AI-powered pricing firm secures further NPIF funding as it aims for global market leadership
A company with a unique software pricing tool has secured a further £250,000 funding from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), as it seeks to establish itself as a global leader in its field.
Middlesbrough-based Bubo.AI completed a £500,000 funding round led by NPIF last year to help bring the software to market. It has since won a string of awards and been listed as one of the most noteworthy pricing software providers worldwide by technology analysts Gartner. The software, which was adopted by Tarmac at an early stage, has also attracted a number of new multinational clients including a leading European car parts distributor and a major medical equipment company and is being trialled by other large corporates worldwide.
Bubo.AI’s platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to track customer behaviour and recommend the optimum price based on what the customer is willing to pay and what the vendor is willing to accept. It is designed for any business with complex pricing models, such as distributors and merchants, and has been shown to yield on average a 30 per cent uplift in net profits.
Bubo.AI was founded in 2019 by Alan Timothy and Marcin Lisowski, who had worked together as consultants to create a pricing system for a client, and AI expert Professor Huseyin Seker from Birmingham University. It currently employs nine people in Middlesbrough and is planning to create 10 new jobs in the year ahead.
Alan Timothy, the company’s CEO who also founded software firm i-snapshot, says:
“Bubo.AI is the only AI-driven pricing software that takes the perceived value to customers into account. We have been delighted by the awards and other recognition we have received so far. This funding will allow us to maintain our position at the leading edge of AI and establish the software as the world leader in its field.”
Simon Crabtree, Investment Manager at Mercia added:
“Bubo.AI could help companies to revolutionise their approach to pricing and transform their profitability. Alan and the team are pioneering new levels of sophistication in pricing software. We are pleased to continue to support them as they build their reputation and their global client base.”
Grant Peggie at British Business Bank said:
“Bubo.AI is an growing digital tech business that has gone from strength-to-strength, utilising NPIF investment to develop its software and secure new clients. Investments such as this demonstrate the importance of access to finance for Northern businesses, helping them to grow, innovate and create new opportunities in the region.”
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.
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Mercia Asset Management PLC
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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.£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