Library House, a data gatherer whose online products offer intelligence on VC deals and innovative venture-backed European companies, has now gone in to administration, paidContent:UK has learned. The outfit has hit harder times with bitter irony, as the very venture capitalists whose deals it thrives on for new data sit on their money through the downturn. It’s still aiming to sell all or part of the business.
We had heard rumour earlier this week the firm was close to receivership but were told by a spokesperson on Tuesday it was “business as usual”. This evening, however, the spokesperson gave paidContent:UK a statement from the company’s lawyer: “Notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed in court to protect the assets of company whilst the financial position of the company is reviewed.” The administrator’s name is not yet known and the 15 or so staff are still working with the company, we were told. Library House’s fortunes are not only a sad reflection on the digital media VC segment; we have also enjoyed reporting their regular snapshots of the online business over the last couple of years.
The Cambridge-based firm, whose web databases offer stats and news on the media-technology and cleantech spaces and track institutional funding, has let go of 12 of its 30 staff so far this year, as the market toughened. Five staff left by mutual consent about five weeks ago to spin out Library House’s research business in to another company for themselves, also based in Cambridge – the rest was a mixture of redundancies and choosing not to refill posts that became vacant.
The problem – newly cautious VCs are supposedly holding back, trying to raise new funds, rather than make the investments that populate Library House’s database. So it had sought to “revise” its model, trying to diversify in to events, for example, claiming it just had a successful Mediatech event this month. Others operating in a similar space include StrategyEye, which has a bigger focus on news than numbers.