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John O'Connell

Partner Rating:

Un-rated

Partner Information:

Title:     Chairman

Location:  London, Europe

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.2 / 5.0 by 11

Firm Information:

Company:   Ariadne Capital

Type:      Very Small Private Equity

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

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1
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A Supportive Investor; Aligned on Values

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous99 on 2013-08-06

PUBLIC:

We have had a positive experience of working with Ariadne - at odds with the (dated) comments below.

Although they're a small fund, Ariadne moved quickly and efficiently through the investment process, were fair and reasonable with the negotiation of terms, and were sensible with the scope of the due diligence they undertook. No complaints.

More generally, Julie Meyer puts a considerable effort into the creation of a more enterprising society in the UK - efforts which should be applauded - and in my experience her motivation is genuine and sincere. It also clearly frames the way Ariadne seeks to work with us - I feel we're aligned on both the vision for our business as well as our values.

On a practical level, Julie is incredibly well networked. Her ability to open high value PR and commercial doors has proved invaluable.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Unique Amongst VC's I've Met in the Uk

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2013-06-20

PUBLIC:

Ariadne have multiple approaches to helping Entrepreneurs and as such are not so much purely a venture fund (although they do have funds to help entrepreneurs): rather they offer a range of services to Entrepreneurs from helping fund raise, M&A, networking and seeding startups.

I am amazed by some of the comments on this forum - I went to the "Follow the entrepreneur" forum early this year - you only have to look at the website and the packed list of speakers for that forum, to see that Ariadne have a serious and credible network.

Ariadne have been extremely helpful in helping my company find a new NED. They certainly were not aggressive about fees for this and so again, I can't understand some of the other comments.

They've also proposed to my company some services for helping us to raise cash at nothing like the fees mentioned by a poster some 5-6 years ago.

My advice would be:

*If you are a start-up they could make a really good source of seed capital.
*If you have time - then try and go to one of their "entrepreneurcountry" events or at least the website - it's what they are all about.
*They are not a VC with the ability to invest millions - I'd certainly say that if your business requires that you may be better off talking to some of the tier 1 VCs.

This is a fund that tries very hard to respect entrepreneurs for what their vision is: unlike most funds I've pitched to they haven't tried to mold my company into their view of the world.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Delivered on Promise, Adding Value

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2013-06-14

PUBLIC:

I note that many of the comments here are 5+ years old, so I think it’s worth adding some updated opinion as the world has a habit of changing over time.

Julie Meyer is a formidable force for good in the British/European entrepreneur scene. She is fantastically well connected, and to the right people (which is no small thing if you have a b2b product and speed to market is key), understands the difficult dynamics of startup life, has real empathy, business insight and she will do as she says. If I had a penny for every VC who said they’d do something and didn’t….

It is true that Ariadne isn’t running a big fund, but that’s ok. Julie works tirelessly to help fund European entrepreneurs at the earliest (read 'hardest') stage and has successfully deployed capital. Furthermore, she believes passionately in the spirit of entrepreneurship and is a true champion of those who try.

I have observed Julie operating at startup Board level – behind closed doors where difficult decisions are made and real strategy is formed. She is energetic, creative and adds tremendous value and insight. She encourages the entrepreneur to think differently about their business model, asks insightful questions and is unafraid to dig deeper, at all times with a positive, proactive demeanour that is inspiring.

If you want an ex-banker/consultant/accountant with zero operating experience giving you money and advice from an ivory tower, then take your pick of the countless European VCs on offer. But if you seek someone who is wisened by experience, will open doors, help you navigate choppy waters and tirelessly stand by you when the chips are down, then Julie is your woman.

Whatever you do, make sure you know exactly what skills you want from an investor and then seek them out. If you don’t, you will only end up disappointed and critical of those trying to help.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Useless!

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-04

PUBLIC:

Before I read the comments here, I sent them an e-mail asking them if they may be interested in a conversation. I got an e-mail reply from a junior who appeared on the Web to have graduated from a 2-bit university which I know to be of poor quality. The e-mail reply was clearly a cut-and-paste job, as it had conflicting message, saying that they were interested and not interested in having a conversation at the same time! Come on, precision in communication is not that hard a skill to grasp!

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Edge of Worthless

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-17

PUBLIC:

The first (and only) time I was swayed to outsource financing was with Ariadne. It wasn't just that Julie got nowhere (really nowhere), it was that she was disingenuous about the strength / applicability of her network - I was frankly surprised. I got skiddish when all I saw were .xls preadsheets and 'project management' reports and no meeting ever came to fruition. I ended the engagement and raised the money myself.

Later, someone turned me on to a website that had been blogging Ariadne for quite some time (Company.com).

PRIVATE: Members Only (236 Characters)

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Helping Skype Deliver on Vision?

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by anonymous on 2007-08-16

PUBLIC:

They tried to pitch to us for business and made some introductions to some not very suitable potential non-execs. They wanted to help us fundraise - not a fund in their own right.

PRIVATE: Members Only (473 Characters)

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Venture Catalyst

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by rxdxt on 2007-07-10

PUBLIC:

I attended their investors forum event a few weeks ago. Frankly I've been to a lot of these in the states and thought this one was well done and there were some good solid businesses/opportunities. I have positive things to say as of yet, but thanks to this will dig around a bit.

PRIVATE: Members Only (380 Characters)

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Not Worthy of Mention

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

I have had the extreme misfortune to have crossed paths with Ariadne Capital. Quite frankly I am surprised they are still around. They have a rolodex of middle managers and try to get retainers for introductions for business development deals. Taking consulting services from these guys would be a very poor decision. They have little real world experience and surround themselves with a revolving door of weak people. Remember where they came from - organizing cocktail parties...

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Complete Waste of Time.

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-03

PUBLIC:

Consultant Vs. Investor " I say put your money where your mouth is.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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This is Not a Fund. It is a Corporate Finance House that Dresses as One.

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Mark on 2007-03-19

PUBLIC:

There is no money here to invest. There is a network that promises to connect to capital. Connections are fine and good but be very careful what you give away for the privilege of accessing the network.

PRIVATE: Members Only (125 Characters)

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Not a Venture Fund Whatsoever

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Y2K on 2007-03-17

PUBLIC:

If your business depends on getting your name out there than maybe these guys are worth talking to but not too much value add. Selling consulting services so no way a venture fund but don't think it professes to be either.

PRIVATE: Members Only (254 Characters)

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Boutique Investment Bank: Not a "Real" Venture Fund

Fund: Ariadne Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-17

PUBLIC:

Founder - Julie Meyer - was founder of First Tuesday. Provides a variety of services to companies/entrepreneurs.

PRIVATE: Members Only (384 Characters)