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MMC Ventures adds Head of Research to partnership

MMC Ventures has promoted Head of Research, David Kelnar, to Partner.

MMC has focused on the technology sector since it was founded in 2000. Under David Kelnar’s leadership MMC has built up a widely recognised Research function which it uses to guide its investment themes and to provide the entrepreneurs it backs with deep domain knowledge.  
 
Kelnar was uniquely suited to head MMC’s Research team. His technology research experience was gained at Goldman Sachs and New York hedge fund, Calypso Capital. This coupled with his own entrepreneurial experience having raised capital for his own startup and operational experience as CFO of early-stage technology business, Babylon Health, enabled a greater understanding of the challenges faced by early-stage entrepreneurs as they scale.
 
MMC’s Research efforts over 2017 focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and in the process the team met more than 300 early-stage AI companies and published the comprehensive State of AI 2017 report. This research influenced MMC’s investment in three new AI companies in 2017: DigitalGenius, Senseye and Peak, as well as new investments in consumer healthcare app, Echo and fintech payment network, APEXX. MMC has a current pipeline of AI-driven businesses and will continue to invest in this space over the course of 2018.
 
2017 also saw the existing MMC portfolio demonstrate significant scale opportunities, Japanese conglomerate Mitsui invested in Sky-Futures, while Opal raised its USD15.5 million Series B round in Silicon Valley. Interactive Investor raised a substantial investment from JC Flowers to fund the acquisition of TD Direct Investing and CloudSense announced a USD77 million growth investment from US private equity investor, Vector Capital.
 
Kelnar says: “I’m delighted to have been invited to join the Partnership at MMC. In building the Research function, my goals have been to empower MMC with market-leading understanding of emerging technologies and sector dynamics, to identify and better evaluate companies taking advantage of these opportunities, and to unlock value in the companies in which we invest.”
 
“I’ve had the opportunity to source some of MMC’s most exciting new investments and to support many of the promising early stage businesses in which MMC has invested.”
 
“Research is at the core of MMC. In my new role I will continue to spearhead the Research function to deliver market-leading insight, unique investment opportunities and superior returns as we identify and help scale some of Europe’s most promising technologies companies.”

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