Autonomy founder slams HP concerns, launches fund
The co-founder and former head of Autonomy has insisted that the Hewlett-Packard fiasco will not affect his new technology fund, which raised $1 billion from investors.
Mike Lynch, who set up software company Autonomy in 1996 and sold it to HP for £7.1 billion ($11.3 billion) in 2011, has been embroiled in controversy after HP launched an investigation into "serious accounting improprieties" at Autonomy.
"We (Invoke) raised $1 billion, and we did it in a couple of weeks – so evidently it's not an issue," Lynch told CNBC on Monday. "The reason it's not an issue is that anyone who's actually ever run anything knows the idea that you have 500 people doing due diligence, you own it (the company) for a year and then you cry foul when you want to get a write-down… is kind of frankly ridiculous."
HP took an $8.8 billion write-down on the Autonomy acquisition and accused the company of misleading shareholders.
A statement from HP on Monday said: "HP cannot disclose any information that would interfere with any of the investigations into this matter. We are cooperating with the authorities. We remain 100 percent committed to Autonomy and its industry-leading technology."
Lynch described the ongoing situation with HP as a "great shame."
(Read More: HP Courted for Autonomy, EDS Units: Report)
"HP bought an amazing asset, it was unique, it was the next-generation of software and they botched up handling it," he said, adding that he had heard "very little" from investigators reviewing the deal.
Invoke Capital would invest in European technology companies, Lynch said, which might otherwise struggle to access substantial finance. He said the management team's technological expertise meant the fund was well-placed to choose the right companies and support them.
"The reason that we have such a large amount of money at our disposal is so we can go all the way through, and rather than sell out these businesses when they're small, actually take them through to create more giants," Lynch said. "There is great technology around… What I'm trying to do is unlock that amazing technology. This is exciting stuff."
Follow us on Twitter:
Correction: An earlier version of this story provided an inaccurate number for the amount of people doing due diligence on HP.