Company to launch new family photo-sharing platform with help of £250k NPIF loan
Digital Converters – which converts old videos and tapes into digital format – has secured a £250,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). The funding will enable it to continue its rapid growth and launch a new cloud-based platform where families can store their memories securely.
Digital Converters can convert almost all types of outdated media including videotapes, photos and cine film to digital formats such as memory sticks, DVD and cloud. The Ripon-based company serves consumers throughout the UK and has also transferred films for businesses, including fashion designer Stella McCartney. So far this year it has migrated over 100,000 video tapes along with over 500,000 photos.
Founded in 2016 by friends James Palliser and Sean Parle from a bedroom, it now employs a team of 25 and aims to double in size each year for the next five years.
The new online platform will be a dedicated service for safe storage of family archives, accessible via web browsers or Apple, Android and TV apps, and offering a number of features currently not available through some of the big hosting platforms.
Sean Parle, director at Digital Converters, said:
“For decades, memories were captured on formats which are now inaccessible and deteriorating. Our existing service helps people reconnect with their memories by converting them to digital. The new platform is a natural extension of this, enabling customers to store their memories online and build an archive that can be easily viewed and shared with other family members.
“This round of funding will allow us to launch the platform and step up our marketing to target new regions such as Europe, with the ultimate aim of rolling it out worldwide.”
Jonathan Craig, senior investment manager at Mercia said:
“Sean and the team are driven young entrepreneurs who have grown the business rapidly over the past five years. With the pandemic having accelerated the demand for digital services, they have now spotted a gap in the market for a dedicated hosting service. The funding will enable them to pursue this opportunity.”
Melanie Ellyard at British Business Bank said:
“Digital Converters is an exciting young business that saw huge growth over lockdown, utilizing the technology of today to safeguard important family memories for the future. The company is looking to grow its foothold not only beyond the UK into Europe, but globally, helping to create new jobs in the North and boost the regional economy.”
The Northern Powerhouse 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.
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 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.£940million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested c.£111million gross into its direct investment portfolio.
The Group raises its own Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and manages Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) 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 Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Northern Powerhouse 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 Northern Powerhouse 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 NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Hull and East Yorkshire, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, and York & North Yorkshire
- The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for 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.
- The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
- 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