Former tech unicorn Ve Interactive sold for just £2m

Ve Interactive

Ve Interactive helps online retailers close transactions CREDIT: VE

e Interactive, the advertising technology company once valued at £1.5bn that was bought out of administration last week, was sold for just £2m.

Administration documents revealed that last week’s management buyout of the London-based company came at a pittance relative to Ve’s once lofty ambitions.

The company had more than £50m in debts when it was rescued in a pre-pack administration in an attempt to keep the company going, saving around 250 jobs.

Ve, once seen as one of the UK’s most promising technology start-ups, was valued by some investors at £1.5bn last year, but struggled to pay staff costs and debts when revenues grew much slower than expected.

It was rescued at a £300m valuation earlier this year, with Aston Ventures and a consortium of other investors putting £3m in and planning to raise at least £20m more.

Ve boss Morten Tonnesen
Ve boss Morten Tonnesen CREDIT: VE

However it failed to secure the cash and collapsed last week, with its new management – led by chief executive Morten Tonnesen – paying £2m for the core business. The company’s founder David Brown left the business when it was bought out in March.

Documents from Ve’s administrators Smith & Williamson showed that the company needed at least £2m of funds to key suppliers such as Microsoft to keep operating. It estimated that unsecured creditors, to whom Ve owed £50.6m, could expect to receive just 7.7p in the pound in return.

Of the £20m its owners had planned to raise in funding, it was able to secure just £13.1m, some of which had not been received, including £1.56m that had merely been pledged.

Concha, a listed investor that counts a 0.43pc stake in Ve as its main asset, said it was “deeply disappointed” and that the events had “eliminated any residual carrying value in Concha’s former investment in Ve”

[“Source-telegraph”]