May 28, 2012 5:03 pm

Jellybook posts £300,000 loss

Jellybook, the Aim-quoted investment vehicle targeting social media start-ups, has posted a £300,000 loss in its first 10 months as a company.

Run by Jonathan Rowland, son of the one-time Conservative party treasurer David Rowland, Jellybook raised £11m in June 2011 to invest in European social media companies in an effort replicate the success of US peers such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

Jellybook on Monday posted a pre-tax loss for the 10 months to December 31 of £295,000 from no revenues, with start-up expenses of almost £200,000 comprising the bulk of the loss.

“The first few months of the year were concerned with establishing the company and then the application to be admitted to trading on Aim,” said Mr Rowland, who chairs the Bermuda-registered cash shell.

Mr Rowland said that Jellybook’s board had assessed a number of possible acquisitions, but most of these had failed to prove their earnings potential or were not of a suitable size.

“Of these, one was sufficiently appealing as to warrant the engagement of professional advisers in order to conduct detailed financial and legal due diligence but, ultimately, negotiations fell down,” he said.

“The social media sector continues to demonstrate strong growth despite the wider economic uncertainties and the number and range of potential investments is expanding commensurately.”

Mr Rowland is best known for Jellyworks, his incubator company that was worth £10m when it listed in 1999, briefly soared to a book value of £200m, and was sold to Shore Capital for £60m as the dotcom bubble burst.

Mr Rowland’s latest “Jelly” venture will target companies involved in digital media and social networking, most likely located in Europe.

Jellybook shares, which listed at 10p a share in June 2011, rose 5 per cent on Monday to 4.27p.

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