AFA Systems plc
AFA Systems develops, installs and supports risk management
software for the financial services sector. Top Technology Ventures
invested at the time of the formation of the company which had
been set up to exploit a proprietary software package developed
over the previous three years in a South African risk management
AFA Systems now has offices in London, Northern Ireland, South
Africa and Hong Kong and its systems are used by over 105 financial
institutions in 20 countries worldwide to deliver mission critical
Top Technology Ventures first invested in 1995. AFA Systems
floated on AIM in 1996. Top Technology Ventures' investment of
approximately £840,000 generated proceeds of £7.9
Trafficmaster collects and transmits digital traffic information
to road users. Top Technology Ventures invested in the company
when it had only one prototype sensor operating in trials. We
helped negotiate a licence with the UK Department of Transport
to establish a nationwide network and funded the deployment of
Trafficmaster has subsequently established a network with
more than 5,000 sensors throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
It has expanded into Germany, France and Italy and developed
a range of in-car telematics products.
Top Technology Ventures first invested in 1992. Trafficmaster
floated on the London Stock Exchange in March 1994. Top Technology
Ventures' investment of £2.4 million generated proceeds
of £19.8 million.
SciMAT Holdings Ltd
Top Technology Ventures invested in SciMAT in April 1994,
when it backed the company's MBO from Cookson Group Plc alongside
other venture capitalists CinVen and MTI.
SciMAT's patented technology takes naturally "water repelling"
plastic materials, such as polypropylene, and makes them water
absorbent by using an ultra-violet, molecular grafting technique.
SciMAT's first commercial use of these materials was in the sub-micron
filters used in rechargeable batteries fitted in notebook computers,
mobile phones and video cameras.
SciMAT received the Queen's Awards for Technology in1996 and
Export in 1999. Its battery separator product has been granted
the prestigious Millennium Products Award.
SciMAT was sold in September 1999 to US company Crane &
Co Inc, a manufacturer of speciality papers and banknote paper
for the US government for an up-front cash sum plus a 3 year
performance based earn out. Top Technology Ventures' original
investment of £813,000 generated proceeds on sale of approximately
Protagona (formerly Recognition Systems Group Plc) develops and
supplies software solutions focusing on Customer Relationship
Management (CRM). Top Technology Ventures invested in the company
in 1994. The company, applying neural computing technology, was
formed to apply technology developed at Aston Science Park in
Top Technology Ventures' investment helped Recognition Systems
to further develop their product range, recruit additional development
and sales staff, and open offices in the United States.
We helped Recognition Systems to prepare to float on the London
Stock Exchange in 1996 and assisted in the raising of further
finance through rights issues after flotation. Top Technology
Ventures realised £896,000 from its original investment
Telematics designed and manufactured wide area networking
products for voice and data communications. HATT, the first fund
managed by Top Technology Ventures, provided initial venture
capital of £363,000 and Harry Fitzgibbons joined the board
at the time of the investment in 1982. Top Technology Ventures
invested a further £438,000 in subsequent syndicated funding
Telematics floated on Nasdaq in 1987, raising $30 million
for research and development, international sales and marketing.
In December 1993, the company merged with ECI Telecom, the Israeli
telecommunications company, at a valuation of $300 million. Top
Technology Ventures realised £11.4 million against an original
cost of £801,000.
Racal Millicom (Vodafone)
Racal was one of the two groups awarded nationwide cellular
telephone franchises for the UK in 1982. Millicom approached
Harry Fitzgibbons for help in pursuing the franchise and Harry
negotiated the structure of the relationship between Racal, owning
80% of the consortium and Millicom and HATT with 15% and 5% respectively.
Harry served as a member of the Racal-Millicom board which owned
the Vodafone franchise. In 1986 HATT exchanged its Racal-Millicom
holdings for Racal shares which it sold in 1987 for £35.6
million against an original cost of £767,000.