Stanley Capital talks generative AI boom

Livingbridge mulls Superbike sale, say reports.

Generative AI is arguably one of the hottest topics this year. Here on PE Hub Europe, we’ve discussed it from the angle of PE firms utilising it as a tool to source deals, as well as its applications within various portfolio companies. This morning, we have a combination of the two, as Stanley Capital Partners’ founding partners James Brooks and Simon Cottle talk about the firm’s investment in hyper-automation business Roboyo.

Yesterday I wrote about difficulties in the exit market. Today, we have rumblings of a potential exit, as Livingbridge is reportedly mulling a sale of a motorbike recommerce business.

To finish, we have some people news, as Livingbridge makes seven new hires and Armen appoints a new managing director.

Generating revenue

Kicking off with automation. I recently spoke with Stanley Capital founding partners James Brooks and Simon Cottle about the firm’s recent strategic investment into Roboyo, a hyper-automation services company.

London-based SCP invested in Roboyo in early October. Roboyo works with large corporations to implement and manage AI-powered automation technologies. It is headquartered in Nuremberg.

Generative AI is one of the highest growth segments within hyper-automation, Cottle told me. “If the whole hyper-automation market is growing at about 22 percent, this is a higher growth sub-segment within that.”

SCP has set itself a goal with Roboyo: achieve €200 million to €300 million of revenue in roughly three years and to be a sustainably higher margin and cash-generative business. If the firm achieves the goal, Brooks expects Roboyo to be attractive to strategic buyers and private equity. “At that point we will have effectively produced an unreplicable entity in this market,” he added. “If a little bigger than that, public markets might be an opening.”

You can read my full story here. It covers SCP’s use of generative AI in deal origination and resource efficiency investments’ role in sustainability.

Exploring exits

Moving on to a potential exit. Livingbridge, a London-based private equity firm, is working on a possible sale of Superbike Factory, Sky News understands.

Based in Macclesfield in England, Superbike is a recommerce and financing business for used motorbikes. It stocks bikes made by brands including Ducati, Honda and Kawasaki.

Livingbridge invested in Superbike in 2017.

While the identity of potential buyers is unclear, a source close to matter told Sky News that they anticipate the buyer “would emerge from the industry”.

PE Hub Europe has reached out to Livingbridge for a comment.

For those looking to read about a Livingbridge exit that is more than rumours, in early October I spoke to investor Vernan Richards about the firm’s exit from Brainlabs to Falfurrias Capital Partners. London-based Brainlabs is a digital media agency specialising in paid search and data strategy.

People moves

Let’s finish with some people news. On the topic of Liviginbridge, the firm has announced a series of new hires.

Bevan Duncan returns to Livingbridge as an investment director. He most recently served as COO of Mintus and before that, he was a managing director of the strategic equity division at Gresham House.

Duncan was previously part of the Livingbridge team from 2005 to 2018. He worked on investments such as Key Travel, Eque2, MLS, Crew Clothing and Pho.

Livingbridge has also appointed James Milligan, Nick Crosland, Rob Keenan, Tom Gilbride and Harriet Lucas-Clements as investment directors and Amelia Hunt as investment associate.

Elsewhere, Armen, an investment firm focused on acquiring stakes in private equity firms, has appointed Paul Kucerin as managing director, head of DACH Investment in its Germany-based team.

Kucerin joins from Hamburger Pensionsverwaltung, where he served as the head of private equity and private debt.

Armen has also appointed Dominicus von Neree as director of investor relations.

“Today, amidst challenging and volatile macroeconomic conditions, GPs are exploring alternative avenues to grow and develop, including GP Stakes,” said Dominique Gaillard, chairman, co-founder of Armen. “As demand for alternative investment opportunities continues to grow, Dominicus and Paul’s respective expertise will play a pivotal role in supporting GPs across the DACH region and, more broadly, Europe as they tackle these challenges head-on.”