Risk warning: The value of investments and derived income can fall. Investors may get back less than they invested.

Shard Capital Partners named on UK Investment Support Directory

We’re thrilled to share that Shard Capital Partners have been selected to be part of the UK Investment Support Directory – a government initiative to promote expertise of businesses and connect with investors from across the globe.

“It is another way DIT [ Department of International Trade ] is helping support foreign investment by streamlining connections between UK businesses and overseas investors.” Director General for Investment, Mark Slaughter. https://bit.ly/2QFAkbS

New record – 131 Investor Visas granted in Q1 2019

By Farzin Yazdi – Head of Investor Visa at Shard Capital.

Today’s data release reminds me of the pre Nov 2014 rush we saw ahead of the increase of minimum investment from £1m to £2m – and the results are similar too. In 2014 from Q3 to Q4 we saw numbers double. This morning’s data release show an increase of over 40% from last quarter with 131 visas granted – with nearly 60% of all applicants coming from China*. 

And what a memorable quarter it has been; with the Statement of Changes on March 7 and new rules going live on the 29th of March. 

Is Britain still open for business?

When new rules are announced, it takes time for advisors and clients to fully understand them – and their subsequent implications. This time is no different. Many are still coming to terms with the implications of showing source of wealth for 2ys.

I’ve had more than one client explain to me that their cash has only been held for a short period of time, but they will seek to apply once it has been there for 2ys! In fact, from a financial perspective nothing has changed. Immigration rules have aligned closer to those in the financial world.

Given the above, I expect a few slower quarters before a return to the mean, which I believe will be a slightly higher average as some who may have chosen the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, may now choose the Investor Visa category.

Managing money for Investor Visa purposes is a specialist service which differs significantly from ordinary investment management; requiring detailed knowledge, expertise, and capabilities in other areas in order to achieve with the ultimate objective – to get ILR. 

Overall I welcome the new rules, and whilst not perfect, it does help to protect the UK from unscrupulous sources of wealth and bring greater economic benefit to the country.

Thank you again to all those who took part in our survey. Together we have made a difference! 

If you would like more information on the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, or would like to discuss this ONS release, please contact Farzin Yazdi – farzin.yazdi@shardcapital.com 

Important Information

“Shard Capital LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Important information: The information above is published solely for information purposes and is not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments. It does not constitute a personal recommendation as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs of individual investors. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested. It should be remembered that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of any information provided and no assurances or warranties are given. If you are unsure of the suitability of this product then you should contact and Independent Financial Adviser, authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.”

Ashley Boolell – Shard Capital Commodities – April Overview Update

Ashley Boolell, Commodities partner at Shard Capital, provides his insight on the latest commodity market developments following the release of the latest monthly report.

Watch the overview update.

The results are in! Reforming the UK Tier 1 (Investor) Visa survey results

This survey was designed and conducted by Farzin Yazdi – Head of Investor Visa at Shard Capital. 


In early Feb we asked for your thoughts around proposed reforms to Tier 1 (Investor) Visa and the results have been great.

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey, as well as those who gave their input in developing the questions and structure.

Following the December 5 announcement by the Immigration Minister, to temporarily suspend and reform the UK Tier 1 (Investor) Visa category, it was our understanding that there would be no consultation with stakeholders.

This prompted my move to create a survey to give my fellow industry colleagues an opportunity to have their say on what the visa reforms should include, how they feel the visa requirements and process should be structured, and then present the survey findings to key decision makers including the Home Secretary, Immigration Minister and Migration Policy.

Whilst not a great comparison, the last time this visa category called for an industry consultation was in 2014. At the time, there were just 43 respondents. With this recent survey conducted, we’ve had 160 responses. A breakdown of respondents can be viewed in the final response (Q28).

I am pleased to advise that; whilst not willing to meet, Immigration Minister, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP has responded to the survey being conducted, saying …the survey is of interest as it closely relates to some of our proposed reforms. Ms Nokes has also stated, the UK welcomes legitimate and genuine investors, and the reforms are aimed at protecting the UK and increasing economic benefit.  Migration Policy has also reviewed the survey in detail and I have discussed points raised at great length.


There were a number of interesting observations from the survey; a few of the key highlights are noted below –

Question 8 in the survey asked“The Home Office may require applications to demonstrate that they have been ‘in control of funds for at least two years’.”   Interestingly, 40% of respondents said, ‘Not necessary’.

Question 9 in the survey asked – “Do you believe Immigration Rules should be aligned to the widely accepted anti-money laundering standard the JMLSG (Joint Money Laundering Steering Group) Guidance?  74% of all respondents said, ‘Yes, agree’.

In the recent Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules, HC 1919 states, ‘No more Government Bonds’. Question 3 of the survey asked – “Does an investment in UK government bonds benefit the UK economy?”  54% of all respondents said, ‘Yes, agree’.

Question 15 in the survey asked – “Do you believe it is fair to restrict Investor Visa applicants to invest in higher risk investments, even if the investment may not be suitable to the individual?”  54% of all respondents said, ‘Unfair – and should not be permitted’.

Question 17 in the survey asked – “Do you believe UK government bonds should remain a qualifying investment for Tier 1 (Investor) Visa applicants?”  72% of all respondents said, ‘Yes, agree’.


[ I welcome you to share and utilise the results of this survey as you see fit, however please ensure author and source are appropriately referenced.]


So what do the reforms mean? Business as usual?

Yes! Not much has changed, and in my opinion these reforms will help reach the desired outcome. Ultimately it’s a step in the right direction.

The 2 year ‘control of funds’ rule versus 90 days shift does not change much on our side, as we look into this even deeper when onboarding and opening client accounts. Additional responsibility has been placed onto financial firms such as ourselves. This is something I welcome as it emphasises that investing in the UK for the purpose of a UK Tier 1 (Investor) visa is a specialist trade. Lawyers say to me daily that clients have their own bankers, but do they have this expertise?

Whilst I don’t agree personally either way on removing government bonds, nor do I object the removal as I can see the reasoning behind the decision. From a client risk perspective, similar corporate bond portfolios can be created by increasing credit risk from AA to BBB – which is not significant considering the investment universe.

Pooled investments where you are coinvested with entities such as the British Business Bank makes a lot of sense. Whilst not for everyone, it does bring more economic benefit to the country. Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss this.

So in summary, the new rules and reforms may take a few months to be understood, although I strongly believe it will be business as usual.


If you would like more information on the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, or would like to discuss this survey, please contact Farzin Yazdi – farzin.yazdi@shardcapital.com 


Important Information

“Shard Capital LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Important information: The information above is published solely for information purposes and is not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments. It does not constitute a personal recommendation as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs of individual investors. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested. It should be remembered that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of any information provided and no assurances or warranties are given. If you are unsure of the suitability of this product then you should contact and Independent Financial Adviser, authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.”

Ferro‐Alloy Resources Limited – Admission to Trading on the Main Market and First Day of Dealings

Ferro‐Alloy Resources Limited, the Guernsey vanadium mining and mineral processing company with operations based in Southern Kazakhstan, is pleased to announce that its entire issued ordinary share capital will commence trading on the standard listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange at 8.00 a.m. today under the ticker FAR.L and ISIN GG00BGDYDZ69 (“Admission”). The Company is dual listed on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE).

As part of the Admission process, the Company has successfully raised £5.2 million (before expenses) from institutional shareholders through a Placing and Subscription of 7,507,761 new ordinary shares of no‐par value (the “Ordinary Shares”) at a placing price of 70p each, implying a market capitalisation of £219.1 million on Admission. Following Admission, the total number of  Ordinary Shares in the Company in issue will be 312,978,848 each with equal voting rights.

Company Highlights

  • Established and profitable vanadium producer in Southern Kazakhstan focused on expanding and developing the Balasausqandiq Vanadium Project (“Balasausqandiq” or the “Balasausqandiq Deposit”)
  • Operations located at the Balasausqandiq site with two main business activities:
    • the Balasausqandiq Vanadium Project (the “Project”), which has a reserve of over 70 million tonnes estimated on the locally required basis, of which ore‐body number one (of five) has estimated reserves on a JORC basis of 23 million tonnes. There is significant upside potential from exploration; and
    • an existing profitable vanadium concentrate processing operation (the “Existing
  • Raised £5.2 million to be used to further develop and expand production at Balasausqandiq;
    – initiate Phase 1 of the development of the Project, giving annual production of 5,600
    tonnes vanadium pentoxide; and
    – expanding production at the Existing Operation to around 1,500 tonnes per annum
  • Unusual sedimentary deposit allows for much lower processing costs than usual, being only around 40% of the operating costs of typical primary vanadium producers
  • Existing road access, nearby rail and power availability, together with a simple processing route, make for very low capital costs per annual tonne of vanadium, around 40% of other typical projects
  • Low capital and high margin give the project an NPV of $2 billion at a long term forecast vanadium pentoxide price of $7.50/lb (or $3.6 billion at the current price)
  • Staged development plan allows for the development of later phases to be substantially paid for from earnings, with only very small shareholder dilution
  • Targeted overall annual production is c. 23,000 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide
  • Surge in demand for vanadium driven by steel producers that utilise it for its strengthening qualities and the emerging use of vanadium in clean energy storage in the form of vanadium redox flow batteries
  • Strong pricing backdrop: vanadium pentoxide price up +450% in three years to circa $14/lb as at 22 March 2019
  • Highly experienced board and senior management team with proven track records

Nick Bridgen, CEO, commented: “Today marks a significant milestone for Ferro‐Alloy with the completion of our successful listing on the London Stock Exchange. We’re excited to be entering the next phase as we look to advance Balasausqandiq; this unique project has the potential to be one of the world’s largest and lowest cost producing mines. Given our existing production and defined development path to build a low capex mine and production facility, Ferro‐Alloy offers a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure to the growing vanadium market, the fundamentals of which continue to strengthen in line with the emergence of vanadium batteries used in clean energy storage. With incomparable economics in tandem with a world‐class team of scientists and technicians, we aim to be at the forefront of this market. I would like to welcome our new shareholders to our register and
thank existing shareholders for their continued support. We look forward to the future with optimism.”

For further information, including the Company’s prospectus, visit www.ferro‐alloy.com or contact:

Ferro‐Alloy Resources Limited

Nick Bridgen (CEO) info@ferro‐alloy.com

Shard Capital Partners
(Corporate Adviser & Broker)
Dr Wang Chong +44 207 186 9948

St Brides Partners Limited
(Financial PR & IR Adviser)
Catherine Leftley/Gaby Jenner +44 207 236 1177

Further information about Ferro‐Alloy Resources Limited

The Company’s operations are all located at the Balasausqandiq Deposit in Kyzylordinskaya oblast in the South of Kazakhstan. Currently the Company has two main business activities:
(a) the high grade Balasausqandiq Vanadium Project; and
(b) an existing profitable vanadium concentrate processing operation

The Project
Balasausqandiq is a very large deposit, situated in Kyzylordinskaya Oblast in Southern Kazakhstan. The ore contains vanadium as the principal product, together with by‐products of carbon, molybdenum, uranium, rare earth metals, potassium, and aluminium (the last two of which can be extracted as potassium alum for sale or can be further processed into alumina and potassium fertilizers).

The geological resource has progressively been delineated by a number of exploration phases since its discovery in 1940 by Soviet era geo‐scientists. More recently, Ferro‐Alloy has carried out further exploration drilling, trial open‐pit mining operations, and pilot plant optimisation studies using alternate metallurgical and mineral process treatment technologies. A full feasibility study in accordance with local Kazakhstan requirements has been completed and the reserve and resource estimates and financial appraisal have been prepared on both the locally required GKZ basis and on the Australasian JORC basis.

The resource is divided into five ore bodies, although only the first has been explored sufficiently, and sufficient records remain, to put it into the resource category under the JORC 2012 system of classification. This single ore‐body is estimated to contain 24.3 million tonnes which, with normal mining dilution, is sufficient for the first eight years of operations. Ore‐bodies 2 – 5 have been classified in the JORC 2012 system in the category of  exploration Targets and although further exploration is required to bring these into JORC resource categories, a total Vanadium JORC resource of over 100 million tonnes is considered to be a rational prediction by the consulting geologists in the Competent Person’s Report. 100 million tonnes could contain the equivalent of around 670,000 tonnes of Vanadium Pentoxide, equal to almost five times the annual world production of 2017.

A reserve on the JORC 2012 basis has been estimated only for ore‐body number 1 which amounts to 23 million tonnes, not including the small amounts of near‐surface oxidised material which is in the Inferred resource category. On the GKZ basis, the Reserves are estimated to be over 70m tonnes in ore‐bodies 1 to 5 but this does not include the full depth of ore‐bodies 2‐5. The deposit is sedimentary in origin, containing low levels of iron and other acid‐consuming minerals. The proposed process methods therefore do not include concentration or roasting steps usual for vanadiferous titano‐magnetite deposits. Instead the vanadium and by‐product metals are
brought into solution by pressure oxidation in sulphuric acid at relatively low temperature and pressure, followed by ion exchange onto resin.

Existing Operation
The existing concentrate processing operation is situated at the site of the Balasausqandiq Deposit. The production facilities were originally created from a 15,000 tonnes per year pilot plant which was constructed to test the proposed process which will be employed to treat the ore mined at Balasausqandiq. The pilot plant was then adapted to treat low‐grade concentrates and is now in the process of being expanded and further adapted to treat a wider variety of raw‐materials. Currently, two main types of raw material are being processed, namely vanadium‐containing lowgrade concentrates and higher grade concentrates which contain vanadium from the demetallisation of oil in refineries.

The Company has already completed the first steps of a development plan which is expected to result in annualised production capacity increasing gradually to around 1,500 tonnes of contained vanadium pentoxide. The development plan includes upgrades to infrastructure, an extension to the existing factory and the installation of equipment to increase the throughput and to add the facilities to convert AMV into vanadium pentoxide.

Company Strategy
The strategy of the Company is to develop both the Existing Operation and the Project in parallel. Although they are located on the same site and use some of the same infrastructure, they are separate operations. Expanding the Existing Operation will be simpler and quicker to accomplish. It is already profitable and yielding a small operating cash flow surplus. Production levels will be raised incrementally without major shutdowns and the plant is expected to reach its target annualised sustainable production of around 1,500 tonnes per year of vanadium pentoxide by the end of the first quarter of 2020. Further development of the Existing Operation is likely but will depend upon trading conditions at the time.

The Project will take longer to develop and in spite of the size of the deposit, the Directors have decided to adopt a gradual development plan so that:

  • expansions can take place in step with increases in world demand;
  • technological risk is reduced; and
  • shareholder dilution is reduced prior to the generation of substantial cash flows that can be used to fund later expansions

The site is already well served with road access, power and water but some further development is required, including connection to the nearby high capacity power‐line, provision of railway sidings and employee accommodation.

Vanadium Market
Currently, the main use of vanadium is in the production of high strength low alloy steel where small quantities of vanadium are added to steel to increase its strength. In future, it is expected that increasing quantities will be used as the electrolyte in vanadium flow batteries. There are several reasons for anticipating large annual increases in the world demand for Vanadium. Firstly, there is expected to be an increase in the number of countries mandating the use of highstrength low alloy steels for construction. China mandated the use of high strength low‐alloy steels several years ago but has recently tightened the required specifications. This is expected to have the effect of forcing the industry to use more vanadium. Other countries which currently do not use such steels are expected to follow. Secondly, vanadium is already being used for batteries for electrical storage and this use is expected to grow markedly over the coming years. For these and other reasons available forecasts indicate an expectation of rising demand and continuing high prices.

The Board
On Admission, the board of the Company shall comprise the following directors:

Nicholas Bridgen, Chief Executive
Mr. Bridgen started his career in 1975 as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG (formerly Peat Marwick Mitchell). In 1979, he moved to the Rio Tinto Group, becoming senior group accountant in 1981, before moving to Business Evaluation Department for the Group in 1985 and Group Planning Manager for the RTZ Pillar Group which held the engineering, building products and chemical companies. Nick spent 14 years in all with Rio Tinto. In the mid‐1990s, he was a finance director at Bakyrchik Gold Plc. and in 1998, Mr Bridgen founded Hambledon Mining Plc which acquired the Sekisovskoye gold project, listing the company on AIM and taking the project from exploration, through construction, and into a producing mine. Since 2006, Nicholas has been a director and more recently, CEO of Ferro‐Alloy Resources Limited. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honours from Exeter University, is a Chartered Accountant and has also studied corporate finance at London Business School. He is a fluent Russian speaker.

Andrey Kuznetsov, Director of Operations
Andrey started his career in 1981 as an industrial engineer at Kirov Engineering Plant in Almaty. After three years he became Chief of the Scientific Department in Central Committee of Youth (Comsomol). In 1987, Andrey became general director of the Almaty NTTM “Kontakt” centre. In 1995‐1996, he was the CEO of the Kazakhstan subsidiary of Alfa‐Bank. Andrey has been the general director of TOO Firma Balausa since 2006. He holds a Specialist’s degree in electrical engineering from Bauman Moscow State Technical University and a PhD in non‐formal mathematical logic. He has also studied management at Coventry University.

Chris Thomas, Non‐executive Director
Chris Thomas has nearly 35 years’ experience in the communications industry. He has held various high level management positions including CEO of Proximity London from 2003 to 2006 ‐ one of the largest direct and digital agencies in London. In 2006, Chris was appointed Chairman & CEO of BBDO and Proximity in Asia, subsequently adding the Middle East and Africa to his responsibilities. He worked with major multinational companies across the growth markets of SE Asia, China, India and Africa. In May 2015, Chris moved to New York to take up the role of CEO of BBDO in the Americas, with responsibility for 21 agencies in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. In February 2019 he stepped down from his BBDO role to pursue his other business. He also served as a non‐executive director on the board of Hambledon Mining from 2004 to 2011.

James Turian, Non‐executive Director
James started his career in 1986 and has a background in accounting, trust and management. James has previously been involved with several mining companies in Perth, Australia, including assisting Cooper Energy in their restructuring in the early 2000’s. From 2000 to 2011 James owned and operated a trust company in Guernsey which he sold to concentrate on accountancy and currently is a director of “Accounts For You Limited”, a Guernsey accountancy firm. He holds several other directorships. James is a Chartered Fellow of the Securities Institute IAQ and is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Total Voting Rights
Following Admission, the total number of Ordinary Shares in the Company in issue will be 312,978,848 each with equal voting rights. The total voting rights figure can be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine whether they are required to notify their interest in, or a change of their interest in, the Company under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Maximise your savings before the end of the tax year with a stocks and shares ISA

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

An Individual Savings Account, known as an ISA, can be a great option for an individual to maximise their savings. Up to £20,000 per tax year can be subscribed to the tax-free wrapper. And with the end of the tax year fast approaching, now is the time to act if you have not yet exhausted your ISA allowance.

A stocks and shares ISA is an attractive solution as the returns on investments can offer higher returns than alternative investments. With a stocks and shares ISA, an individual doesn’t pay income tax on any interest or dividends received within the wrapper, nor any Capital Gains Tax on investment returns. Any Income or Capital Gains received within an ISA won’t impact the annual ISA allowance.

Cash ISAs are the most popular ISA solution, although interest rates can be unattractive and sometimes offer lower interest rates than a traditional bank savings account.  However, the benefit of ISA’s is that there is no ‘all in’ decision to be made. Individuals can choose to split their ISA allowance across different kinds of ISA options, meaning, they can combine a cash ISA with a stocks and shares ISA.

A stocks and shares ISA can include shares in companies, government and corporate bonds, gilts, and collective’s (unit trusts and investment trusts), allowing an individual to form a diversified investment portfolio.

In the current tax year (up to 05 April 2019) and the coming tax year, individuals can save up to £20,000 in an ISA account. However, the ISA will roll over and new subscriptions are added to the previous tax year which can result in a larger investment pot.

With considerable tax benefits and potential better returns from suitable investments, a stocks and shares ISA can offer a great solution for those looking to plan for their future or utilise savings on top of an existing pension plan. You can also plan for your child’s future by utilising a Junior ISA (JISA) which allows up to £4,128 to be subscribed in the current tax year. Whilst a stocks and shares ISA can offer enticing returns, individual due diligence is always necessary prior to any investment being made. The value of an investment may go down as well as up and you may not get back the money you invested.

We looked at a comparison between £10,000 invested, 9 years ago in a traditional bank savings account, cash ISA, and stocks and shares ISA.

  • The stocks and shares ISA had an annualised return of 4.41%. This was based on the FTSE 100 Index Total Return (inc dividends) and generated a £5,396 return from the original investment.
  • The cash ISA had an annualised negative return of -0.67% and made a loss of £650, due to inflation.
  • The standard bank savings account also had annualised negative return with a loss of £1,253, also due to inflation.


Information and details are correct as of 18 March 2019. Past performance is not a guide for future returns.

Information and details are correct as of 18 March 2019. Past performance is not a guide for future returns.


The Shard Capital Stockbroking team are highly experienced in portfolio management and diversification and can tailor an investment solution for an individual looking to start or grow their ISA.

If you would like more information on a stocks and shares ISA or an alternate investment solution, please contact the Shard Capital Stockbroking team.


Important Information –

This document has been prepared and issued by Shard Capital Partners LLP (“Shard Capital”), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

This document is a marketing communication and not independent research. As such, it has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research.

This document is published solely for information purposes and is not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities, or related financial instruments. It does not constitute a personal recommendation as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority, nor does it take account of the particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs of individual investors. The information contained herein is obtained from public information and sources considered reliable. However, the accuracy thereof cannot be guaranteed.

The information contained in this document is solely for use by those persons to whom it is addressed and may not be reproduced, further distributed to any other person or published, in whole or in part, for any purpose, at any time, without the prior written consent of Shard Capital. This document may not be distributed to any persons (or groups of persons) to whom such distribution would contravene the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Moreover, this document is not directed at persons in any jurisdictions in which Shard Capital is prohibited or restricted by any legislation or regulation in those jurisdictions from making it available. Persons into whose possession this document comes should inform themselves about, and observe, any such restrictions.

Shard Capital or its employees may have a position in the securities and derivatives of the companies researched and this may impair the objectivity of this report. Shard Capital may act as principal in transactions in any relevant securities or provide advisory or other service to any issuer of relevant securities or any company connected therewith.

None of Shard Capital or any of its or their officers, employees or agents accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any loss however arising from any use of this document or its contents or otherwise arising in connection therewith. The value of the securities and the income from them may fluctuate. It should be remembered that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Investments may go down in value as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested. If you are unsure of the suitability of share dealing specifically for you then you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser, authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. By accepting this document, the recipient agrees to the foregoing disclaimer and to be bound by its limitations and restrictions.

Shard Capital has in place a Conflicts of Interest Policy relating to its research and marketing communication activities, and disclosure and conflicts in general is available on request.”

Ashley Boolell gives an update on the global Commodities market

Ashley Boolell, Partner at Shard Capital Commodity Derivatives gives an overview of the March Commodities report, and what affect Brexit may or may not have on the global market.

Watch his full overview

For more information on Shard Capital Commodities, please contact Ashley Boolell on 0207 186 9921 / ashley.boolell@shardcapital.com

Suir Valley Ventures investment in holographic tech start-up VividQ

Suir Valley Ventures, the entrepreneur-led venture capital fund launched in partnership with Shard Capital Partners LLP to invest in early-stage software companies across a range of high-tech verticals including Augmented Reality (‘AR’) and Virtual Reality (‘VR’), Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’), and the Internet of Things (‘IoT’), is pleased to announce it has led a £3 million funding round in VividQ Limited – a UK-based deep tech software company pioneering the application of holography in AR/VR and consumer electronics display.


  • VividQ is a deep tech start-up with world-leading expertise in 3D holography. The company developed patented software to enable commercial applications of holographic display in AR/VR headsets, smartglasses, automotive head-up displays, and consumer electronics.
  • VividQ was founded in February 2017 in Cambridge, UK. Technical co-founders include engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists from the University of Cambridge, Oxford, and St Andrews with expertise in digital holography.
  • VividQ established partnerships with chipmakers, display and hardware manufacturers in the US, Taiwan and Europe, to enable mass adoption of holographic display with their patented software for hologram generation.
  • The AR market is expected to grow from $11 to $61 billion between 2018 and 2023, with the VR market growing from $8 to $34 billion in the same period, at CAGRs of over 30%, according to Markets and Markets. At the same time, the global display market, valued at $115.60 billion in 2017, is projected to reach $206.29 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 7.4% from 2018 to 2025, according to Allied Market Research.
  • The investment will enable VividQ to accelerate the adoption of their hologram generating software. They aim to double their Cambridge and London-based teams to implement further developments to the software framework and complete ongoing customer projects, to productise devices using holographic display in 2020.

Suir Valley Venture Managing Partner, Barry Downes, said, “We are delighted to lead the £3million investment round in VIVIDQ Limited. Darran and his team have the unique combination of the world-leading expertise and the pioneering,  proprietary software technology that is the missing piece needed for the mass adoption of holography, which will radically enhance and grow the AR and digital display industry.”

VividQ’s CEO, Darran Milne, said, “Suir Valley have been great to work with, both for their professionalism and deep understanding of the companies they invest in and the technology behind them. They demonstrate the kind of vision and passion that the deep tech companies of today need to accelerate bringing truly disruptive solutions to market.”


Further Information

Founded in February 2017, VividQ is a deep-tech software company with world-leading expertise in 3D holography. With seed funding, VividQ has grown its Commercial and Technical teams in Cambridge and London, made a full release of their software framework, and secured partnerships with world-class customers including hardware and embedded systems manufacturers.

Holography has long been considered the ultimate display technology. The science fiction ideal of engineering and manipulating light to produce 3D projections appealed to the imagination of millions through franchises such as Star Wars or Star Trek. While physically possible, the tremendous computing requirements to create full-depth holographic display made it unreachable for commercial applications. Until now.

VividQ has developed solutions required for the mass adoption of holography in AR and consumer electronics. Its patented software framework allows for the real-time generation of holograms from 3D data, and projection on available micro-displays. Commercially viable holographic display solves a crucial problem of today’s AR/VR – the lack of depth perception, which disrupts the user’s sense of realism and results in eye-fatigue and nausea. Holography overcomes these issues and paves the way for immersive 3D without the need for glasses at all.

With technical co-founders leading their team out of Cambridge (UK), VividQ has benefited from the rich research environment of the University and its Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics. VividQ’s Commercial Team operates from London, as part of the rich entrepreneurial network of TechHub and Innovation Warehouse. The company has achieved wide recognition at international industry events including AWE, nVidia GTC, Photonics West, and Mobile World Congress.