Deal round-up 24/04

SMI, Friends Ivory, SFKT, Merrill and Velvet show them the money.

SMI makes a Two Way investment

Swedish investment house SMI Media Invest will invest £12m into interactive television entertainment company Two Way TV in return for a minority shareholding.

The money will fund Two Way TV’s rollout in the UK.

SMI Media Invest is a specialist investment fund focused on new and dynamic companies in the digital interactive TV sector across Europe.

Two Way TV was formed in 1992. Its investors include NTL, Liberate Technologies, Hilton Group and Vencom.

Friends, Ivory & Sime and Merlin invest in Vectura

Friends, Ivory & Sime and Merlin led a £10.55m investment in Vectura, a biotech company.

Friends, Ivory & Sime invested £5m, Merlin put up £3m, Northern Ventures invested £750,000 and Bath University and management provided the rest.

Vectura specialises in inhaled drug technology and was spun out of Bath University. It said the money would allow it to clinically test its first products.

Ventura was founded in 1997 by Merlin, which specialises in taking biotech companies from launch to flotation.

SFKT invests in Voltaire

Corporate investor SFKT has invested $7.3m in Voltaire, an Israeli storage networks company.

Other investors include Danbar Technologies, Tamir Fishman Ventures, Polaris and the Challenge Fund.

Merrill leads £5m round for Wavegen

Merrill Lynch New Energy Technology led a £5m funding round for Scottish-based renewable energy pioneer Wavegen.

Existing shareholders, including Unotec Holding, AGIP Oil & Gas and 3i also contributed.

The company will use the money for R&D and commercialisation of its wave power technology.

Money into incubation

Individual investors put $3.7m into L'Atelier de l'Innovation, a Paris-based incubator.

The company said the financing would be spent on operations. It plans to make additions to and increase its technology and finance staff from 25 to 35.

L'Atelier de l'Innovation also said it is looking at seven projects with a view to making an investment.

So far, L’Atelier de l’Innovation has funded 15 technology companies. The incubator previously raised $2.4 million in first round funding from individuals.

Velvet puts up £750,000

Velvet Capital has invested £750,000 in Internet Advertising Limited (IAL).

IAL, which trades as EasyPress Technologies and is the internet subsidiary of publisher Highbury House, will use the funds for the continued development of its Internet publishing software offering.

Velvet’s investment values the firm at £12m and will be made in two parts. Velvet has the option of investing a further £750,000 on the same terms within 180 days.

Velvet Capital focuses on early-stage technology investments.