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Octopus Ventures: Review of 2007 Portfolio Performance & Outlook 2008

8th January 2008



* New investments in Plum Baby and SkillsMarket in December 2007

* £2.1 million of first round investments in 2007 into four companies

* £4 million further funding for existing portfolio companies

* AIM flotation for e-Therapeutics at 67 pence per share
- Achieving 132% IRR for Octopus Ventures investors

* Sale of Site Confidence to NCC Group plc
- Up to 4.5x return for Octopus Ventures investors


Plum Baby Ltd: £400K investment

In December 2007, Octopus Ventures concluded a £400,000 investment in Plum Baby, the organic baby food business founded by Susie Willis in 2004. This investment formed part of a larger £2 million funding round.

Plum Baby started trading in February 2006 and offers consumers a fresh approach to nutrition for infants. The Plum Baby brand provides the ultimate in “feel good” baby food - a premium range of ambient weaning meals whose ingredients are exclusively organic.

In its first year of trading, Plum Baby sold over two million pots from just eight recipes in its weaning range for babies aged over four months. In June 2007 the Company launched a range of meals for older babies between seven and twelve months and in August 2007, it launched a range of three super grain porridges.

Plum Baby is forecasting sales of £5 million for 2007, equivalent to 4% of the baby meals market. The Company has listings with Boots, Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

2007 market data from A.C. Nielsen shows Plum Baby has already made it into the Top 20 ranking by retail sales value for products in its category.

SkillsMarket: £700K investment

During 2007 Octopus Ventures invested £700,000 in SkillsMarket, one of the UK’s fastest growing recruitment solution providers. This investment formed part of a recent funding round for the Company, with which Octopus Ventures has a longstanding relationship as an original investor.

The new capital will be used to finance the initial stages of an aggressive domestic and international expansion of SkillsMarket’s online CV product, known as iProfile™, which is revolutionising the way people interact with the job market.

Already more than two million people, or 15% of UK professionals, currently have an iProfile™, and many of the UK’s leading recruiters are iProfile™ compatible, including Reed, Spring and Alexander Mann.

Given the leading market positions both of these businesses have already established at a very early stage, combined with the high calibre of their management teams and strength of their rollout strategies, we believe that both Plum Baby and SkillsMarket have the potential to generate very healthy returns for our investors.


e-Therapeutics: 132% IRR for Octopus Ventures investors

During 2007, e-Therapeutics, a systems biology drug discovery company, took several important steps towards bringing its revolutionary drugs to market and Octopus Ventures investors are already seeing the substantial benefits from their investment in the Company.

Since its launch in 2005, e-Therapeutics has already delivered 45 new therapy candidates in 11 clinical areas, including MRSA, asthma, depression, cancer, cholesterol, diabetes and pain. These include three drugs which have already proven their efficacy in killing the most resistant strains of MRSA and are currently entering Phase II testing trials.

In April 2007, Octopus Ventures led an undisclosed 7-figure investment round in e-Therapeutics which has been used to progress the next phase of the Company’s drug discovery and clinical programmes, as well as orientate its platform technology towards the discovery of further new treatments for diseases where there are currently no satisfactory medicines.

In November 2007, e-Therapeutics completed a listing on the

Publisher Contact Information:

Octopus Ventures
+0044 (0) 20 7520 9454

Company profile of Octopus Ventures
Past press releases of Octopus Ventures.


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