Ariadne Capital Adds Six To Entrepreneur Investor Network

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Leading business figures join Julie Meyer and 52 other investors to back Europe’s entrepreneurs

Ariadne Capital, (http://www.ariadnecapital.com), the London-based investment and advisory firm, announces the addition of six new investor members. David Rowe, Francois Barrault, Ian Cormack, Jonathan Kendrick, Judy Piatkus, and Wilf Eaton join the Ariadne Investor Member Network with immediate effect, bringing the total number of members to 58.

“Six such inspiring and entrepreneurial business people have joined Ariadne because they share our belief that when entrepreneurs back other entrepreneurs it unleashes something much more powerful than traditional angel funding; there’s a wealth of experience, insight and connections that they bring that help fast track our investee companies,” commented Ariadne founder and CEO Julie Meyer.

Ariadne’s investor members play three significant roles: they invest in companies that Ariadne works with alongside other members, they introduce their own deals to the group for funding and they help champion the cause of entrepreneurship.

Each of the new investor members has hands-on experience of start-up companies:

  •     David Rowe founded EasyNet as one of the UK's earliest ISPs in 1994, built it into a giant of communications solutions, and sold to BSkyB in October 2005 for £220m;
  •     Francois Barrault has a unique combined experience of Entrepreneur, Corporate CEO and Investor. Prior to joining BT as CEO of BT Global Services and BT Group PLC Board, Francois had built businesses or co-founded companies such as SOS in France, Astria in Europe, eServGlobal whose USP business has been recently acquired by Oracle. Francois is now the chairman and founder of FDB Partners, an investment and consulting firm in TMT and renewable energy. Francois has extensive experience in M&A and has led the acquisitions of more than 40 companies during his tenure in BT and Lucent/Ascend where he was President and CEO of Lucent EMEA ;
  •     Ian Cormack, who currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and Phoenix Group Holdings, is also an early stage investor in several media firms and Chairman of Real Life, one of Ariadne's portfolio companies;
  •     Jonathan Kendrick co-founded and Chairman and CEO of ROK Entertainment Group, a leading mobile technology, applications and services company and new-business incubator, is a highly successful serial entrepreneur. Jonathan began his business career through securing the European rights to the then-unknown Yokohama tyres brand.    ROK has pioneered many new technologies in the rapidly-evolving mobile phone space which it licenses to Mobile Operators and Handset Manufacturers worldwide;
  •     Judy Piatkus is an entrepreneur who successfully founded and sold two publishing companies. Her second company, Piatkus Books, became known worldwide as a leading brand and pioneer in the area of personal development. She completed a successful exit in Spring 2007; and
  •     Wilf Eaton has founded and sold several consulting companies. He is currently Chairman and Founder of Metaskil plc, the project management firm; Chairman of IRM plc, the information security consultancy and Chairman of Open Square, a provider of insurance systems. He is an early stage investor in technology companies and advises on fund raising and corporate development. Previously Founder and Chief Executive of OASiS Group plc, acquired by Sybase Inc in 1994, and Chairman of Wentworth Research, acquired by Gartner Group in 1998. He is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, a Freeman of the City of London, Trustee of Kenya Children Centres and a Fellow of the RSA.

Commenting on the news, David Rowe said, “Julie introduced the Entrepreneurs Backing Entrepreneurs model to the UK and Europe back in 2000. Her passion and energy for working with people who are driven to build global leading companies is infectious, that’s why entrepreneurs want to work with her.”

"I have been working with Julie and her team for more than five years both as an entrepreneur and as a CEO and I have always been very supportive of her actions in order to help, incubate and advise start ups from the idea to the IPO. What has been achieved in 10 years since Ariadne was created is unique in our Industry and this model should be replicated all over the world. The passion she has around new ideas, technologies and people has been key to creating the winning spirit of "Entrepreneurs backing Entrepreneurs’," said Francois Barrault.

About Ariadne Capital:
Ariadne Capital is a leading UK investment and advisory firm specialising in technology and digital media. Founded by Julie Meyer and other leading entrepreneurs including the founders of Hotmail, BetFair, and WorldPay, Ariadne has advised "game-changers" such as Skype (sold to Ebay), Espotting (now MIVA), SpinVox (voice-to-content leader), Zopa (P2P lending and borrowing), and Monitise (mobile money), and holds equity stakes in 24 high potential start-ups. Ariadne Capital also runs Entrepreneur Country, the start-up community and forum - http://www.entrepreneurcountry.net.

For further information please contact:

Narda Shirley or Sarah Caddy
Gong Communications
+44 (0)207 935 4800

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