A Newcastle tech company whose software allows businesses to create their own mobile apps has raised £1.2m to further develop its product and expand its team.
Nutshell Software has secured investment from two funds managed by Mercia – the Northern Venture Capital Trust (VCT) Funds and the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Nutshell’s software offers a simple way for businesses to create their own fully functional mobile apps in minutes – with no coding necessary. Launched in 2017, it is already being used by many public and private sector organisations including Network Rail, Siemens, Northumbria Police and the NHS. The company, which currently employs 12 staff, expects to create around 40 new jobs in the next three years.
Nutshell was launched by serial entrepreneur Martyn Cuthbert, a former civil engineer who recognised the potential of new technology while working in the rail sector. His launched his first IT business OnTrac in 2007 and sold it to Tracsis plc in 2016.
Martyn hopes that Nutshell will make mobile apps accessible to organisations of all sizes.
He says: “With 3.5 billion smartphones worldwide, mobile apps are an effective way for public and private sector businesses to roll out their services to a wide audience. Nutshell makes mobile app development easy and will help businesses large and small to drive innovation and growth.”
Aaron Lawson-Clark and Jan Oosthuizen from the Mercia team led the deal. Aaron said:
“Nutshell stood out with both a market-leading product and a management team with experience in building a successful software company. Mercia is pleased to be backing another fantastic business in the North East of England.”
Square One Law provided legal advice to Mercia on the deal. NEVF can invest up to £1.0million in any one round for firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start enterprises.
The Northern VCTs, which provide series A venture investment of up to £5million for high growth SMEs, are amongst the longest-established funds of their type in the UK.
Head of Marketing & Communications
Mercia Asset Management PLC
+44 (0) 7464 480 137
+44 (0) 161 860 6063
+44 (0) 780 163 9816
About Mercia Asset Management PLC
Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Capital Solution’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.
Mercia has a strong UK regional footprint through its eight offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia has almost £0.8billion of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over £90.0million across its direct investment portfolio.
The Group raises its own Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.
Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –
- Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
- Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
- EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560
About The North East Fund
The North East Fund is a suite five venture capital and loan funds which was established in April 2018, to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses in the period to March 2023. The fund managers provide business development advice and investment finance to small and medium sized enterprises based in the seven Local Authority areas of North East England: Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Gateshead Sunderland and County Durham. The programme encourages investment in and the commercialisation of new technologies, including low carbon technologies, as well as stimulating new business creation, private investment and entrepreneurialism in the North East, with a view to creating over 2,500 new jobs. The North East Fund has overall responsibility for the programme, which is delivered through five separate funds, each managed by independent, FCA regulated fund managers. Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the programme, is available on The North East Fund’s website: www.northeastfund.org
The North East Fund has been established with funding from the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and from returns on previous North East based, publicly supported investment funds. It is jointly owned by the seven North East local authorities
About the European Regional Development Fund
The North East Fund will receive up to £58,500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
About the European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend up to £60,000,000 to the North East Fund programme. The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. For more information, visit: http://www.eib.org/about/index.htm