While Bloomsbury is now a diversified investment group, its origins in 1993 were more specialised. It was originally purely a mining 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: Martin Hollands in sustainability and environment; James Griffiths in forestry; Peter Hollands in mining and metals; Simon Benney in information & data, with heavy industry background, including mining; 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 in a range from £2,500,000 to £15,000,000 and investments will normally be held for from three to five years.
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.