Tech

Tech investor TMT is ready to ride the blockchain boom

Tech investor TMT Investments is planning to ramp up its involvement in the blockchain space, though the firm warned there is still plenty of naivety surrounding distributed ledger technology.

The figures

In the year to the end of 2017, TMT's net asset value per share jumped 28.6 per cent to $2.43 (£1.74).

The firm, which has backed successful startups including Uber rival Taxify, made $2.2m in profit through partial cash exits from some of its investments and $20.83m in positive revaluations, but it booked $4.38m worth of impairment charges.

Why it's interesting

TMT, which focuses on startups in the big data, e-commerce and business software sectors, made its first blockchain-related investment in February through an initial coin offering (ICO) by messaging app Telegram.

The Aim-listed firm told City AM it was actively looking into new blockchain companies in its core sectors with proven track records.

"In blockchain, the biggest difference is that it's a completely new frontier," Igor Shoifot, investment partner at TMT, said. He added that the excitement – and the naivety – surrounding the sector felt the same as at the end of the 1990s when "anything with 'dot com' at the end was exciting".

"We will continue doing what we are good at, but we will also try to capitalise as much as possible on the advantages of blockchain," Shoifot said.

He added that TMT's expertise in blockchain investments will allow it to produce returns much faster for shareholders through ICOs.

Aside from blockchain, TMT is also looking into companies with subscription-based business models and quantum computing.

Read more: Blockchain is more than bitcoin – it has potential to change the world

What TMT said

Alexander Selegenev, executive director of TMT, said:

2017 was another successful year for the company, with several sizeable revaluations and partial exits across our portfolio.

We are very pleased to see that a significant number of our portfolio companies have become star performers led by outstanding management teams that continue to experience rapid growth and attract additional capital at significantly higher valuations.

The portfolio at present offers a diversified combination of companies including ones that are already operating globally such as Taxify, Pipedrive and Wrike and those that are preparing to scale up. We strongly expect 2018 to produce further positive revaluations across our portfolio.

Read more: Private equity could soon see its tech M&A bubble burst, warns report

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