New TTP VC Unit Markets First Fund –

HERTFORDSHIRE, U.K. – United Kingdom innovation specialist TTP Group – originally The Technology Partnership – is in the process of raising a maiden venture fund to be managed by its new subsidiary, TTP Venture Managers.

TTP is targeting as much as ecu 71 million ($83.85 million) for the TTP Venture Fund, slated for investment across a spread of technology sectors in the U.K.and Western Europe. The group has secured NPM Capital of the Netherlands, which has agreed to subscribe 30% of the vehicle’s total, as a cornerstone investor in the fund.

TTP Venture Fund will be able to draw on a broad spectrum of technological expertise within TTP Group. The company undertakes consultancy activities and develops innovative products on a contractual basis for an international client base. It also develops and commercializes products on its own or in partnership. Based in Hertfordshire, the group employs some 400 highly-skilled staff and generated GBP4.5 million ($7.38 million) pre-tax profit on sales of GBP36 million ($59.08 million) in 1997 and 1998.

The fund will target start-up and early-stage opportunities, principally in the telecommunications, information technology, environmental technology, instrumentation technology, drug discovery and medical equipment and devices sectors. David Connell, who heads TTP Venture Managers, declined to comment in more detail on the fund’s strategy prior to a first closing.

NPM decided to invest in the fund to expand its exposure to early-stage technology investments across a wide range of sectors, something the firm lacks the specialist resources to undertake via the direct investment route. NPM also is an investor in two techno-starter funds and two seed capital funds and has also made a number of direct investments in IT and biotech companies.

Maarten Dekker of NPM cited TTP’s ability to evaluate proposals spanning a broad range of technologies as a major attraction of the fund. As cornerstone investor, the Dutch private equity group will be represented on the fund’s board and investment committee.