It was unfortunate that news of the latest ‘Omicron’ variant of COVID-19 broke over the Thanksgiving holiday, the thinner holiday markets reacted with considerable volatility.
This was particularly notable in smaller company markets, as the FTSE Small Cap and AIM indexes both fell in the range of 5% during the last two weeks of November. The reaction was even starker across the Atlantic, as the Russell 2000 fell 12% peak-to-trough over the same period. Before getting too carried away with these headlines, it is worth pointing out that volumes have since picked up and all three of the above markets have recovered somewhat.
This short-lived selloff was particularly harsh on the technology and media sectors and we took this opportunity to add to a few of our positions here and to initiate a new investment for the Fund. We wrote in detail last month about the exciting growth opportunities that we see in the video games sector and have direct exposure here via Keywords Studios and Frontier Developments. We added to both positions in November. We also continue to increase our position in consumer review platform Trustpilot. We took part in Trustpilot’s IPO back in March and, after a wonderful run-up in the spring/summer, shares retreated close to March levels. The fundamentals of the business remain positive and so far management have delivered on all of their promises at listing. We therefore were happy to further add to our investment in what we see as a high growth business with the potential to be extremely cash generative.
We met with Per Brillion, the CEO of VNV Global, back in September this year and put the business straight onto our watch list. VNV is a Swedish holding company that invests in early-stage technology businesses. In our opinion VNV’s ‘edge’ in this competitive sector is their permanent capital structure (it was founded to invest the savings of a wealthy Scandinavian family) which allows them to invest for a longer time horizon than most private equity models and their comprehensive network built up over years investing in this sector (founded in the 1990s). VNV has investment in around 50 businesses at present, with their largest being Babylon (digital health), BlaBlaCar (ride sharing) and Gett (ride hailing). VNV shares sold-off with the rest of the technology sector in November to levels that we felt offered us an attractive entry point and so we initiated the position.
The above article has been prepared for investment professionals. Any other readers should note this content does not constitute advice or a solicitation to buy, sell, or hold any investment. We strongly recommend speaking to an investment adviser before taking any action based on the information contained in this article.
Please also note the value of investments and the income you get from them may fall as well as rise, and there is no certainty that you will get back the amount of your original investment. You should also be aware that past performance may not be a reliable guide to future performance.