- The Jenson Seed EIS Fund 1 initially invested £150,000 in October 2013.
- Follow on rounds via the EIS Funds investing over £420,000 across various tranches between 2015 and 2019.
- Syndicated investment from co-investors raised a further £2.5 million.
We are delighted to announce that the Jenson Seed EIS Fund 1 & EIS Funds have completed successful exits from Voneus. We initially invested via our first SEIS Fund in 2013 and invested over £420,000 via the EIS Funds across various tranches every year between 2015 and 2019. The follow-on rounds enabled syndicated investment from co-investors to enhance growth with a further £2.5 million raised.
Voneus started out as Dice Networks providing a VOIP solution and soon pivoted to become a rural broadband provider and aims to be the market leader in superfast broadband for hard to reach areas.
The growth of Voneus has not just seen a significant amount of funds raised but has seen growth in its customer base and employees from the initial three Founders to employing over 80 people with further expansion plans for 2021.
In January 2018 Voneus announced it had acquired SugarNet, the superfast internet provider. The acquisition increased Voneus’ customer base to almost 50 rural communities across the UK. The deal came just three months after Voneus’ acquisition of Cotswold Wireless, and formed part of the company’s ongoing strategy to become the UK’s leading rural broadband provider.
In August 2019 Voneus partnered with Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of Macquarie Group (Macquarie), with an initial commitment of £10m and the potential to invest up to £30m in phases.
The partnership between Voneus and Macquarie has led to some restructuring and provided an opportunity for our funds and other investors to exit. We want to ensure our investors have this opportunity to receive a return as we cannot be sure of when the next liquidity event will be. As we can provide a good solid return at this point we feel this is in the best interest of our investors. We wish the company well and we are proud to have been on the journey with our investors.
Sarah Barber, CEO of Jenson Funding Partners said: “The Jenson team has been delighted to be part of the growth of Voneus and we are really pleased with the result. This investment epitomizes the importance of SEIS and EIS Funding and the effect that it can have on growth businesses.”
Steve Leighton, of Voneus said: “We would not be where we are without Jenson. Their team have been a constant source of support, advice and guidance for the last seven years or so. Although we are absolutely thrilled to be rewarding their faith in us with this excellent exit, we’ll also miss them as an investor and as an ally. We can’t thank them enough – they’ve been an integral part of the Voneus success story.”