Firefly school learning platform raises further £5 million from Downing Ventures

Firefly, a suite of school learning tools used in 40 countries and first developed by co-founders Simon Hay and Joe Mathewson while preparing for their GCSEs, has secured £5 million funding from Downing Ventures, alongside BGF and Beringea.

Firefly has the potential to cut school administration by 50 per cent and connect teachers, students and parents to share lesson plans and assign and review homework directly, both in and out of the classroom. In partnership with other best of breed tools, such as content providers, Firefly aims to create one, simple to manage, school ecosystem.

Today Firefly supports more than a million students, teachers and parents in 40 countries and holds a market-leading position in UK Independent senior schools, where it is used by more than 50 per cent of students. But the idea for the technology was first created by Joe and Simon back in 1999 when they themselves were still at school. The technology was quickly adopted by several schools, with Joe and Simon establishing the venture as a full-time business in 2009.

Firefly is now planning to extend its global expansion while further developing its strong presence in UK Independent and State schools. Education technology is fast-growing, so Firefly plans to invest £3m in research and development to further diversify its suite of products. This will include the launch of new tools to help teachers and leadership teams save time and improve student outcomes, such as giving teachers, management and parents a real-time view on student progress. Additionally, the business will look to strengthen its team and plans to create 20 new jobs over the next year, while also building even more partnerships and integrations with other EdTech products.

The £5 million funding round, led by Downing Ventures and supported by other established funds, is Firefly’s second successful investment round and brings the total raised for the business to almost £10 million. This latest funding marks a new milestone for the business that will support Firefly at a crucial stage of its growth and in its intention to cement its future position as a leading light in UK EdTech.

Simon Hay, Firefly Learning, commented: “At Firefly, our ambition is to supercharge the school experience, so every student can reach their potential. This investment will enable us to move more quickly towards empowering teachers, students and parents, adding to the hundreds of thousands using the tool every day.

“Downing’s experience in the EdTech sector caught our interest, as well as its work with other fast-growing companies that make a difference, and we’re looking forward to working with James and the Downing team on our own expansion plans.  BGF and Beringea have been fantastic partners over the past couple of years, and we’re delighted that they’re also doubling down to further support this next stage of growth.”

James Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures also commented on Firefly’s unique position in the market: “The EdTech sector is an exciting but challenging place. On the one hand, it can be highly competitive, with the UK spending an estimated £1 billion on EdTech. However, at the same time, it’s also a very fragmented market. Firefly’s relentless focus on developing products that can make a tangible difference for teachers, students and parents has secured them a market-leading position among UK Independent schools.”

Simon Calver, Head of Venture Investments at BGF who sits on the board of Firefly, said:“Firefly has built an effective, easy-to-use tool that connects teachers, parents and students and ultimately enhances the education experience for young people. The team continues to drive growth on an international scale since BGF’s original investment and we’re looking forward to being part of this exciting next stage of their global journey.”

Stuart Veale, Managing Partner of Beringea and board member for Firefly, commented:“Firefly has demonstrated its ability to build a platform that transforms the educational experience of thousands of students around the world. Beringea has supported this latest round of funding to enable the business to build on this success and accelerate its growth as a global leader in education technology.”

ENDS

For all press enquiries, please contact:

Pamela Morris, the lang cat

0131 202 6037

07712 515 503

pamela@langcatfinancial.com

Jean Birrell, Downing LLP

07799555353

jean.birrell@downing.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

In 2016, Firefly secured the largest Series A funding for an EdTech company in the UK, from BGF and Beringea.

ABOUT DOWNING VENTURES
Downing Ventures is an evergreen fund investing in seed to Series A companies, with the possibility of follow-on investments. It invests in a variety of technology sectors including consumer internet and mobile, enterprise software, defence and security technology, financial technology and health technology. It works alongside a number of investment partners and accelerator programmes and incubators, including the London Co-Investment Fund.

Downing Ventures is a division of Downing LLP, an FCA authorised (Firm Reference No. 545025) and regulated investment manager based in London, which has over 30 years of experience and has raised funds from 35,000 investors.

ABOUT BGF

BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested more than £1.8bn in over 260 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK and globally by number of transactions. On average, BGF invested in one company per week in 2018.

BGF has £2.5bn to invest in UK SMEs and in Ireland, and an additional €250m to support Irish businesses. Earlier this year, Canada launched its equivalent – the Canadian Business Growth Fund – based on BGF’s funding model, and Australia is now actively exploring the approach as well.

BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs.

ABOUT BERINGEA

Beringea is a highly active growth capital investor with $715m under management and offices in the UK and US. It supports high-growth businesses with annual revenues of more than £1 million, investing between £1 million and £20 million to help companies scale. 

With a successful track-record of investments spanning 30 years, Beringea has more than 60 portfolio companies across its US and UK offices. The company has a history of strong partnerships with management teams, often reinvesting in its successful entrepreneurs.

Its core areas for investment include digital media, business software and services, and consumer industries. With an extensive range of expertise across the team, and an ability for spotting and following opportunities, Beringea’s portfolio includes companies in a range of sectors, and its team continues to be at the forefront of emerging trends.

http://www.beringea.co.uk/

Foresight backs Fertility Focus with £1.25 million growth capital investment

Manchester, 24 January 2019

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) is pleased to announce a £1.25 million growth capital investment into Fertility Focus Limited (“FFL” or the “Company”) a leading fertility monitoring technology company that has developed OvuSense, a registered medical device that enables women to predict ovulation.  The investment was led by Foresight on behalf of Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 4 VCT plc as part of a larger £2 million funding round, supported by new and existing investors including private High Net-Worth Individuals (“HNWI’s”).

Based in Warwick, FFL was established in 2005 to commercialise the intellectual property developed by a team from Bristol University that identified the ability to determine and predict ovulation with a high degree of accuracy by monitoring subtle changes in body temperature. Leveraging this knowledge, FFL developed OvuSense, a vaginal sensor that monitors core body temperature.  When combined with the proprietary algorithm available on the Company’s smartphone App, OvuSense is able to predict ovulation up to 24 hours in advance in real time and detect ovulation in advance with 99% accuracy. 

OvuSense is unique in that it remains highly effective in women with irregular cycles and who suffer from ovulatory conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and as such the technology is specifically targeted at the over 4 million women who have difficulty conceiving.

FFL’s management team is led by CEO Robert Milnes, an expert in his field with more than 29 years’ experience in medical devices, with 20 years focused on women’s health, and non-exec Chairman Steve Godber, ex Vickers Medical and Forum Bioscience.  

Foresight’s investment will primarily be used to invest in sales and marketing and will also fund a clinical trial to further prove the benefits of OvuSense as a tool to diagnose ovulatory issues.  

Rob Jones, Investment Manager, Foresight Group, commented: “We have been impressed by the rapid progress FFL has made since launch of the second-generation OvuSense product with strong sales traction in the US and UK. FFL is a well-run business that has developed an innovative, clinically supported and IP rich product in OvuSense. We are looking forward to working alongside Rob Milnes and the wider management team on the next stage of the Company’s growth.”

Rob Milnes, CEO, OvuSense, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Foresight to grow our team and accelerate our sales and marketing activity. The investment marks an important stage in our development. With Foresight’s deep experience and support, FFL is well prepared and equipped for further growth.”

Advisers on this deal included: 

Legal advisers: Shakespeare Martineau 

Financial and tax due diligence: Smith Cooper 

Commercial / e-commerce diligence: 5X Thinking 

Management due diligence: Catalysis 

 
ENDS


For more information contact: Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director Foresight bthompson@foresightgroup.eu  / 020 3667 8155



NOTES FOR EDITORS

Enclosed Picture caption: (From left to right) Dr Al Pirrie, Kate Davies, Laura Underwood, Rob Milnes (CEO), Shazia Shakir, Craig Citron, Caroline Price

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”): 

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has some £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards and was a shortlisted finalist for Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year at the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards.  Foresight VCT was recently named Best Generalist VCT at the 2018 Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Rome, Madrid, Seoul and Sydney. 
www.foresightgroup.eu

Growth Intelligence has raised £1.7m from 24Haymarket and MMC Ventures

London, UK 23rd January 2018

Growth Intelligence has raised £1.7m to help marketers and sales leaders drive faster growth with AI. Founded in 2013, Growth Intelligence helps high profile brands, including American Express, FedEx, Western Union, iZettle and Vitality Health, target their direct marketing activity to businesses that are most likely to buy. The AI Platform combines records of a client’s previous successful and unsuccessful marketing attempts with Growth Intelligence’s own proprietary data gathered from the digital footprint of every company in the economy, to train an AI for each client. The AI then serves up recommended future clients and advice on how to approach them. It allows sales and marketing teams know who will buy, who will be most valuable, when should they attempt to contact them and what to say when they do.

Growth Intelligence reached profitability early in 2018 and has tripled recurring revenue year on year. The company will use this funding to invest in its AI Platform – building new AIs to solve even more challenges faced by B2B marketers. The company will be investing heavily in data science, engineering and commercial talent.

With demand for Growth Intelligence’s sales and marketing AIs strong and growing, 2019 will see continued triple-digit growth. Growth Intelligence also plans to bring on board leading commercial and technical executives this year.

As part of the investment joining the Board are Andy Robertson, Martin Brown and Stuart Dawson as the chairman.

Thomas Gatten, CEO of Growth Intelligence, adds: “This is a great opportunity to invest on top of our triple-digit revenue growth. Trade is the human super-power, by applying AI to boost trade we are helping companies and economies grow faster. We’re hiring!”

Paul Tselentis, CEO of 24Haymarket, comments: “24Haymarket are thrilled to invest in Growth Intelligence. We have been tracking the company’s progress and its unique approach to improving the productivity of B2B sales and marketing processes for two years. There is an exciting market opportunity ahead of them, as businesses embrace functional AI offerings. We look forward to applying our network to support the team on the next phase of their growth journey.”

Alan Morgan, Chairman, MMC Ventures, adds: “Growth Intelligence is one of a small number of companies using AI to deliver true predictive marketing. We are happy to announce our continued support for the business and look forward to working with Tom, Prash and 24Haymarket in the next phase of their growth.”

Calculus Capital invests £2.5 m in Essentia Analytics

London, 23rd January 2019:

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) specialist Calculus Capitalhas invested £2.5m in fintech company Essentia Analytics, a leading provider of behavioural data analytics and consulting for professional investors. The investment by Calculus will be used to further develop Essentia’s services as it scales its client base of investment management institutions around the world.

The firm’s Essentia Insight service – which is used by clients including active fund managers, chief investment officers, asset allocators and wealth managers – provides a continuous data-driven feedback loop, similar to those used by athletes.

To date, Essentia has helped clients managing more than £30 billion in aggregate assets uncover an average of 94 basis points per annum of extra “behavioural alpha” through its proprietary process and technology.

The technology, which has a significant machine learning component, looks at all of an investor’s past trading decisions and rapidly identifies statistically-significant patterns of behaviour that have impacted performance in the past. Essentia then helps the investor realise that additional performance through a combination of regular face-to-face sessions with one of Essentia’s team of Insight Partners, all of whom are former portfolio managers, and automated, tailored ‘nudge’ notifications.

With offices in London and New York, Essentia was founded by CEO Clare Flynn Levy, who formerly ran pension funds for Deutsche Asset Management and founded a hedge fund business.

Flynn Levy said: “We are delighted to have Calculus on board. Their investment and expertise come at a hugely important time for us. Asset managers face increasing pressure to prove their alpha-generating skill and improve performance, which provides a significant opportunity for us to continue growing and developing our service. We are very much looking forward to working closely with Calculus to achieve our mission of helping human investors make measurably better decisions.”

Alexandra Lindsay, investment director at Calculus Capital, who has been appointed to Essentia’s Board of Directors, said: “The team at Essentia have a wealth of experience in the worlds of investment, technology and behavioural science and that knowledge is reflected in the quality of their service.

“Their combination of innovative behavioural analytics, automated ‘nudges’ and face-to-face consulting helps asset managers to make measurably better investment decisions.

“That’s an attractive proposition and we believe that Essentia is a company with very strong growth potential.”

Essentia Analytics was advised by PwC and White Horse Capital and was part of their first Series A Raise accelerator programme.

About Calculus Capital

Calculus Capital is a specialist in creating and managing private equity funds for individuals. A pioneer in the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) space, Calculus launched the UK’s first HMRC-approved EIS fund in 1999 and has gone on to launch a further 19 EIS funds and five VCT share issues to date. Calculus seeks capital appreciation from dynamic, established, private UK companies across a multitude of sectors. Calculus prefers to invest £2m-£5m per company. As at 5th April 2018 it had £169m of funds under management of which 95% is in EIS.

Calculus Capital’s experienced investment team, diligent investment process and ‘hands on’ approach have resulted in an impressive track record of investment success. Calculus has earned multiple awards, most recently being named ‘Best EIS Investment Manager’ at the Growth Investor Awards 2018, an award it also won in 2016. In addition, the company won the EIS Association’s ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ Award in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011 and 2009. Calculus also won the award for Best Generalist EIS at the Tax Efficiency Awards in 2017.

Calculus Capital is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

www.calculuscapital.com

About Essentia Analytics

Essentia Analytics is a leading provider of behavioural data analytics and consulting for professional investors. Led by a team comprised of experts in investment management, technology and behavioural science, Essentia combines next-generation data analytics technology with human coaching to help active fund managers measurably improve investment decision-making. Founded in 2013, the firm has repeatedly been recognised as a leading FinTech provider by financial technology and investment industry publications and associations. Essentia is headquartered in London and has an office in New York City. For more information, visit www.essentia-analytics.com.

Notes to Editors

For more information contact Madeleine Ingram, Calculus’s Head of Marketing and Investor Relations, on 0207 518 8058 or madeleine@calculuscapital.com

Or, Malcolm Jones at Bulletin PR on 0115 907 8412 or malcolm.jones@bulletin.co.uk

For Essentia: Suzanne Hallberg, Zip Communications, 00-1-212-787-0169 or shallberg@zip-comm.com

Peppermint Technology Secures £7m Strategic Funding from Accel-KKR

Peppermint Technology, a leading UK legal cloud software provider, today announced that it has secured over £7 million of strategic investment from Accel-KKR, a leading Silicon Valley technology-focused investment firm and existing investors Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). 

The funding will support management’s plan to accelerate growth, further develop their Legal SaaS platform and scale resources to solidify the company’s market leading position in the legal IT sector.

Peppermint Technology provides the full suite of legal applications, built on Microsoft Dynamics and delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS). The software combines the functionality of many disparate systems that legal organisations already use in their practice. The integrated modules ensure that firms run as efficiently as possible, with one source of information.

“This is a very exciting time for Peppermint. The backing of both Accel-KKR and SEP reinforces that our innovative approach to transforming legal services through technology fundamentally sets us apart in the industry.”

said Gary Young, CEO of Peppermint Technology. “When I joined the Company in early 2018, I recognised a real opportunity to make a difference in the legal sector. With this investment, we will continue to enhance our product offering and accelerate our go-to-market strategy, whilst focusing on the delivery of a great experience to our customers.”

“Since we first began conversations with Peppermint, we have been impressed with the sophistication and focus of the management team and their mission to leverage technology to make their customers lives easier and more efficient,” 

said Samantha Shows, Managing Director at Accel-KKR. “We are excited to back this customer-centric business as they continue building their momentum in the market.”

David Sneddon, Partner at SEP said

“As the only true full-service cloud based legal software provider in the UK, combined with Microsoft’s recent endorsement, the growth opportunity for Peppermint remains strong.  Our further investment, alongside that from Accel-KKR, will enable the company to scale in response to increasing market demand for its award winning, innovative legal software.”

About Accel-KKR

Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with over $5 billion in capital commitments. The firm focuses on software and IT-enabled businesses, well-positioned for topline and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR’s investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value through significant resources available through the Accel-KKR network. Accel-KKR focuses on middle-market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions including buyout capital, minority-growth investments, and credit alternatives. Accel-KKR also invests across a wide range of transaction types including private company recapitalizations, divisional carve-outs and going-private transactions. Accel-KKR is headquartered in Menlo Park with additional offices in Atlanta and London.

www.accel-kkr.com

About Scottish Equity Partners

Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is a top performing technology-focused venture capital firm with an exceptional track record in backing ambitious companies with high growth potential. SEP provides growth equity to UK and European companies across a range of technology sectors, with particular expertise in SaaS, consumer internet and tech enabled service businesses. Over the last 20 years, SEP has supported more than 160 technology companies, providing investment alongside expertise and access to a global network, enabling them to become international leaders. SEP builds supportive long-term relationships with management teams and has been an active shareholder in some of Europe’s most successful technology companies.

www.sep.co.uk

Leading UK real estate fintech disruptor REalyse secures £3m Series A venture capital investment lead by Anthemis Group

(UK, London): REalyse, a leading UK provider of real estate data and analytics for institutional property investors, lenders and developers, has closed its series A fund raise. The latest investment round was led by market leading venture capital firm, Anthemis Group, and XTX Ventures – the venture capital affiliate of XTX Markets, a leading global electronic liquidity provider.

Set up in 2016, REalyse’s vision is to transform the world’s most valuable asset class by making it faster, easier and more efficient for residential property professionals to determine where, when and what to build. The automated integration of hundreds of datasets covering the entire UK for over 20 years into the platform allows users to reach more accurate conclusions, up to 10x faster than they could before. The company has a significant portfolio of major corporate clients who use its institutional grade data systems; including Legal and General, Cushman and Wakefield, Quintain and Colliers International.

This is the third round of investment for REalyse in just two and a half years. The company’s prior round of investment came in 2017 from a combination of institutional and private investors, including Anthemis Group, Roundhill Capital and PiLabs. Commenting on the news, founder and CEO of REalyse, Gavriel Merkado, said: “We are applying cutting edge quantitative analytics technology to traditional real estate development and investment management, which is crying out for the same type of transformation seen previously in financial markets and other industries. We offer a powerful institutional product which brings clarity and transparency to investment in UK real estate and we want to thank our clients and investors for their continuing support in helping us continue on our mission.”

Iason Nikolakis, managing director at Anthemis Group, said: “Anthemis sees significant growth potential in REalyse. We are believers in the team’s strategy and are excited about the unique, data-driven product they are bringing to the real estate industry.”

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact Jodie Mulchrone (jodie@realyse.com)

About REalyse

REalyse’s vision is to transform the world’s most valuable asset class by making it faster, easier and more efficient for residential property professionals to determine where, when and what to build.

The average professional can spend up to 40 hours per project, or 13 days per month, reviewing data and making sense of the market. REalyse can cut this by roughly 90%.

REalyse’s data analytics platform provides accurate and up to date information on hundreds of data sets including rents, prices, demographics, property ownership information, planning applications and economics that are critical for mid-enterprise real estate development, investment and lending firms.

Press Coverage

Rouse announces investment in IP platform provider Inngot

International IP consultancy Rouse has announced a new alliance with Inngot, the innovative web-based platform specialising in the identification and valuation of intangible assets. The agreement sees Rouse making a strategic investment in Inngot through the acquisition of a minority stake. Both companies will continue to operate independently and will maintain separate brands.

The new relationship helps cement Rouse’ position as the preeminent provider of IP strategy advisory services globally, not least across Asia and the Middle East, where the firm’s specialist expertise is long-established. Inngot’s high profile work in emerging markets will ensure synergies between the two companies’ collaborative offer. 

Founded in 2007, Inngot specialises in identification and valuation of intellectual property and other intangible assets. It is unique in providing accessible and affordable online tools as well as expert services. The company helps clients maximise the commercial potential of their asset portfolios and leverage their IP to obtain growth finance.

Inngot’s identification and valuation systems bring a standardised framework to the field of IP management and valuation, and are helping to increase confidence in intangible assets across the finance industry. In difficult economic conditions, the ability to unlock latent value within innovation investments is a vital frontier of commercial growth for all rights holders, particularly within the SME community.

Rouse CEO Luke Minford commented:

“We’re delighted to launch this new collaboration with Inngot. Our alliance further strengthens Rouse’ ability to deliver commercial IP strategy underpinned by forensic understanding of asset value.

“Economic conditions are tightening and market competition is intensifying across every industry and rights holders need to focus unerringly on capturing and leveraging every ounce of value from investments made. Together, Rouse and Inngot are unrivalled in our ability to guide clients on that journey.”

Inngot co-founder and CEO Martin Brassell commented:

“We’ve been working increasingly closely with Rouse over the past year and have experienced the benefits of their professionalism and reach at first-hand. Both our organisations have pushed the boundaries in helping companies harness their intangible assets more effectively. Through this new alliance, we will enable many more businesses to understand and unlock the value tied up in their IP.”

Inngot differs from other IP service providers in focusing on the commercial and transactional value of all intangible assets. Its suite of online tools was devised to address the problems companies of all sizes, but particularly SMEs, face in identifying and communicating the value of their IP and intangibles in a consistent and reliable way. Inngot’s ‘Sollomon’ valuation tool has already helped firms around the world to find more than £550m in previously ‘hidden’ value.

Inngot is also known for its work with governments, international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and leading business groups in developing policy that drives appreciation of the true value and significance of intangible assets in the 21st century global economy. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has just published the latest report by CEO Martin Brassell, Fostering the use of intangibles to strengthen SME access to finance, based on Inngot’s international research.

Beringea Leads £6.5m Investment in Exonar Alongside Downing Ventures

January 21, 2019/in NewsPress Activity /by Dan Welberry

Sector leading data discovery and governance platform, Exonar, a vital tool for the modern data age

London, 21st January 2019: Transatlantic venture capital investor, Beringea, has announced that it has led a £6.5m investment in Exonar, a leading data discovery and management software firm. Downing Ventures, the early stage investor, has also participated in the round alongside notable existing investors, Amadeus Capital Partners and Winton Ventures.

Enterprises are facing a fundamental change in the way they process and store information. An exponential increase in data volume means organisations must find new ways to understand the risk as well as the opportunities in their data. Driven by new regulation, cyber threats and competition, organisations who use data they hold effectively will survive and thrive.

Exonar discovers an organisation’s most sensitive, valuable and personal information. By simply plugging Exonar into a network, an instant view of all structured and unstructured data is provided, enabling the creation of inventories, security of sensitive data and regulatory compliance.

Recent research by EY found the UK’s largest firms spent over $1.1bn to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it came into force in May 2018, while the same research found that Fortune 500 companies had spent $7.8bn.

Data discovery technology is proving vital to businesses that can easily hold petabytes of data across their entire information estate. The significant growth of data value has led to industry analysts estimating that the global data governance software market will grow 22 per cent annually over the next five years to a value of $3.5bn by 2023. Exonar is well positioned to provide the technology needed to support this extensive growth.

Exonar was founded by Adrian Barrett, a visionary with substantial experience in data, analytics, and information security who has previously worked for Cisco and Lumeta, a global network data specialist. He is supported by an experienced management team with decades of leadership experience in global cyber security and technology companies such as BT, Fujitsu, Veritas, Symantec and EMC.

Adrian Barrett, CEO and Founder, commented: “These are exciting times for Exonar. To receive significant backing from Beringea and Downing Ventures reinforces our belief that the Exonar platform has a significant role to play in enterprise-level data discovery and management. We have a clear vision for future development and the investment will enable us to further enhance our product, enabling our customers to meet current and future data demands such as GDPR and CCPA swiftly, simply and at scale.”

“Data is the backbone of modern business. And yet, it also poses an existential risk, which has traditionally required substantial resources and investment to manage. Exonar transforms this dynamic with a platform that maps and understands petabytes of information in seconds.” Stuart Veale, Managing Partner of Beringea, commented: “Beringea has backed Exonar’s leadership and pioneering technology to create a cornerstone of data governance.”

James Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures, commented: “Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about the importance of accessing and making better use of data in all our businesses – Exonar is at the forefront of shaping and solving this challenge and we’re delighted to be part of the journey with Adrian and the team.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editors

Media contacts:

Henry Philipson, Head of Communications, Beringea

Email: hphilipson@beringea.co.uk

Mobile: +44 (0)7837162546

About Exonar

Exonar is a data discovery software company based in Newbury, Berkshire. Founded in 2013 by Adrian Barrett (CEO), Exonar discovers an organisation’s most sensitive, valuable and personal information, therefore providing the answer to an all-too-common statement – “I just don’t know what I’ve got”.

By simply plugging Exonar into a network, an instant view of all structured and unstructured data is provided, enabling the creation of inventories, security of sensitive data and regulatory compliance.

For more information, please contact Exonar: Tellmemore@exonar.com

About Beringea

Beringea is a highly active growth capital investor with $715m under management and offices in the UK and US. It supports high-growth businesses with annual revenues of more than £1 million, investing between £1 million and £20 million to help companies scale.

With a successful track-record of investments spanning 30 years, Beringea has more than 60 portfolio companies across its US and UK offices. The company has a history of strong partnerships with management teams, often reinvesting in its successful entrepreneurs.

Its core areas for investment include digital media, business software and services, and consumer industries. With an extensive range of expertise across the team, and an ability for spotting and following opportunities, Beringea’s portfolio includes companies in a range of sectors, and its team continues to be at the forefront of emerging trends.

http://www.beringea.co.uk/

About Downing Ventures

Downing Ventures is an evergreen fund investing in seed to Series A companies, with the possibility of follow-on investments. It invests in a variety of technology sectors including consumer internet and mobile, enterprise software, financial technology and health technology. The fund has a portfolio of around 45 companies as of October 2018. Downing Ventures work alongside a number of investment partners and accelerator programmes and incubators, including the London Co-Investment Fund.

Imagen secures £6.5m in Series B funding round from Downing Ventures

London, January 21, 2019 – Imagen, the leading SaaS video management platform business, has secured £6.5 million in a Series B round. The company received funding from an investor pool led by Downing Ventures. The round also included capital from Guinness Asset Management Ltd and participation from existing investor, Cambridge Innovation Capital.

The investment represents a major milestone for the company, following significant growth in 2018 that saw Imagen post an 88% year on year revenue increase driven by clients including Formula One, The Premier LeagueWorld Tennis AssociationBPReutersBBC and IMG, part of Endeavor.

The investment follows a growth trajectory that has seen Imagen establish a significant foothold in the video management sector and become an essential piece of technology for sports, media and enterprise businesses looking to manage their expanding video and content libraries.

Charlie Horrell, CEO of Imagen, comments, “This funding is clear recognition of the value our partners and prospects see in the platform. We have a world class roster of clients across the sports, media and enterprise sectors and have a healthy pipeline going into 2019. We look forward to accelerating our global operations and are thrilled to be working with new investors to continue shaping the future of video management.”

Richard Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures, added, “We are delighted to be backing Imagen and the exceptional management team that has developed a market leading video management platform. We are now focused on supporting Imagen’s exciting UK and international expansion plans.”
Victor Christou, CEO of Cambridge Innovation Capital, adds, “Imagen was one of the first companies into which CIC invested. It has made great progress since our initial investment, transforming itself into a globally leading SaaS video management platform with a greatly enhanced client list. We are delighted to continue to support the company as it expands from its UK base into international markets.”

Malcolm King, Fund Manager at Guinness Asset Management said, “Imagen is an acknowledged leader in video management with an enviable customer base. We are delighted to have completed our growth capital investment into the company and look forward to working with the Imagen team, CIC and Downing Ventures to help the company realise its international growth ambitions. The deal demonstrates our ongoing ability to source and deliver high quality investments for our EIS investors.”

Eddie Harding, Partner at ICON Corporate Finance who advised the company on the round, added, “I’m delighted to have helped Charlie and his team raise this funding from these three highly respected tech investors. The research shows that video continues to grow exponentially, and Imagen’s enterprise grade video management platform is ideally placed to meet the explosive demand of this sector.”

The funding will enable Imagen to expand its global operations and make significant inroads into the US and European markets. Imagen will be establishing a customer led sales and marketing presence in the US, as well as accelerating product development and the growth of its technology division.

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About Imagen

Imagen is an intuitive video management platform that enables sports organisations, media companies and enterprise sectors to intelligently manage their video content with enhanced functionality, control, and insight. Imagen is being used by global organisations to manage and distribute their expanding video and media libraries – enabling fast, easy, secure and controlled access to content through the highly customisable platform.

Imagen’s customers include Formula One, The Premier League, World Tennis Association, BP, Reuters, BBC and IMG, part of Endeavour. The secure platform is also used by the Ministry of Defence, and preserves archive collections for Imperial War Museums, the British Library and the BFI.

For more information visit www.imagenevp.com

About Downing Ventures

Downing Ventures is a London based evergreen fund investing in seed to series A (and beyond) companies, providing entrepreneurs with a ladder of funding. The fund has backed over 60 ambitious businesses (as at January 2019) across a variety of technology sectors including online marketplaces, enterprise software, and health technology.

About Guinness Asset Management

Guinness Asset Management provides a range of long only actively managed funds to individual and institutional investors. We also offer an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS service) investing in private growth stage and AIM-listed companies. Founded in 2003, Guinness is independent and is wholly owned by its employees. We believe in in-house research, intelligent screening for prioritisation of research and well-designed investment processes. We manage concentrated, high conviction portfolios, with low turnover and no benchmark constraints. Since our establishment we have developed a variety of specialisms in global growth and dividend funds, global sector funds and Asian regional and country funds.

For enquiries regarding Guinness EIS Service contact Shane Gallwey, Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 3475, Email: eis@guinnessfunds.com

About Cambridge Innovation Capital plc

CIC combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to support rapidly growing intellectual property rich companies in the Cambridge Cluster. The company is committed to building leading businesses from brilliant technologies, with the benefit of some of the most influential figures in the sector and a patient capital structure.

For more information please visit www.cicplc.co.uk or follow us on Twitter at @CambsInnovation

About ICON Corporate Finance

ICON Corporate Finance is a boutique investment bank which acts exclusively for technology companies. Its clients are changing the world and ICON helps them secure funding to build great companies and realise maximum value when they come to sell.

ZigZag Global receives multi-million pound investment from Circularity Capital

Circularity Capital LLP, the specialist private equity firm supporting growth stage European SMEs in the circular economy, continues to build its portfolio, leading a multi-million pound growth funding round in ZigZag Global, a British software solution for retailers to optimally manage the return, consolidation, and resale of products both domestically and internationally. The investment was also backed by US Silicon Valley investor Plug And Play Ventures.

Circularity Capital’s investment will further accelerate the rollout of the solution to bluechip retailers. Clients include Topshop, Selfridges and GAP amongst others.

E-commerce return volumes are growing at 10-20% per annum. In the US market alone, 2.5 million tons of returned goods end up in landfill, the equivalent of the volume of waste produced by 5 million Americans.

ZigZag’s multi-award winning SaaS platform enables retailers to reduce the costs and waste associated with returns whilst dramatically improving and simplifying the customer returns experience and speeding up the time to refund. ZigZag grades returned products and can consolidate, refurbish, locally redistribute, recycle or even resell stock internationally.

The system reduces parcel journeys by up to 65% by identifying opportunities for the repacking and redistribution of returned products within the country of delivery, resulting in a measurable reduction in the wastage and carbon footprint associated with retail returns. ZigZag also reduces the cost and transit time of returns and has been proven to reduce customer related service enquiries by 40%.

Circularity Capital’s investment in ZigZag is consistent with its hands-on approach of backing businesses capturing new sources of value through circular business practices. Circularity Capital’s investment will see it play a key role in supporting the management team accelerate its international roll out plan. Ian Nolan, partner at Circularity Capital, has joined the ZigZag Board.

Ian Nolan, Partner at Circularity Capital, said:

“ZigZag has developed a powerful solution for retailers to addressing the growing challenge posed by e-commerce returns. Our investment in ZigZag is highly aligned with Circularity’s focus on using the circular economy to identify opportunities to drive financial value creation in parallel with positive environmental and societal impact.”

Al Gerrie, CEO and founder of ZigZag, commented:

“Circularity Capital’s investment will play a key role in fueling our market growth. In addition to allowing us to reach more customers, the funding will allow us to further develop our product offering to deliver even more value for retailers. We placed significant emphasis on bringing on board an investor who brings more than just capital to the table – Circularity Capital’s specialist network and insight in the circular economy was a great fit for us in this regard“.

ZigZag is also nominated for the People’s Choice award at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.

Source: Company website