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We believe that the UK Media, Entertainment and Knowledge sector has the power to create businesses that compete on a global scale. This is why we created Station12, a unique specialist, to identify, found and build world-class companies addressing a global market worth $2 trillion.
We back the best, the most ambitious and scalable See to Series A through Growth stage businesses in the sector, with a particular interest for those businesses which embrace new technologies to create or enhance innovative and compelling content propositions or experiences, or which enable consumers to access knowledge in a more dynamic engaging way.
Our investment track record captures investment in the sectors across multiple stages and business models.
We are also venture builders where we have started businesses ourselves, seeded them, set the strategy and the operations and prepared them for scaling. Being entrepreneurial ourselves allows us to see eye to eye with founders as we are hands on and we know the hurdles and challenges of starting and scaling a business.
Station 12 also has an advisory business, allowing us to capture market intelligence across the sectors, engaging with the larger businesses that ultimately may be the strategic investors or acquirors of the early stage businesses we invest in.
Our interest in immersive technologies
We are seeing the convergence of new technologies like virtual/augmented/extended reality resulting in new ways of creating and experiencing content.
We particularly like those businesses which embrace immersive technologies to create or enhance innovative and compelling immersive content propositions, experiences, platforms, services, softwares production and distribution tools, or which enable consumers to access knowledge in a more dynamic engaging way.
Our scope for investments in the immersive sector is in startups developing tools, products or services for creating and delivering immersive content, or startups demonstrating innovation in software and/or development methodology.
We define immersive experiences as multisensory narrative or interactive experiences through technologies including virtual, mixed and augmented reality, haptics, advanced visualisation, and other sensory interfaces. Our sub sectors capture advertising and marketing, design (product, graphic and fashion), TV, video, radio and photography, computer games and services, publishing, museums, galleries and libraries, music, performing and visual arts, education, learning and sport.
Early stage investing is risky and needs specialised, knowledgeable capital. We strongly believe that we can fill the gap and provide that independent source of knowledgeable capital, allowing companies to grow to full market value before exiting.
This also requires an active approach to investing, so we are not a ‘bulk’ investment house. We stock pick carefully and limit the maximum number of investments we will do at any one time to between four and six.
We have businesses in our investment pipeline focused on VR and in differing areas of immersive, that we are in early stage discussions with. The availability of grant funding to these companies would be a significant influence on our decision to invest. All these businesses are early stage (i.e. SEIS or early stage EIS).
We intend to invest across the UK with a good geographic coverage as we are well networked with creative hubs in Bristol, South East England, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Dublin and Belfast.
We aim to significantly increase our investment pipeline across the immersive technologies.
The value we can add to your company beyond capital
Early stage, innovative companies need active, networked investors who are aligned with them and who have a patient long-term outlook. We are that investor as we have proprietary deal flow, a deep understanding of the industry, operational backgrounds, an outstanding advisory board of high level, connected individuals. We also combine financial skills (in terms of how the companies are financially managed, capitalised) with deep knowledge of the sectors created by working only in those sectors alone. Cash flow is king, so we work with companies to mitigate their risk exposure and access grants and other support wherever possible.
Our operational knowledge gives us a good sense of what our companies should be achieving by when, and the operational challenges they need to overcome. We are better able to anticipate their problems and advise on strategies to work around them, making us better board members.
Our investment track record captures investment in the sectors across multiple stages and business models. In addition, because Station 12 also has an advisory business, we capture market intelligence across the sectors, engaging with the larger businesses that ultimately may be the strategic investors or acquirors of the early stage businesses we invest in.
We are Experts and Rapporteurs for the Horizon2020 SME Instruments programmes at the European Commission, where we see what latest innovations are coming to market.
We act as a trusted access point to an opaque sector and we have worked operationally in the world of Media, Entertainment and Knowledge, as well as acted as investors and advisors.
Because we are specialists, we see the best the opportunities in the market and we are a desired partner. We receive a high volume of approaches for investment, but we seek to filter this down to 100 high quality deals, of which we expect to execute 4 to 6.
We are also venture builders where we have started businesses ourselves, seeded them, set the strategy and the operations and prepared them for scaling. Being entrepreneurial ourselves allows us to seeing eye to eye with founders as we know the hurdles and challenges of starting and scaling a business.
We are hands on investors and always ask a board seat when offering capital.
We are partners and mentors at different immersive incubators such as the Realities Centre and we also helped design the Augmentor VR Incubator at the Digital Catapult in London. We regularly help founders even if we have not invested in them yet.
Innovate would be a great partner bringing additional expertise and network in the sector and give a wider access of resources and publicly recognised support to the founders we decide to back.