MTI goes stateside

The UK early stage technology investor has unveiled plans to open a US office, headed up by senior partner David Ward to focus on exits.

MTI Partners, the Oxford, UK-based venture capital firm, plans to open its first US office by early 2006.

The new office will be formed as a co-location with a US firm and will be in either Boston or the (San Francisco) Bay Area, the two regions in which potential partners are located.

Venture is a global business – if you aspire to be a serious player, you have to have global representation

Ernie Richardson, CEO MTI Ventures


 
Ernie Richardson, the firm’s CEO, said in an interview with PEO: “There are two reasons for the move. It’s to help business development, as our portfolio companies receive more than 50 percent of their revenue from the US. It’s also because the US is our prime source of exit opportunities.
 
Richardson went on: “What it’s not about is investing in the US, as we’re committed to a UK-centric investment strategy.”
 
Newly appointed senior partner David Ward will lead the new office. Ward joined MTI in September 1999, and specialises in materials science, wireless communications and software security.

Two years ago Ward led the investment in ceramic antenna company Sarantel, and oversaw an IPO of the company last month. Previously he was sales director at the Cookson Group, and has worked as CEO of a technology start up in metals industry.

What it’s not about is investing in the US as we’re committed to a UK-centric investment strategy.

Ernie Richardson, CEO MTI Ventures


 
Established in 1983, MTI is an early stage technology investor currently investing its vintage 2000 £105 million (€154 million; $200 million) fourth fund. 
 Richardson told PEO that the firm expects to raise a fifth fund later this year, and that the firm’s plans for the future could include an Asian office.
 
“Venture is a global business,” he said. “If you aspire to be a serious player you have to have global representation.”

Recent example investments made by MTI include Powerlase, Eleksen and ApaTech, and recent major realisations include Sarantel and Advanced Composites Group.