LONDON – Ariadne Capital, the venture capital firm run by high-profile technology figure Julie Meyer, has gone into bankruptcy administration.
A letter sent to Ariadne Capital’s creditors on December 18 shows that business rescue company Leonard Curtis took Ariadne Company into administration on December 15. Leonard Curtis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A representative for Meyer said the following: “Ariadne Capital Group Limited always intended to acquire Ariadne London as a going concern not an asset sale, but the actions of its former MD required it to put the company into administration.”
Ariadne Capital claimed on its website to have backed companies including Skype, Zopa, Espotting, Monitise, SpinVox, BeatThatQuote and SoundOut.
The company recently faced claims of unpaid bills in Malta, where it also maintained an office.
Meyer moved to Malta in 2016, and established Ariadne Capital as a Maltese technology investment company. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat even spoke at an Ariadne Capital event Meyer held in July.
But The Times of Malta reported in November that a Maltese company had filed a legal request over what it said was €59,600 (£52,632) in unpaid services. The newspaper also reported that an events company claimed it was owed money by Meyer, as well as a former employee in Malta.
Since then, The Maltese Independent reported that The Malta Financial Services Authority is looking into Ariadne Capital. And two directors of one the businesses that Meyer acquired in Malta resigned. Meyer told The Maltese Independent that the company had a “virus” and referred to the two men as “ghosts.”
Meyer also told The Times of Malta that “I am on Team Malta … My reputation is not being hurt by this negative press on Ariadne; Malta’s is.” She denied that her company is being investigated by The Malta Financial Services Authority.
Meyer was the public face of the company and regularly spoke at high-profile events, including the Adam Smith Institute’s Ayn Rand Lecture, and was a judge for the online version of the BBC television series “Dragons’ Den.” She was made an MBE in 2011 for services to entrepreneurship.
Ariadne Capital has faced legal battles in the UK
In 2015, Ariadne Capital was taken to court by Startup Loans Company over what it claimed was a failure to distribute money that was intended for small businesses. Meyer, however, claimed that the agreement had left her company out of pocket. She eventually lost the case and was ordered to hand back the £50,000 in loans.
And in 2016 Meyer was taken to court by consultant Rachel Lowe following a three-year legal battle by Lowe to receive her wages. The judge called Meyer “not credible” and said that some of the evidence she provided in court “bordered on the hysterical” Eventually Meyer was ordered to pay £64,500.90 to Lowe.
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