In utilizing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by 3,000+ family offices worldwide, we explore three family offices making direct investments in the deep technology arena. Specific sectors in the space include artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cryptocurrency and quantum computing, among numerous others.
1. VP Capital
Established in 2012, VP Capital is a European single family office serving as the investment vehicle for its founder, Viktor Prokopenya. Prokopenya created his wealth as an entrepreneur. His most notable business endeavor was the foundation of Viaden Media in 2001. Viaden Media, a software development company, grew into one of the largest application producers, designed for apple iPhones and iPads across Europe. Throughout his eleven years with Viaden Media, Prokopenya grew the company from an outsourced developing service to a major producer of applications. In 2012, Prokopenya sold the company to Israeli-owned, Playtech, for nearly $100 million. Upon the sale of his company, Prokopenya established VP Capital as a means to invest his private capital.
Today, the firm invests in a number of opportunities primarily via direct transactions. VP Capital will consider investments in venture capital, real estate and a select number of later stage private equity transactions. When investing, the firm primarily targets opportunities in deep tech including artificial intelligence, computer vision, machine learning, financial technology, blockchain and augmented reality. VP Capital generally takes a highly hands-on approach to their investments in order to improve operations, scale, revenue and ultimately valuation. While the group operates in an opportunistic manner, the vast majority of their investments are executed in early stage, venture rounds of funding.
In March of 2017, VP Capital directly invested in Astro Digital, a California-based Aviation & Aerospace firm providing complete space-based systems and mission support services for earth observation, communications, science and technology demonstrations. In November of 2018, VP Capital made a direct investment in Banuba, an artificial intelligence lab specializing in augmented reality SDK development. Geographically, VP Capital will consider opportunities globally, though they have historically invested in European-based companies. VP Capital will co-invest alongside like-minded family offices, venture capital funds and individual investors when appropriate.
2. Apeiron Investment Group
Established in 2012, Apeiron Investment Group is a Malta-based single-family office investing the wealth of Christian Angermayer. Angermayer made his wealth as a serial entrepreneur and private investor. In 1999, Angermayer dropped out of college and co-founded a biotech company that eventually became Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Apeiron focuses on investing in companies in Germany and Africa that reside in the following industries, deep tech, financial services, FinTech, internet, technology, eCommerce, aerospace, life sciences, media & entertainment, real estate and natural resources. Apeiron has a particular interest in FinTech and is one of the most successful FinTech investors in all of Europe.
Apeiron Investment Group invests across all stages of a company's life cycle, but focuses on private, non-listed seed stage and angel start-ups, as well as larger restructuring/special situations investments. When investing in restructuring and/or special situations deals, the firm typically invests in listed companies. Apeiron also has a keen interest in the Crypto space and invests in Crypto companies through its subsidiary, Cryptology Asset Group. Cryptology makes minority and majority investments in Crypto companies, tokens and currencies. In February of 2021, Apeiron directly invested in Cambrian Biopharma, a New York-based distributed drug discovery company (or a 'DisCo'). Cambrian partners with academic institutions and start-up companies, providing capital and expertise to advance a pipeline of drug development programs. Apeiron serves as an advisor to international investors looking to invest in Africa and Germany and will co-invest alongside other LPs. The firm has an additional office in the UK.
3. Mehta Ventures
Established in 2018, Mehta Ventures is a La Habra, California-based single family office led by Sanjay Mehta, a serial entrepreneur and startup investor. The firm is comprised of a small team of approximately 5-10 investment professionals and has an additional office in Mumbai, India. Mehta Ventures invests in startups, estate, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, technology, logistics and cannabis opportunities. The firm provides venture capital for early stage businesses, as well as funding for later stage ventures. Mehta Ventures will invest across all sectors and industries, but specializes in deep tech, consumer brands, enterprise B2B and consumer internet sectors. The firm has also invested in FinTech, software, SaaS, restaurants, food & beverage, and media & entertainment companies.
Mehta Ventures seeks startups showing significant technological and business innovation. For instance, in December of 2020, Mehta directly invested in CoinDCX, a cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (in India with INR) with ease. Mehta Ventures invests primarily in India and the U.S., and often connects U.S. startups with access to their vast resources in the India market. The firm frequently makes co-investments through its expansive network of HNWIs and VC funds worldwide.
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