3i repeats its exit from early stage, now to the FT

Nice to see the Financial Times catching up on a story I first broke in January and confirmed in February, namely that private equity house 3i is abandoning early-stage investing in start-up companies.

It’s a hard fall. In early 2000 it managed 750 technology investments valued at £2.4bn ($4.8bn) – half its portfolio – and was seeking to compete with the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. By September 2007, its VC assets had fallen to £734m, less than a tenth of its total portfolio.

I hope this is not some kind of attempt at a press relations strategy to presage a pull-out from its few remaining portfolio startups, like Taptu.

N.B. Kudos to The Guardian for recognising the scoop.