MyVoucherCodes founder Mark Pearson has joined Aston Ventures’ Doug Barrowman in a consortium to raise funds for tech startup Ve Interactive.
With a staff count in excess of 1000, the former ad tech ‘unicorn’ was estimated to be worth £1.5 billion, but a £3 million emergency cash injection – following the stepping down of CEO and founder David Brown – sees it valued now at just £300 million.
Replacing Brown, who will stay with the firm as technology adviser, and other departing associates, investors Pearson and Barrowman are understood to have joined Ve’s executive board. As reported by The Telegraph, they are driving the consortium behind the £3 million bailout received by Ve last week.
Amid reportedly late payments for staff in December, January and February, the consortium is working to tide the company over until it reaches profitability. It’s currently seeking to cut costs and scramble between £20 and £40 million in private funding at the same £300 million valuation.
Despite the news, in the public eye Ve’s investors seem confident, with Barrowman commenting that the startup represented a “flagship technology startup” and “sound investment opportunity”.
“Backed by us and under the leadership of Morten, a gifted operator with experience of working in a multi-billion dollar NASDAQ-listed technology company we believe Ve will enter the UK’s tech Hall of Fame.”
Brown himself, who was forced to disband a large portion of his shares in order to secure the funding, has also spoken positively of Pearson and Barrowman’s new leadership.
“I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved at Ve over the last seven years, and I have a lot of confidence in the incoming team.
“I am looking forward to focusing on the product and technology vision after handing over the CEO reins to Morten. As part of my new advisory position, I will be cooperating in the transition over the coming weeks,” said Brown.