Stormburst Studios (t/a OneUp) secures £600k Seed Follow On investment from Mercia

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Games developer using tech to motivate sales teams raises £600k

A Midlands software company which uses the power of video games to help businesses manage and motivate their sales teams has raised a further £600,000 for expansion.

Stormburst Studios secured funding from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), and Mercia’s EIS funds. The latest investment follows an earlier funding round of £150,000 in 2017 from Mercia’s EIS funds.

Based in Tamworth, the company was founded in 2016 by two former games developers, Derry Holt and James Heath,  and currentlyemploys seven staff members. The funding will allow it to create six new jobs, with the aim of doubling its revenue in the run-up to a planned Series A investment round in 2022.

Stormburst’s platform OneUp Sales offers an innovative approach to sales management – engaging staff in different locations, allowing teams to compete against each other online and providing detailed performance insights for managers.

Derry Holt, the company’s CEO: 

“When everyone is working from different locations, it can be hard to manage and motivate sales teams. OneUp harnesses the power of data and brings greater visibility on performance, which in turn helps engage and motivate staff. It also injects an element of fun. This investment will enable us to further develop the system and reach a wider audience.”

David Baker of Mercia added: 

“Remote working is here to stay, which will make platforms like OneUp all the more important to companies in the future. Stormburst Studios has made great progress and is now ready to scale up. This latest investment will allow it to achieve rapid growth in its market with the aim of becoming a market leader.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, said: 

“The MEIF is committed to supporting Midlands’ businesses to create and develop technology and to innovate. This latest investment will help another business in Staffordshire to build its team and reach new audiences. We are determined to support more businesses to innovate and grow and support the Midlands’ strength in software development.”

Tim Pile, Chair at Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) added: 

“Here is another example of how valuable this initiative is in helping our SMEs to grow and expand.  It’ll allow Stormburst Studios to create jobs in a sector that is thriving in our region. Through our own work, GBSLEP has recognised the importance of the software industry and we’re working with our partners to maximise its potential to drive inclusive economic growth.”

Jamie Partington of Higgs & Sons provided legal advice to Mercia on the deal.

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.

ENDS

Press contacts

Alison Dwyer
Head of Marketing & Communications
Mercia Asset Management PLC
+44 (0) 7464 480 137
[email protected] 

Pauline Rawsterne
PR Agent
Turquoise PR
+44 (0) 161 860 6063
+44 (0) 780 163 9816
[email protected]

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

www.mercia.co.uk

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’s core programmes support nearly £8bn[1] of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses[2]. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has also launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering almost £73bn of finance to around 1.6m 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 British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
  • In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.
  • British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk

[1] Figures as at end of June 2020

2 Figures as at 28 January 2021

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Safiya Marzook

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