Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch launches $1 billion fund

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch launches $1 billion fund

Summary: It's called Invoke Capital, it's based in the U.K. and it sees potential in early stage European technology startups.


Michael Lynch, the former chief executive officer of Autonomy, has launched a new early stage venture capital fund named Invoke Capital, according to a report by The Telegraph.

Autonomy, of course, was famously (perhaps infamously) acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for its business intelligence software that organizes and extracts meaning from unstructured information in complex corporate databases.

The $1 billion fund has already invested in fraud prevention and analysis company Featurespace, Ben Martin reports. It intends to continue to invest in small, research-led European technology companies.

From the fund's website:

Our renowned business and financial leaders and world-class technologists make up a team with unrivalled experience in technology investment. We managed UK success story Autonomy's rise from tech start-up to the UK's largest software company, with an acquisition value of $12 billion. Within Autonomy, our team achieved the best ever returns for European venture capital and was responsible for spinning off the world's largest video search engine, Blinkx, valued at $225m at its IPO.

Our track record of successful technology acquisitions, achieving significant to outstanding growth, includes companies such as speech recognition technology Etalk, enterprise search player Verity, compliance tech firm Zantaz, web content management provider, Interwoven and the digital arm of data protection company Iron Mountain.

Precious little information about what it would like to invest in, in other words. Of course, financial types know that past performance is no guarantee of future results, but it sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

The "we" in the above proclamation includes former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain. The fund's dollars come from the firm's leadership team and institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, Martin reports.

Lynch hinted at this venture in an interview with Wired UK last year, in which he suggested that the U.K.'s venture capital scene was too saturated with financial services, not technology, veterans.

"How do you get that first £10,000 to make a prototype?" he asked Olivia Solon. "There are very few formal ways of doing that as it's not an efficient area to invest in."

Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly indicated that the fund was worth £1 billion, rather than US$1 billion. We regret the error.

Topics: Tech Industry, Enterprise Software, Start-Ups, EU, Autonomy

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Charity

    This PR might throw the scent off the criminal activity trail
    • Heee Heee...

      Not likely - and with this guy's questionable rep, I wonder how he will be able to attract anything except other gold diggers, who just might end up being smarter than he... Are Ponzi schemes illegal in UK as they are in US????