Client

SeaCaptaur UK Limited (the “Company”) – an innovative pre-revenue start-up

Background

The Company was established in order to exploit the SeaCaptaur system (the “System”), an unmanned, offshore oil production system that was designed to enable the production of small pool oil deposits at lower costs than existing technologies. The System was in the pre-prototype stage, consisting of product designs, technical specifications and patent applications, and the Company was fundraising to enable the construction of its first production platform.

Like many IP-rich companies looking for investment, there was a disconnect between the Company’s potential business valuation and the value reflected on its balance sheet. The lack of tangible assets was clearly an obstacle in securing investment and it was evident that investors had no transparency over the inherent IP value that the Company had created. The Company required an independent assessment of its IP that demonstrated how critical it was to the future revenue streams of the business and provided an indication of value that could be relied on by investors.

Assignment

Metis Partners was appointed to assist the Company in determining the extent and value of its IP assets, to enable this to be communicated to potential investors. The engagement required Metis Partners to identify and value all critical IP assets of the Company, and to highlight the link between the Company’s IP and its future business operations and revenue streams.

Our Approach

Metis Partners performed an Information Discovery Process in order to collect and collate all relevant information on the Company, its IP, and the market in which it was to operate.

Our valuation team met with the Managing Director of the Company, who provided a detailed overview of the Company’s technology and underlying IP, enabling us to fully assess the extent and quality of the critical IP assets. An overview of the Company’s financial model was also provided and we performed a thorough analysis of all management’s assertions and assumptions in order to assess the achievability of the financial forecasts, which essentially were being driven by the underlying IP. Sector research enabled us to assess both the likely competitive advantages that the Company’s IP assets would secure and the Company’s potential for scalability in the sector.

Our rigorous Information Discovery Process enabled us to:

  • Identify all critical IP assets vesting in the Company
  • Establish how each IP asset directly linked to the Company’s products
  • Map how each IP asset would underpin revenue streams
  • Assess the extent to which the IP could secure and protect competitive advantage

In addition to identifying the Company’s core IP, including brand, patents and a trade secret, Metis Partners recognised key organisational knowledge in the form of proof of concepts, product designs, blueprints and technical specifications, which were all critical to the success of the Company’s future operations. Our analysis of the Company’s patent portfolio also identified information that was vital to the Company’s services but was not included within any of the patent claims. This was identified as a trade secret and recognised as having significant value within the Company’s IP portfolio.

The Outcome

Metis Partners provided the Company with an independent defensible IP valuation, which:

  • Bridged the gap between the Company’s business valuation and its balance sheet
  • Fully narrated the Company’s IP portfolio, creating transparency for potential investors
  • Explained how the Company secured and maintained its competitive advantage
  • Highlighted the critical IP resource from which the Company would generate future revenues
  • Became a reference point for all fundraising and investment discussions