About Us

 

The ESM investor group comprises entrepreneurs, current and former senior technology sector executives that have experienced successful exits and want to work with high growth technology companies and their founders, to help them grow into outstanding businesses.

ESM’s investors are located in Australia, East Asia, Dubai, Europe, UK and North America. This enables ESM to offer Investees the advantages of working with an International based investor group that can help them scale their businesses worldwide.

The investors that ESM brings provide experience as well as funding for growth. Post investment, ESM provides hands on advice and support to investee companies, sharing experience and contacts.

The ESM management team comprises, Steven Morris, David McIntosh and Matt Mitchell. We have significant experience as founders of technology start ups, growing businesses domestically and Internationally, direct and indirect channel development, establishing overseas trading entities, identifying and protecting IP, preparing businesses for disposal, doing exits (including public listings) and doing mergers with complimentary businesses.

ESM partners with a number of professional firms to add value in specialist areas such as strategy development and in preparing Investees for future funding rounds.

What We Do

Having spent over 14 years working in the technology industry, and successfully started, grown and sold 2 technology businesses, Steven Morris decided to establish an investment syndicate of experienced individuals with the objective of supporting a portfolio of technology companies with high growth potential, ideally at early or expansion stages.

ESM’s aim is to create value for investors and founding shareholders by leveraging the combined experience of ESM’s syndicate..…and of course have fun!

Timeline

2011

  • ESMi founded by Steven Morris
  • First investment made in October 2011, followed by an investment in a different company in December 2011
  • ESM also becomes a co-investment partner of the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) in December 2011
  • The ESM syndicated group of investors’ started with 2 investors.

2012

  • One follow on round in an existing portfolio company
  • One further investment in a new company increasing the portfolio to 3
  • The ESM syndicated group of investors’ grows to 10.

2013

  • Two further investment rounds in 2 new companies increasing the portfolio to 5
  • One follow on round in an existing portfolio company
  • Increasing total funds invested to £1.5m
  • The ESM syndicated group of investors’ grows to 20.

2014

  • Three further investment rounds in 3 new companies increasing the portfolio to 8
  • Six follow on rounds in existing portfolio companies
  • Increasing total funds invested to over £5m
  • The ESM syndicated group of investors’ grows to 45.

2015

  • David McIntosh joins ESM in Feb 2015. Merger, acquisition and disposal experience added to the team
  • 2 more portfolio companies added in March 2015 increasing portfolio to 10
  • Increasing total funds invested to £5.5m
  • The ESM syndicated group of investors grows to 50

2016

  • ESM Investments successfully reconfirmed as SIB co-investment partner
  • Total number of companies invested in grows to 12
  • Total number of active investors grows to 57
  • Funds under management grows to £7.6m
  • Steve Langmead joins the ESM Investments advisory team
Our Approach
We like to spend time with the founders at the start of the process, getting to know them and understanding the product, their people, the competitive landscape, the IP and the size of the market opportunity.

Our selection process is intentionally informal and we’re able to move quickly and seek to identify at an early stage, which businesses we’d like to invest in. We like to work with people that we like. This entire investment process typically takes from 2-3 months from initial point of contact.

We appoint one NXD to the board of each portfolio company usually Chairman but often as Investment Director. We work with the management teams we invest in & operate as part of the team managing the business. This gives ESM’s syndicated investors an assurance that we are committed to the investment opportunity for as long as we remain investors.

Our Investment Criteria
ESM has a very narrow focus on technology companies that have highly scalable software technologies; Internet platforms/communities and/or big data. These early stage companies will be B2B or B2C with defensible IP where possible.

ESM’s syndicated group needs to retain a very narrow industry sector focus in order to leverage existing contacts, the skills and experience of the ESM group.

ESM is currently targeting Scotland based companies. ESM is not considering other industry sectors at this time. SEIS or EIS qualifying companies only.

Early or expansion stage; first or second external funding round. Fast growing companies are being sought.

ESM’s exit horizon is between 3-5 years.

ESM will work with the founders to plan around this.

ESM will typically invest £200k – £500k over the life of an investment, but this is not prescriptive. Each funding round is typically provided by 3-5 of ESM’s individual investors.

The Scottish Investment Bank is usually invited to co-invest with ESM.