31st Jan 2018

MMC Ventures promotes Head of Research, David Kelnar, to Partner

Following a highly successful 2017, we are delighted to announce the promotion of Head of Research, David Kelnar, to Partner.

MMC Ventures 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 we use to guide our investment themes and to provide the entrepreneurs we back with deep domain knowledge.

David 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 our 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. We have 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 $15.5m 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 $77 million growth investment from US private equity investor, Vector Capital.

Partner and Head of Research, David Kelnar, commented,

“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.”

MMC Ventures Chairman, Alan Morgan, had this to say,

“At MMC we believe there are three key pillars in a successful venture fund: knowledge, network and disciplined decision making. David’s promotion reflects the fantastic strides he has made for the firm in all three areas. During his time with MMC he has built our Research team from the ground up and his insights have enabled us to become a fully research-driven fund. He has become a leading authority on Artificial Intelligence, nurturing strong dealflow and creating a framework for evaluating investment.

We are excited for David to join the partnership at MMC”.

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