We will not be VCs, says Autonomy's Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch has stated that his new investment venture Invoke Capital will not be like traditional venture capital.

Mike Lynch has stated that his new investment venture Invoke Capital will not be like traditional venture capital.

Speaking at the London Web Summit during an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Rooney, Mike Lynch outlined how the recently launched Invoke Capital will operate.

The entrepreneur, who famously built up his Autonomy business to a position where it was sold to Hewlett Packard for £6.7 billion in August 2011, has recently moved away from business building and towards investment.

Lynch outlined what he saw were the biggest barriers to technology, and specifically software, companies in the UK. Top of his list were marketing skills and then finance, a set of issues which he predicts his Invoke Capital firm will help solve.

However, when grilled by Rooney, he was quick to say that Invoke Capital will not be like a traditional venture capital firm and will instead draw on the entrepreneurial experience of its management to aid up-and-coming businesses.

‘What is missing,’ Lynch said, ‘is people with experience, which you will find in the [Silicon] Valley.’

Lynch and Invoke Capital will not be backing social media platform-type businesses, but will instead be investing, and helping to grow, software businesses more akin to the Autonomy venture he built.

The firm will specialise in ‘the fundamental science of technology’, namely software, and create a new model of business investment and cultivation.

He said, ‘We think the UK has phenomenal technology. If you look at Cambridge or Imperial, they’re just as good as MIT.’

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As part of his discussion with Rooney, which included the revelation that he was not aware of the allegations made by Hewlett Packard against him until they went public, Lynch also confirmed and denied a number of rumours that had been circulating.

In the aftermath of its acquisition by Hewlett Packard, Autonomy has been accused of inflating its earning statistics. Lynch revealed that there has been a lack of communication with Hewlett Packard and described it as a ‘bizarre situation’.

On a more light-hearted note, the software entrepreneur confirmed that the Autonomy headquarters housed a tank full of piranhas courtesy of his co-founder.

He also revealed that the business did have a door labelled ‘Authorised personnel only’ which was said to visitors to contain a team of 500 developers.

However, he quashed the rumour that upon selling Autonomy to Hewlett Packard he embarked upon a three-day bender.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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