About

DC Thomson Ventures (DCT Ventures) is the corporate venture arm of D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd., a private, family-owned company with a long heritage of entrepreneurship. Headquartered in Dundee, Scotland with a London office in Fleet Street, the DC Thomson Group is one of the leading media organisations in the UK, predominantly publishing newspapers and magazines. Shortlist Media and Puzzler Media also form part of the DC Thomson publishing division.

The wider DC Thomson Group has other major divisions operating in international book publishing (Parragon), data centres (brightsolid) and global online genealogy (Findmypast).

DC Thomson has a long traditional of entrepreneurial investment which is now led through DCT Ventures. Through acquisitions and investments, the organisation has diversified into new media, digital technology, education, retail, radio and television.

What we look for in investment

Business characteristics

We look for:

  • An opportunity for significant growth supported by a credible implementation plan.
  • A first class, creative and entrepreneurial management team.
  • A track record of strong revenue and profit growth.
  • A cash generative business model.
  • A proven product or service with deep customer insight.
  • A business targeting a large and attractive market.

Sector & geographic focus

Consumer

Content, information & data, data analytics & systems and live events.

Advertising & marketing services

B2B

Content, information & data, data analytics & systems and live events.

Educational content & technology

Media & digital services

Geographic focus

We primarily focus on UK headquartered companies.

Deal size & structure

We typically aim to invest between £2m and £10m into companies that require growth or buy-out capital.

We look for companies that are generating at least £5m of revenues and EBITDA in excess of £0.5m. However, in exceptional circumstances, we can make smaller, earlier stage investments.

We invest either as sole or co-investor.

We are able to be flexible and will structure our investment to suit each individual opportunity.

Our operating philosophy

We are highly professional, fair and transparent. We aim to be approachable and straight talking.

We strive to work in a close and constructive partnership with our management teams to ensure that their businesses can thrive and achieve their growth potential.

We take an active and responsive approach to engaging with our management teams and will support you all the way through the growth of your business to the point of exit.

News & Media

Limelight Sports Group welcomes the investment of DC Thomson V…

13th September 2016
Limelight Sports Group, the leading global participation sport agency has agreed and received an investment boost from one of the UK’s leading media groups.[…]
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PlayCanvas raises seed round led by DC Thomson Ventures

19th November 2014

PlayCanvas, the cloud-hosted games development platform, has raised a £300,000 seed round led by DC Thomson Ventures, the venture capital arm of the family-owned media group DC Thomson.

The investment comes as Play[…]

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DC Thomson Ventures and Nesta announce £1.75 million investme…

2nd October 2014

DC Thomson Ventures, the venture capital arm of private media group DC Thomson, and Nesta Impact Investments have made a significant investment in Edinburgh-based edtech company, CogBooks.

The investment forms part […]

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Team

Richard Hall

Chairman

Richard Hall

Richard Hall

Chairman

Richard is Chairman of DCT Ventures. He is a Director of the parent company, DC Thomson & Co. Limited and heads up the London operations out of the office on Fleet Street.

Richard works closely with the Group’s operating businesses on acquisitions and disposals.

In his previous career, Richard practised as a corporate lawyer qualified in both London and Hong Kong.

James Robson

Head of DCT Ventures

James Robson

James Robson

Head of DCT Ventures

James is Head of DCT Ventures and is based in the London office.  He is responsible for working with the Group board and divisional businesses to identify acquisitions and disposals and execute relevant transactions. He is also responsible for leading the acquisition and management of a growing investment portfolio of media and media technology businesses.

James qualified as a corporate lawyer with Clifford Chance, completed an MBA at Cranfield SoM and worked as a strategy consultant with Andersen Consulting.  He then joined ITVdigital’s corporate development team before moving to BBC Worldwide where he was Strategy & Business Development Director for the Home Entertainment Division.  James spent a year as interim Managing Director of satellite platform Freesat before joining KPMG’s media M&A team and then moving to Grant Thornton latterly running its media corporate finance team.

Tully Cornick

Senior Principal, Investments

Tully Cornick

Tully Cornick

Senior Principal, Investments

Tully is a Senior Principal at DCT Ventures, based in Fleet Street, London.  His role encompasses identifying and executing transactions of businesses to be acquired by DC Thomson or by one of its divisional companies, and investments into companies that will form part of DCT Ventures’ investment portfolio.

Tully is a Corporate Financier by background, having advised on and led the acquisitions and disposals of companies in the UK and the Americas since 2000.  Prior to joining DCT Ventures, Tully completed his MBA, worked at Citigroup focusing on mid-market M&A and then at KPMG focusing on Corporate Finance in both London and the Cayman Islands.

Ben Gray

Strategic Venture Advisor

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Strategic Venture Advisor

Ben works for parent company DC Thomson & Co. Limited and is a strategic advisor to DCT Ventures out of their Dundee office. He is responsible for identifying opportunities in adjacent and new industries, with a particular focus on the EdTech sector.

Previously, Ben was Managing Director of the company’s Magazine Division and was involved in the joint venture between Scotland On Line and brightsolid, now wholly owned by the DC Thomson Group.

Prior to joining DC Thomson, Ben worked for the European Commission and trade associations based in Brussels. He is a Non-Executive Director for the Registers of Scotland, the world’s oldest property register.

Sophie Holt

Business Development Principal

Sophie Holt

Sophie Holt

Business Development Principal

Sophie is Business Development Principal at DCT Ventures and based in the London office. She is responsible for deal origination primarily based around our core investment criteria as well as driving collaborative growth opportunities through strategic partnerships between with the DC Thomson businesses and startup or scaleup companies.

Sophie qualified as a commercial lawyer at Macfarlanes and was seconded for a year to the legal teams at Virgin Enterprises and Virgin Head office in London. She joined DC Thomson as General Counsel in 2011 and became increasingly involved in the investment side of the business, taking on directorships in a number of investee companies. She led the DC Thomson team in establishing the startup accelerator IDEA London in Shoreditch with Cisco and UCL and had a seat on the Governing Board. Having completed a corporate finance course at London Business School she moved into the investment team full time in 2013. In 2016 Sophie took up an interim role as Joint COO for DC Thomson’s group company Beano Studios before returning to her current role at DCT Ventures.

Paul Daly

Financial Venture Advisor

Paul Daly

Paul Daly

Financial Venture Advisor

Paul is Head of Group Finance at parent company DC Thomson & Co. Limited and is a financial advisor to DCT Ventures, based out of their Dundee office. Paul is involved in all aspects of Group Mergers, Acquisitions and informal investment, and sits on the Boards of the Group’s main subsidiary companies. He is responsible for Group reporting and Treasury.

Paul is a big-four trained Corporate Finance specialist and is non-executive at the Dundee Rep Theatre Ltd.

Claire MacDonald

Advisor

Claire MacDonald

Claire MacDonald

Advisor

Claire MacDonald sits within the DCT Group Finance team and is an advisor to DCT Ventures. Claire was previously innovation manager for the IDEAScotland start-up accelerator programme based out of Dundee.

Prior to joining DC Thomson, Claire worked for JW Holdings Limited as an Investment Manager, sourcing and reviewing investment opportunities in a number of sectors Previously, Claire worked at Noble & Co corporate financiers assisting high tech AIM companies with fundraising and floats. Claire also worked for the Winning Scotland Foundation and delivered the culture changing Positive Coaching Scotland programme.

Imran Dean

Investment Associate

Imran Dean

Imran Dean

Investment Associate

Imran is an Investment Associate at DCT Ventures, based in Fleet Street, London.

His role is to help the team with investments into companies that will form part of DCT Ventures’ investment portfolio and acquisitions by DC Thomson or one of its divisional companies.

Imran is on the constant lookout for new investment opportunities.

Imran has a background in finance, having previously worked in Fixed Income and he also has experience in equities. Prior to this, Imran completed his Msc Finance at Imperial College Business School where he achieved an academic scholarship.

Rochelle McMurtrie

PA

Rochelle McMurtrie

Rochelle McMurtrie

PA

Rochelle is a PA at DC Thomson and is based in the Fleet Street, London office.

Rochelle joined the firm in 2015 and provides comprehensive administrative support to James Robson, Head of DCT Ventures and Susannah Evans, Head of DC Thomson Legal, and their respective teams.

Contact

London

DCT Ventures
185 Fleet Street
London
EC4A 2HS
+44 (0) 207 400 1030

Dundee

DCT Ventures
2 Albert Square
Dundee
DD1 1DD
+44 (0) 207 400 1030
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