Proven and scalable with several profitable reference customers in focus segment.||Proven with many reference customers or very strong IP in M&A active market|
|Few paying customers||At least 2 mill DKK
or strong IP
|At least 10 mill DKK
or strong IP
|Products, services and/or business model must be designed to scale.||Must be proven.|
|Not required||Within reach||Above industry average or strong IP|
|Market opening fast||At least well established in DK niche industry||Established technology- and/or market leader.|
Min. 3x investment
How we work
We work together before we invest
Our method is based upon the fact that only if we are a good match is the relationship likely to be a success. We therefore use the logic of the three classic phases in human interaction, in order to arrive at a healthy investment decision:
> Dating – alignment of expectations
In this phase – that takes about 1 month – we align our expectations and we test if the business holds a promise big enough that the expectations can realistically be met. This phase is concluded with a letter of intent.
> Engagement - sharpening the strategy
During the following 1-2 months we work with you under exclusivity to refine the operational business plan, including a longer term exit–strategy and a shorter term go-to-market strategy. This phase is concluded with a detailed term sheet which is binding upon both parties, subject to due diligence.
> Marriage – doing the deal
We then complete our check lists, (contracts, numbers, technology, clients, people) and get the paperwork out of the way before we make the investment. Alternatively, we wish you good luck with no strings attached.
Healthy business = healthy investment
We focus on commercial progress, winning strategic clients and building tangible assets. Sooner rather than later.We try to avoid classic VC' style deep dives, where companies receive large amounts of money in a pre-commercial phase with a risk of going through endless rounds of funding.
Know how + Know who ...
Beyond capital, we provide experience, tools/methods, experts. In fact, we have built a general framework with 60 building blocks. This framework is our guideline to the phases that companies must go through to arrive at the goal: the exit.
And, if needed, we may extend our engagement from 3 years to 5 years.
Clas Dyrholm, Co-Founder and CEO of Realfiction ApS
We are making 1-2 new investments each year. For more information, see "Investment".
MenuCard is Denmark's leading "eat-out-with-a-discount-club" with more than 150.000 members and more than 20.000 Facebook friends.
Pricing fuel at the pump for billions each year based upon ground-breaking artificial intelligence.
More than 20.000 house-owners find qualified craftsmen each year with the market leading RFQ service offered by HentTilbud.
A unique search engine with billions of links mapped to deliver the world’s most powerful SEO intelligence.
Large scale publishers choose Caramba over Photoshop for automatic image enhancement of 10.000s of images each month.
Amazing multitouch software for 100s of venues across the world, including fashionable bars, Casinos, Cruise ships, etc.
More than 1.000 holographic 3D displays promote many of the worlds’ largest brands.
Michael Pedersen, Managing Director of HentTilbud
Datapro (DK) sold to EG. 1CT acted as exclusive advisor (buy side)
Swedish Unitail AB a leader within retail software solutions was sold
to EG A/S. 1CT acted as exclusive transaction advisor (buy side).
1CT Equity II K/S
invested in Menucard, Denmarks leading "eat-out-with-a-discount-club"
1CT Equity II K/S
sold portfolio company
(vintage 2010 investment)
to the Danish Media Group,
North Media A/S
1CT Equity ll K/S
invested in a2i Systems ApS
a Danish software company, specialising in artificial intelligence solutions.
A Gain A/S,
the Danish leader in software licensing and asset management was sold to Norwegian Inmeta Crayon AS.
1CT acted as exclusive transaction advisor (sell side).
1CT Equity II K/S invested in SiteXploration Aps, a Danish software company specialising in SEO back-link analysis.
Swedish Computer Services AB, a leader in Utility software & services was sold to Danish EG A/S. 1CT acted as exclusive transaction advisor (buy side).
1CT Equity II K/S
invested in Hent Tilbud ApS, the Danish RFQ portal specialising in connecting houseowners with craftsmen.
Our clients choose us because we get the job done
1CT Corporate Finance specialises in cross-border transactions within the ICT Sector. Between the partners we have done dozens of transactions in Northern Europe, US and Asia.
We pride ourselves with being “Bankers and more”. We know the IT industry and the key players from many years of interaction and couple this with senior executive support to our clients in their preparation for the best possible strategic sale – or acquisition.
In other words our Corporate Finance related services span from strategic advisory services prior to the transaction process through assistance in creating the best possible presentation of our client towards the target group, and, continues all the way to management and execution of the transaction process itself.
More often than not we run closed auctions, with a handful of target acquirers or acquisitions. We have acted as advisors in successful transactions ranging from 5 to 100mUSD in transaction value.
Our speciality is strategic acquisitions
We do transactions as well as or better than any other serious advisor. More importantly however, we deliver a combination of industry people who knows their industry and bankers who knows the art of getting a good transaction.
Our clients are portfolio companies that need to carry out acquisitions as part of their international expansion as well as external clients for whom we can add significant value.
We make sure we fully understand the strategic objective of our client and bring new ideas to the table that may go beyond the client’s initial thinking. With an insider’s view of target sectors and geographies we scan the market and deliver qualified options. We deliver qualified and verified candidates with recommendations as we understand the people factor.
We engage with ownership and negotiate with a view to securing real, strategic value. And yes, we also take pride in advising our clients against transactions if we do not feel that the match is not quite right.
“1CTs creativity and dedication made the deal happen”
— Leif Vestergaard, CEO of EG
We know that selling your company is a matter of ultimate importance
Our M&A team is dedicated to selling technology companies, based upon their strategic value, to the best possible buyer when the time is right. We take full responsibility for the process, and, if required, we involve and compensate external experts to increase the chance of success and reduce the anticipated time to completion.
In our experience, most mandates are best executed by adding Exit Consulting Services, such as initial mapping of options, establishment of a realistic time-frame and valuation as well as identification of important strategic or operational actions that may improve the value, timing or chance of success.
Even with clients, whose company is immediately sellable we offer to go beyond “classic” Corporate Finance. We understand, create, present and negotiate the strategic value to chosen strategic buyers in relevant sectors.
In any transaction, performance multiples play an important role in defining the realistic price-range. However, more often than not, we have experienced that the value to the right buyer is also driven by the revenue or cost saving potential - of the technology/business in question as well as the sheer potential related to key people already involved in the company for sale.
“1CT was competent and efficient right from the initial research phase through to the conduction of due diligence and final negotiations. Together, we developed a strategy and followed it all the way to the successful sale of our company”.
— Frank Mortensen, CEO and owner A Gain A/S
They are entrepreneurs themselves
and involved on a daily basis
in each of the companies they invest in.
In my opinion, this is the key to their success”.
Jørgen Kragbøll, Founder of NetDesign and 1CT investor
Venture Capital, and more
Founded in 2004, 1CT provides capital as well as development and transaction services. We are international entrepreneurs and executives with a unique network and track record. We form strong partnerships with our entrepreneurs, based upon respect, team spirit, and a passion for winning.
Great people build great companies
At 1CT we aim to identify the winners of tomorrow, match them with what it takes to succeed (experience, direction, access to industry, etc.) and then we engage and contribute all the way to the completion of an exit.
Growth is the name of the game
We are proud about our portfolio companies and their results so far. Our team and portfolio is growing in size, value and numbers. And we are hungry for more.
At 1CT, the portfolio companies
and corporate finance clients are our Customers
We have extensive experience in developing and selling international companies.
Our Customers partner with us in doing just this.
We focus upon companies and technologies we understand.
Our Customers expect us to climb a steep learning curve in relation to their business.
We have a large network of experienced business professionals and experts.
Our Customers expert us to deliver industry experts and specialized advisors.
We have proven methodologies, based on real life experience.
Our Customers expect us to guide them through new territories.
We define the exit strategy with our clients before we start.
Our Customers expect us to assist them with strategic partnerships and transactions.
Summing it up: Our Customers expect us to make a difference.
The world of technology related companies is as dynamic as ever. This translates into a need for a flexible and agile organization with a constant ability to match companies with the right resources.
Our organization is a combination of a small team and a large foot-print. In other words: as a highly flexible, networked Partnership.
At our core we are 5 partners, with very different, yet all very relevant backgrounds. We have internal as well as external analyst capacity and other resources that work either as employees or as external partners and consultants.
Søren Jonas Bruun, Managing partner
Bruno Giversen, Partner
Peter Max, Partner
Jonas Pilgaard, Partner
Morten Pedersen, Partner
Jørgen Kragbøll, Limited Partner
In addition we enjoy a close ongoing cooperation with many of our investors and we have built a network of Project Partners (more than 100). This is our primaty ressource pool - all executives or experts that we know well and who have worked in areas of importance to us.
1CT Partner Network
Last, but not least, we have our LinkedIn Partner Network of about 400 professionals, where we invite people we know or who have a declared interest in our space and business. Make sure you join today!
1CT Management ApS
Øster Alle 42, 5th
2100 København Ø
Main: +45 33 22 07 00
Fax: +45 33 22 17 00
1st Corporate Technologies Ltd
35 Catherine Place
London SW1E 6DY
Main: +44 207 060 6849