Deal round-up 19/02/02

Benchmark makes second Irish investment; Mentor leads E1m investment in OMI; BBIG Venture Capital makes first European investment

Benchmark makes second Irish investment 

Benchmark Capital has completed a E2.5m investment round in Globogift, a Dublin-based rewards and incentive solutions provider. Benchmark’s investment, its second in Ireland to date, will be used to further expand the company’s service across the US and Europe.

Benchmark Capital manages more than $2bn in committed venture capital and focuses on early-stage investing in markets where the partners have relevant experience. In Europe, Benchmark Capital is currently investing a $750m fund. In November 2001, Benchmark made its first move into Ireland with a $20m investment in Irish software house Openet Telecom.

Mentor leads E1m investment in OMI

Mentor Capital, the venture capital firm founded by Parthus chairman Dr Mike Pierce, has led a E1m round of funding for Republic of Ireland-based Optical Metrology Innovations (OMI), a developer of tools for the microelectronics and photonics industries.

Mentor Capital was one of two backers of Cork-based OMI, receiving a stake of up to 25 per cent for their investment.  The identity of the second investor has not been disclosed.

BBIG Venture Capital makes first European investment

BHP Billiton's venture capital fund, BBIG Venture Capital, has concluded its first European deal with an investment of £1m (E1.64m), in the Bristol-based energy-from-waste company, Compact Power Holdings.

BBIG will be working with Compact Power to identify opportunities for mutual value creation. The investment provides parent-company BHP Billiton, the mining multi-national, with a window into the renewable energy marketplace.

BBIG Venture Capital forms part of BHP Billiton Capital (BCAP). Launched on 14 July last year, BBIG Venture Capital is dedicated to post-prototype investments in alternative energy, new materials technology, and knowledge management. The US$40m fund made its first investment with US$500,000 first round funding provided to the Canadian intelligence software company, Coemergence Inc.