While Bloomsbury is now a diversified investment group, its origins in 1993 – thirty years ago – were more specialised. It was originally purely a mining, ore and metals market analysis business: hence the parent company’s name Bloomsbury Minerals Economics. It has since diversified into sustainability research in mining and metallurgy and then on from sustainability into regenerative primary industries: investing in forestry and seaweed aquaculture. The Group also has investments in information, data and SaaS businesses.
The parent company Bloomsbury Minerals Economics (BME) has direct shareholdings of 25% of Metal Price Analytics (ore & metal price models) and 20% of Skarn Associates (mining ESG research and publishing), both UK based. Since 2021, investments have been made via two 85%-owned subsidiaries: the first, Bloomsbury Natural Capital owns 4% of Cascadia Seaweed Corp of Canada and has taken 6% of a convertible loan financing round of Swiss FinTech company Xilva AG (bringing capital and forestry together). The second subsidiary, Bloomsbury Information Capital, has 4%+ of the equity of Progressive Growth Partners Pty Ltd of Australia, trading as ‘Mutinex’ (marketing related SaaS) and 4%+ of the equity in Minviro Ltd of the UK (SaaS and consultancy on environmental footprint minimisation in mining & metallurgy).
Key personnel bring in a broad range of high-level experience and skills: Peter Hollands in mining and metals; Simon Benney in information & data, with heavy industry background, including mining; Martin Hollands in sustainability and environment; James Griffiths in forestry; Adam Sotowicz in mathematical price models and machine learning; Barbara Sotowicz in management. The Group normally expects to have Board level representation in the companies that it invests in, whether as Observer, or on a paid basis either Advisor, or Non-executive Director.
Investment targets are mainly at the Seed Capital or Series A stages. The initial stake is usually in the 3%-5% range. In subsequent funding rounds, stakes may be increased to 10%+. Targets are usually companies with pre-money values between £2,500,000 and £15,000,000 and investments will normally be held for from three to five years. Further investments are pending in 2023 H2, in mining and metals news and data, and in market analysis and mathematical price modeling for mined commodities.
The company has a track record not just of well-chosen investments, but also of good exits. Bloomsbury was invested in Mining Journal / MCL from 2006-08, the original FastMarkets from 2008-12, Intierra then IntierraRMG from 2009-14, then Roskill from 2010-21.