Seneca Partners EIS portfolio company Wejo announces plan for US $1 billion Nasdaq listing

Ian Currie Seneca Partners

Seneca Partners EIS portfolio company Wejo announces plan for US $1 billion Nasdaq listing

Leader in connected vehicle data in deal to go public through reverse merger

Seneca Partners, the specialist SME investment business based in the North West has announced that EIS portfolio company, Manchester-based Wejo Limited (“Wejo”), a leader in connected vehicle data, is to go public through a reverse merger with Virtuoso Acquisition Corp (VOSO.O) at an estimated $1.1billion pro forma equity value. Seneca Partners first invested in Wejo via its EIS portfolio service in 2016 and with further funding rounds to assist in the company’s continued  growth .

The deal will enable Wejo to accelerate expansion of markets across traffic management, advertising, fleet management, insurance, remote diagnostics, car sharing and rental, roadside assistance, payments, SaaS solutions and more.

Every day, Wejo collects in near-real-time 14.6 billion data points and analyses 66 million journeys across a network of 10.7 million live vehicles from a supply base of over 50 million connected vehicles. Wejo expects its connected vehicle network to expand significantly with nearly half of all vehicles globally expected to be connected vehicles by the end of this decade.

Ian Currie, Director of Seneca Partners commented; “This is a fantastic result for Richard and the entire Wejo team. Seneca Partners has supported Wejo with several funding rounds since the beginning of its incredible journey in 2016, when we first invested via our Seneca EIS portfolio service.

“A potential exit on this scale is always what we strive for from the point of making our initial investment and goes to the heart of the Seneca Partners investment philosophy of supporting best in class management teams on their growth journey towards a successful exit.  However, unicorns don’t come along very often and this is one the entire UK business community should be celebrating.

“It also fully demonstrates the power and purpose of the UK Government’s tax advantaged schemes (in this case the Enterprise Investment Scheme) in helping the best young innovative UK companies to raise capital in order to continue to grow and scale.

“Much is made about levels of funds raised and how they are deployed but having provided cash returns to our EIS Portfolio Service investors of over £35million in the last six months and with a stellar tax-free return now due on Wejo these are true measures of EIS investment performance.’’  

Richard Barlow, CEO and Founder of Wejo, said, “The team at Virtuoso champions our vision to transform connected vehicle data into data for good, and we are proud to establish the market standard for collecting and aggregating that data. Insights developed by our data will make mobility safer, smarter, and more sustainable. Driven by our marketplace solutions for customers and SaaS solutions for OEM and Tier 1 partners, we expect rapid growth in revenues over the next several years.

-ends-

Notes to Editors

Seneca Partners

Formed in 2010, Seneca Partners is an award-winning specialist SME investment and advisory business based in the North West of England.  The team brings together decades of success in providing bespoke investment and advisory solutions for clients across a multitude of financial areas including VCT, EIS & IHT product offerings. With over 70 staff working from five offices, Seneca Partners maintains a strong regional presence in the North West and North of the UK, with strong deal flow in the SME heartland areas.

Ian Currie, Director Seneca Partners

Ian Currie is a founder and director at Seneca Partners. He is a qualified accountant and stockbroker and prior to Seneca Partners, Ian worked at KPMG, Peel Hunt & Co, Apax Partners and Altium Capital. Ian sits on the Board of Trustees for the Lowry Arts Centre in Manchester and is a partner of Palatine Private Equity LLP.

Wejo

Wejo’s is a global leader in connected vehicle data;

  • Wejo’s data set is the only truly proprietary connected vehicle data set in the market
  • Engagement with 17 OEMs and Tier 1s
  • 9.1+ trillion data points collected to date, or 5 petabytes of information
  • 44.4 billion journeys mapped to date and 354 billion miles curated
  • A supply base of 50+ million connection-ready vehicles including 10.7 million live vehicles
  • 24 patents pending plus one granted
  • 274 customer and partner agreements

Transaction Overview

Pursuant to the transaction, Virtuoso will combine with Wejo at an enterprise value of $800 million, which implies an estimated $1.1 billion pro forma equity value. Wejo’s existing shareholders are rolling 100% of their existing equity into the combined company and will own approximately 64% of the issued and outstanding shares immediately following closing of the business combination, assuming no redemptions by Virtuoso’s public stockholders.

The transaction is expected to deliver approximately $330 million of gross proceeds, comprised of Virtuoso’s $230 million cash held in trust, assuming no redemptions by Virtuoso’s public stockholders, and a fully committed $100 million PIPE priced at $10.00 per share.

Cash proceeds from the transaction will fully fund Wejo’s five-year plan and position the company to execute on all of its strategic objectives, including acceleration of OEM onboarding, continued rollout of new offerings and services for connected vehicle customers and further expansion into new geographies and in-demand marketplaces. The company will be well capitalized with an estimated $300 million cash at closing and $32 million of debt.

The Board of Directors of Virtuoso and the Board of Directors of Wejo have each unanimously approved the proposed transaction, which is expected to close during the second half of 2021, subject to Virtuoso shareholder approval and customary closing conditions.

Important information

This information is of a general nature and does not constitute an offer to provide services.

Any opinions or conclusions attributable to Seneca Partners are based on the understanding of the available information at the time of publication. Such opinions or conclusions are subject to change without notice.

The value of investments and/or any income arising from them may fluctuate.

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

Important notice

The products and services shown on this website place capital at risk. Investors may receive less in returns than they have invested. Investments may not allow for capital to be withdrawn on demand. If an investment provides tax relief then this relief is subject to change and is dependant on personal circumstances. Any reference to past performance or forecasted performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Seneca Partners recommends that any investor seeks specialised financial and/or tax advice before investing. Seneca Partners does not provide advice and the information on this website, including but not limited to news, should not be construed as such.

Please confirm that you understand this warning and wish to proceed.

Risk summary

(Estimated reading time: 2 minutes)

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  1. You could lose all the money you invest
    • If the business you invest in fails, you are likely to lose 100% of the money you invested. Most start-up businesses fail.
    • Advertised rates of return aren’t guaranteed. This is not a savings account. If the business doesn’t pay you back as agreed, you could earn less money than expected or nothing at all. In addition, if the tenant of the property being financed doesn’t pay the rent due as agreed or vacates the premises, you could earn less money than expected. A higher advertised rate of return means a higher risk of losing your money.
  2. You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong
    • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker at https://www.fscs.org.uk/check/investment-protection-checker/.
    • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated firm, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection at https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumers.
  3. You won’t get your money back quickly
    • This type of business could face cash-flow problems that delay payments to investors. It could also fail altogether and be unable to repay any of the money owed to you.
    • Even if the business you invest in is successful, it may take several years to get your money back. You are unlikely to be able to sell your investment early.
    • Even if you are able to sell your investment early, you may have to pay exit fees or additional charges.
    • The most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or is wound
      up following the sale of the underlying property. These events are not common.
    • If you are investing in a start-up business, you should not expect to get your money back through dividends. Start-up businesses rarely pay these. This investment aims to make quarterly repayments that comprise both a partial repayment of capital and interest, although this is not guaranteed. It could take over 14 years to receive back an amount equal to the amount you invested.
  4. This is a complex investment
    • This makes it difficult to predict how risky the investment is, but it will most likely be high.
    • You may wish to get financial advice before deciding to invest.
  5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well.
    • A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. (See https://www.fca.org.uk/investsmart/5-questions-ask-you-invest).

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk/investsmart

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Risk summary

(Estimated reading time: 2 minutes)

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  1. You could lose all the money you invest
    • If the business you invest in fails, you are likely to lose 100% of the money you invested.
    • Many of the loans ultimately financed by your investment are made to borrowers who can’t borrow money from traditional lenders such as banks. These borrowers have a higher risk of not paying back their loan.
    • Advertised rates of return aren’t guaranteed. If a borrower doesn’t pay back their loan as agreed, you could earn less money than expected. A higher advertised rate of return means a higher risk of losing your money.
  2. You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong
    • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker at https://www.fscs.org.uk/check/investment-protection-checker/.
    • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated firm, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection at https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumers.
  3. You won’t get your money back quickly
    • Some of the loans financed by your investment will last for several years. You may need to wait for your money to be returned even if the borrower repays on time.
    • Some Managers may give you the opportunity to sell your investment early through a ‘secondary market’, but there is no guarantee you will be able to find someone willing to buy.
    • Even if your agreement is advertised as affording early access to your money, you will only get your money early if someone else wants to buy your shares or the company in which you are invested has sufficient available capital to buy them from you. If no one wants to buy, it could
      take longer to get your money back.
    • If you are investing for growth, you should not expect to get your money back through dividends as the Service is not designed to pay dividends to investors seeking growth. If you are investing for income, it will take at least 25 years to get your money back purely through dividends.
  4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well.
    • A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. (See https://www.fca.org.uk/investsmart/5-questions-ask-you-invest).
  5. The value of your investment can be reduced
    • The percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on the basis on which these new shares are issued.
    • If these new shares have additional rights that your shares don’t have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, this could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk/investsmart

Risk summary

(Estimated reading time: 2 minutes)

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  1. You could lose all the money you invest
    • If a business you invest in fails, you are likely to lose 100% of the money you invested in that business. Most start-up businesses fail. Please see page 14 of the Information Memorandum for an overview of the types of businesses this fund invests in.
  2. You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong
    • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker at https://www.fscs.org.uk/check/investment-protection-checker/.
    • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated firm, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection at https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumers.
  3. You won’t get your money back quickly
    • Even if the business you invest in is successful, it may take several years to get your money back. You are unlikely to be able to sell your investment early.
    • The most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or your shares are sold on the Alternative Investment Market. The latter can only occur if there is a willing buyer.
    • If you are investing in a start-up or EIS qualifying business, you should not expect to get your money back through dividends. Such businesses rarely pay these.
  4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well.
    • A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. (See https://www.fca.org.uk/investsmart/5-questions-ask-you-invest).
  5. The value of your investment can be reduced
    • The percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on how much the business grows. Most start-up businesses issue multiple rounds of shares.
    • These new shares could have additional rights that your shares don’t have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, which could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk/investsmart

Risk summary

(Estimated reading time: 2 minutes)

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  1. You could lose all the money you invest
    • If a business you invest in fails, you are likely to lose 100% of the money you invested in that business. Most start-up businesses fail. Please see page 14 of the Information Memorandum for an overview of the types of businesses this fund invests in.
  2. You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong
    • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker at https://www.fscs.org.uk/check/investment-protection-checker/.
    • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated firm, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection at https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumers.
  3. You won’t get your money back quickly
    • Even if the business you invest in is successful, it may take several years to get your money back. You are unlikely to be able to sell your investment early.
    • For companies whose shares are not listed on any exchange (‘unquoted’ or ‘private’ companies), the most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or lists its shares on an exchange such as the London Stock Exchange. These events are not common.
    • For companies whose shares are listed on an exchange (such as the AQSE or AIM), the most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or your shares are sold on that exchange. The latter can only occur if there is a willing buyer.
    • If you are investing in a start-up or EIS qualifying business, you should not expect to get your money back through dividends. Such businesses rarely pay these.
  4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well.
    • A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. (See https://www.fca.org.uk/investsmart/5-questions-ask-you-invest).
  5. The value of your investment can be reduced
    • The percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on how much the business grows. Most start-up businesses issue multiple rounds of shares.
    • These new shares could have additional rights that your shares don’t have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, which could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk/investsmart