Month: February 2015

Smedvig Capital exits Tusker

by Jon Lerner

Tusker, the UK’s market leading salary sacrifice car scheme provider, today announced a new major shareholder, private equity group ECI Partners, to support their continued rapid growth. ECI Partners has invested in the business, with the previous investors, Smedvig Capital, exiting after a highly successful relationship with the company.

ECI is one of the UK’s most successful private equity groups and specialises in investing in mid-market, high-growth companies. Commenting on the new financial structure, Tusker’s CEO, David Hosking said: “This is a very exciting time for us. The team at Smedvig have provided real and valuable hands on support throughout our growth years, and we are grateful for all of their input. Tusker is now a substantial business generating revenues in excess of £100m and we are excited to have ECI as our new partner. Their depth of experience and extensive level of engagement with our team will provide a great platform from which we can continue our exceptional growth.”

The existing management team of David Hosking (Chief Executive Officer), David Brockwell (Chief Financial Officer), Mark Sinclair (Chief Operations Officer) and Iain Carmichael (Chief Commercial Officer) will remain in place to continue to execute the highly successful strategic plan. They will be joined by the newly appointed Chairman Richard Prosser, who replaces Sir Trevor Chinn who is stepping down.

“We are very excited to welcome Richard to the team. He joins Tusker with a wealth of business to business experience gained in the travel industry (most recently as Non-executive Chairman of former ECI investment, CarTrawler). We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Sir Trevor Chinn who has supported the company through its recent growth and has been instrumental in getting Tusker to this point” comments David Hosking.

The senior management team is supported by a growing employee base that is structured to put the customer first, and the focus on exceptional customer service will remain a core value of the business. Since launching its market leading salary sacrifice for cars product in 2008, Tusker now manages in excess of 13,000 vehicles and this figure is expected to increase by 30% over the next twelve months.

Rob Toms, Managing Director at Smedvig Capital, said, “Smedvig only invest in a small number of exceptional businesses each year, where we firmly believe in the team, the model, and the market leadership potential. We are proud to have worked with Tusker to build the salary sacrifice product and develop a clear market leadership position.”

Paul McCreadie, a partner at ECI, concludes: “The team at Tusker provides an excellent fit with ECI and we were particularly attracted by the company’s innovative and market leading culture. Tusker has an exceptional management team and we are looking forward to working together to continue to grow and develop the business.”

Smedvig Capital leads $13.5M Series B investment in TrialReach

by Jordan Mayo

Smedvig Capital are delighted to announce our investment in TrialReach, the world’s largest provider of clinical trial information, as part of a $13.5M Series B financing round led by Smedvig Capital with participation from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners and Octopus Investments.

With one of the biggest digital health rounds ever raised in the UK, TrialReach plans to use the funds to support the growth of its clinical trial platform and expansion into the U.S.

Founded in 2010, TrialReach is helping to solve one of the biggest challenges in medical research: connecting patients with clinical trials. One in five cancer trials in the U.S. fails to find a single participant, and only three percent of adult patients participate in cancer research, simply because most patients don’t know that clinical trials are an option for them. For pharmaceutical companies, trial delays can equate to over $8M of lost daily revenue per drug, while for patients, delays reduce the number of potentially life-saving drugs that are available to them.

“We have had significant success in the U.S. market to date, and we are confident that now it’s the right time to scale up our team and operations domestically, in order to solidify our leadership position,” said Pablo Graiver, CEO, TrialReach.

“Smedvig has significant experience working with early stage tech-enabled businesses. Their hands-on support will accelerate our plans to become the industry standard for pharmaceutical companies seeking patients for clinical trials. We eagerly anticipate the opening of our New York office to jumpstart our business and sales efforts across the U.S.”

Unlike other clinical search sites, the TrialReach platform is designed to aggregate and structure all clinical trial listings worldwide, so that patients can be smart matched with the specific trials for which they may be eligible. In addition, the platform gives trial sponsors the opportunity to describe trials and patient criteria in a non-clinical manner that’s much easier for patients to understand.

“TrialReach’s bold online marketplace approach offers a solution to one of the biggest problems in the pharmaceutical industry – matching patients with clinical trials”, said Jordan Mayo, a Managing Director at Smedvig Capital.

TrialReach’s platform can reach and help millions of patients with chronic and life-threatening diseases, and address a huge and underserved market opportunity. We believe they are well placed to expand rapidly to the significant benefit of pharmaceutical companies, clinical trial practitioners and patients.”

TrialReach is already working with many of the world’s leading health organizations, including the WHO, and more than half of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies are using TrialReach’s platform to support their clinical trial efforts. In addition, TrialReach reaches millions of patients online through partnerships with major health portals including Healthline, Everyday Health and CenterWatch as well as some patient networks such as WEGO Health and CureClick.