Advent Venture Partners secures third tech exit in 2011

London-based Advent Venture Partners’s tech portfolio has completed its third exit this year as it sells mobile payments provider Zong SA to eBay for $240 million (£150.5 million).

London-based Advent Venture Partners’s tech portfolio has completed its third exit this year as it sells mobile payments provider Zong SA to eBay for $240 million (£150.5 million).

The exit has generated a 7.7 times return on investment for the venture capital investors and follows The Foundry’s sale to Carlyle in March and Dailymotion’s structured sale to Orange in April.

Advent backed Zong four years ago in Europe, investing in Swiss company Echovox from which Zong was spun-off in 2009.

In that time, the company has focused on its telco billing relationships as a platform for monetising digital goods and services, and has expanded into the US market.

Its three exits have achieved over six times invested capital on average and in aggregate returned over 1.5 times the total amounts invested in tech from Advent Private Equity Fund IV.

Zong uses its direct connections with mobile network operators to provide a secure payment solutions to digital merchant sites, such as Facebook Credits.

Advent’s exit from video sharing website Dailymotion earlier this year was part of a staged acquisition process which saw the French telecoms provider Orange purchase a 49 per cent stake in the business for €58.8 million (£52.5 million), valuing it at €120 million (£107 million). Orange has the option to buy the remainder of the company in 2013.

Altrnative asset manager The Carlyle Group acquired a significant majority stake in The Foundry, which develops visual effects software from Advent in March.

General partner at Advent Frederic Court specialises in mobile, consumer internet and software, and has led or co-led investments in Zong, Echovox and Dailymotion.

Advent focuses on growth equity for tech-driven businesses and invests in highly differentiated businesses with capital efficient growth.