Vela Technologies (AIM:VELA) Quarterly Investment Update

The Board of Vela (AIM:VELA), an AIM-quoted investing company focused on early-stage and pre-IPO disruptive technology investments, is pleased to report an update for the quarter ended 31 December 2022.

Executive Director, James Normand, commented:

“I am pleased to report that Vela’s gross asset value increased by 8.3% during the quarter ended 31 December 2022. This was largely attributable to a rise in the quoted price for EnSilica’s shares in this period, which we believe reflects the market’s recent greater appreciation of the commercial prospects of the business which prompted us to invest in the company at the pre-IPO stage a year ago. We have taken the opportunity to crystallise some of this appreciation by selling about one third of our investment in EnSilica, As a result Vela’s cash resources have been replenished, thus putting the Company in a position where it can take advantage of promising investment opportunities that continue to be shown to us.”

Key numbers as at 31 December 2022*:

· The value of Vela’s total assets increased during the quarter by £532,000 (8.3%) to £6,933,000.

· Vela’s portfolio comprised a total of 13 active investments (30 September 2022 – 13). Two of these investments were unquoted, ten were quoted, and the final investment was the interest in future royalties from the Covid-19 remedy being developed by St George’s Street Capital Limited (which is held in the balance sheet as a financial asset).

· The fair value of the investment portfolio was £6,068,000 (30 September 2022 – £5,896,000).

· The change in the value of the investment portfolio reflects disposals of investments valued at £254,000 at 30 September 2022 (generating a realised profit of £133,000), a further investment of £100,000 in Northcoders Group plc (‘Northcoders’) and a net unrealised increase in the fair value of the investment portfolio of £327,000.

· Vela’s cash balances increased to £864,000 as at 31 December 2022 (30 September 2022 – £646,000).

*The figures contained within this quarterly investment update at 31 December 2022 and at 30 September 2022 are taken from unaudited management information.

Investments traded on a recognised stock market are valued using the accounting policies outlined in the notes to the annual financial statements. Unlisted investments and other financial assets are stated at the values attributed to them in the audited balance sheet as at 31 March 2022, unless there has been a transaction since that date which suggests a materially different valuation.

Key developments in the quarter:

· The Company held its annual general meeting on 25 October 2022 and all resolutions were duly passed.

· In order to maintain Vela’s percentage interest in this thriving business, a further investment of £100,000 was made in Northcoders in November 2022 as part of a secondary placing by that company.

· During the quarter Vela sold an aggregate of 565,000 shares in EnSilica plc (‘EnSilica’), generating gross proceeds of £387,000 and a realised profit of £133,000.

· Antony Laiker resigned from the board on 20 October 2022.

Key developments in investee companies in the quarter:

· On 17 October EnSilica announced strong results for the year ended 31 May 2022, reporting an increase of 77% in turnover. In addition, EnSilica announced two new contracts with existing customers on 12 December worth $3.6 million.

· On 29 November MTI Wireless Edge Ltd reported a significant contract win worth $0.75 million.

· On 21 November Northcoders announced that it had successfully completed a placing (in which Vela made a further investment).

· On 14 December Northcoders announced a significant contract win with R2 Factory, part of Rolls Royce, worth £0.45 million.

· Cornerstone FS PLC implemented a change of senior management (announced on 11 October) and revised its business plan. On 11 January 2023 a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2022 was announced and indicated a turnround in its fortunes, with unaudited turnover ahead of market expectations.

· On 26 January 2023 Skillcast Group plc published a positive trading update for the year ended 31 December 2022 and expressed confidence that it continues to expect to achieve the objectives set out at the time of its admission to AIM in December 2021.

Developments since 31 December 2022:

· On 20 January 2023 Vela invested £49,000 in Ethernity Networks Limited.

· On 26 January 2023 Mode Global Holdings plc announced the cessation of activities, following the collapse of the crypto-currency markets. The residual management is endeavouring to salvage some value for shareholders.

Investment portfolio

At 31 December 2022 the Company’s portfolio of investments was valued at £6,068,000 and comprised equity or loan interests in the following 13 companies:

· Community Social Investment Limited (formerly WeShop Limited)

· Cornerstone FS PLC

· Aeristech Limited

· EnSilica plc

· Igraine PLC

· Kanabo Group Plc

· MTI Wireless Edge Ltd.

· Mode Global Holdings plc

· Rural Broadband Solutions PLC

· Northcoders Group plc

· Skillcast Group plc

· St George Street Capital Limited

· TruSpine Technologies plc

Since the publication of the last quarterly update on 8 November 2022, the Board of Vela has met with representatives of the following investee companies:

· Aeristech Limited

· Cornerstone FS PLC

· EnSilica plc

· Igraine PLC

· MTI Wireless Edge Ltd

· Skillcast Group plc

· St George Street Capital Limited

Vela has continued to explore opportunities to realise the value in its 8% economic interest in the Covid-19/diabetes drug AZD1656, which remains in the course of development and commercialisation by St George Street Capital Limited.

For further information, please contact:

Vela Technologies plc

Brent Fitzpatrick, Non-Executive Chairman

James Normand, Executive Director

Tel: +44 (0) 7421 728875

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