Octopus Ventures exits Calastone investment to Carlyle Group

Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group and one of the largest and most active VCs in Europe, has exited its investment in Calastone, the global funds network, after a majority stake in the funds network was acquired by The Carlyle Group. 

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Octopus Ventures first invested in Calastone at seed stage in 2008 backing the business through its early stages of growth through multiple rounds of funding from both institutional and retail investors, including investment from the UK’s largest venture capital trust (VCT) Octopus Titan VCT.

The exit represents an 18x return on Octopus Ventures’ initial investment, and a 9x return on the total investment, representing an IRR of over 30 per cent. It highlights the value of patient capital and the ability for institutional and retail investors to play a meaningful role in supporting the next generation of UK business.

Founded in 2007, Calastone has grown to become the largest global funds network and has transformed the mutual funds sector through its innovative use of technology and network interoperability. Calastone’s network brings together the entire fund trading process, offering automated order routing, settlement, dividend and transfer services to asset and fund managers.

Jo Oliver, Partner at Octopus Ventures, says: “The global funds marketplace has undergone a rapid digital transformation over the last decade and Calastone has been at the very forefront of that change, driving significant efficiencies and helping to reduce friction in the market, which ultimately benefits everyone. Today marks an exciting moment for Calastone as it moves into its next stage of expansion.

“Octopus Ventures’ investment in Calastone was one of the very first investments we made from Titan VCT more than a decade ago, and while we always had extremely high hopes for what the business could achieve, it’s been incredible to witness its phenomenal growth as it has become a global market leader in the Fund industry, where it has ambitions to lead the industry’s transition to blockchain based infrastructure. Its story is also a fantastic advert for VCT’s ability to provide patient capital, without which UK success stories like this might not exist. We have relished the opportunity to work with such a talented team at Calastone, led by Julien Hammerson, and we wish them all the best in their exciting next phase of growth.”

Julien Hammerson, Chairman and CEO of Calastone, says: “I would like to thank Octopus Ventures and Accel as well as our non-executive Directors Chris Wade and Chairman Cristóbal Conde, who have all contributed greatly to our success. The Octopus team have been an important and valued partner to Calastone being our original investor and we have been delighted to share our journey with them.”

Fernando Chueca, a Managing Director in The Carlyle Group’s advisory team, says: “Calastone is a global leader and innovator in the funds technology industry, a large and growing market. Since its inception, the company has achieved remarkable growth through replacing legacy and complex workflows with truly innovative solutions for its clients. We are delighted to partner with Julien and the management team and look forward to leveraging our global platform, network of relationships, and deep expertise in Financial Services and Technology to support Calastone in its next phase of growth.”