Derby start-up raises £200k to launch games payment platform
A Derby company which has developed a new payment system for the games industry has secured a further £200k investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).
Transaction Technologies’ new platform will target the multi-billion-dollar market for in-game downloads. PlayerLands, as it is known, allows players to buy virtual goods within games and is one of the few systems that will accept payments in real money rather than cryptocurrencies.
The platform provides a secure payment system that makes it easy to buy and sell virtual products online and for developers to set up their own stores, market their goods and manage their businesses.
The latest funding round will allow the firm to finalise and launch its platform, while creating four new jobs in Derby for developers and customer service staff.
Transaction Technologies was set up by serial entrepreneurs Alex Booth and Nick Gillett. Booth has worked as a consultant in the gaming industry while Gillett is a games industry journalist and former Guardian columnist who has successfully exited previous start-ups. Having secured an initial £200k investment from MEIF to build the platform, the entrepreneurs have now successfully integrated it with the leading payment systems and are in discussions with a number of games developers.
Nick Gillett said:
“The games business, and especially the highly social world of server-based games, have been growing rapidly for years. We make it easy for developers and server owners to monetise their services, leaving them to concentrate on making the best entertainment.”
Sandy Reid, Investment Director at Mercia, added:
“Online gaming is an exciting sector that has grown significantly during the global lockdown. Transaction Technologies is filling a gap in the market for a secure and professional payment system. We are pleased to further support the business with this latest investment which will allow it to launch PlayerLands and to capitalise on the favourable market conditions.”
Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said:
“The MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund was set up to support start-ups across the region looking to get a business idea off the ground initially and then, grow with further investment. Transaction Technologies is a good example of this, with the MEIF initially providing funding to help the firm develop its platform and now supporting a second round of funding enabling it to launch to market.”
Sajeeda Rose, CEO at D2N2 LEP, said:
“Our area has a thriving creative & digital industry and I’m pleased to see continued investment by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund into innovative businesses such as Transaction Technologies which can help drive our economic recovery by creating high-skilled jobs in our region.”
Tom Gray, Partner at Knights plc, provided legal advice to the fund.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
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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 Connected Capital’. 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.
The Group has a strong UK footprint through its regional offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia currently has c.£800million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over £96million into its direct investment portfolio. Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC”.
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 Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South East Midlands in the East Midlands.
The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 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 www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.
The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
The British Business Bank programmes were supporting more than £7.7bn of finance to over 94,900 smaller businesses at end of December 2019. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering tens of billions of pounds of finance to over a million businesses.
As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:
- The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
- The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.
As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, none of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.
British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.