News

Media Enquiries Please contact Tom Clarke
Tel: 01276 608513
Email: tom.clarke@thefsegroup.com

£85,000 Loan to Help Windsor Marketing Company Grow

A marketing agency specialising in the pharmaceutical sector is the latest company to secure funding from the Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) Funding Escalator as it looks to implement a growth strategy.

Windsor based CAN Advertising, established in 2010 by directors Lisa Dodd and Clare Chamberlain, has established itself as an expert creative resource over the last six years and has grown organically during that time. The directors now see an opportunity to expand at an accelerated rate as their award winning campaigns continue to generate increased loyalty and referrals within the pharmaceutical market.

CAN Client Services Director, Lisa, says: “As a small agency we have been able to build close relationships with our clients who value our extensive knowledge of their sector. Despite the stringent regulation surrounding pharmaceutical marketing we have consistently produced innovative, memorable campaigns that result in long term connections and significant repeat business.”

Fulfilling new projects and contracts will be possible with the addition of 3 new staff and the buy-out of an investor company, facilitated by £85,000 from the Thames Valley Berkshire Expansion Loan Scheme.

Ian Baker, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the TVB Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “Lisa and Clare have a mass of therapeutic expertise which has helped them build an outstanding reputation in this highly competitive market. They recognise the growth potential the business now has and we look forward to working with them to fully exploit this.”

The TVB Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the TVB Funding Escalator, a £8.3million initiative funded by TVB LEP. The escalator, which also includes commercialisation and trade finance loan schemes as well as an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £25,000 and £250,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the TVB Expansion Loan Scheme please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/ or contact Ian Baker at ian.baker@thefsegroup.com or tel: 01276 608517.

For more information about CAN Advertising visit www.can-advertising.com.

Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator Delivers Expansion Loan to Automotive Logistics Company

A Sandhurst based business specialising in the delivery and collection of automobiles is looking to expand its operations across the South of England after securing a £200,000 Expansion Loan from the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator.

Top Marque Logistics have been providing services to rental companies, dealerships with a large volume of work and individuals since 2013. The company can cater for any vehicle, any size, from corporate deliveries to dealer transfers.

The initial first tranche of the loan allowed Top Marque Logistics to expand the business with the January opening of a facility in Kettering. With the second tranche of the loan being received at the end of May, the company aim to complete their expansion activity with the opening of a branch in Dorset at the end of this month. The company also aim to significantly increase their workforce at their head office in Sandhurst, Berkshire and launch a new point of delivery system, which will allow drivers to easily manage their appointments remotely.

Cheryl Weeks, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the TVB Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “With an already impressive list of clients and operating in a growing market, we were impressed with the company from the outset. We are delighted to be supporting David and his team in the next stage of their growth and wish them all the best for the future”

David Hunter, Managing Director at Top Marque Logistics, “We are truly grateful for Cheryl’s help and support, she carried out the due diligence quickly and guided me through the entire process from start to finish. As a business we have learnt so much which we believe will be highly beneficial moving forward. The funding has come at a crucial and exciting time for the business. We are expanding rapidly into new geographical areas to meet demand and we are also focusing on our brand image, with extensive changes being made. In order to cater for this demand we have a significant amount of driving roles available throughout the South of England.”

The TVB Funding Escalator is a £8.3m initiative, which, alongside the expansion loan scheme, also includes a commercialisation loan scheme, a trade finance loan scheme and a growth equity fund, which offer medium term finance for investment purposes.

About The FSE Group:

The FSE Group provides tailored funding solutions and support for ambitious and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help them achieve their maximum potential. This includes the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, which is one of a number of Local Enterprise Partnership backed funds that The FSE Group manage. For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Cheryl Weeks: cheryl.weeks@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607303.

HealthUnlocked Secures £1.5m Funding

Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund portfolio company HealthUnlocked has successfully completed a £1.5m funding round.

Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “We are delighted to show continued support to founders, Jorge Armanet and Dr Matt Jameson Evans, and the whole HealthUnlocked team. Since our initial investment back in April 2015, HealthUnlocked have doubled their number of members, with 500,000 now signed up to the platform, resulting in an impressive 40 million hits per year. With the company recently being named as a Deloitte UK Fast 50 2016 Winner we believe that this funding round will enable them to continue their rapid growth in the Healthcare market.”

Read more here: HealthUnlocked Secures £1.5m Funding

Ends

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Social Network for Health Receives Investment to Support International Growth

30/04/2015

A health focused social network, which helps people connect through online communities dedicated to specific medical conditions, has raised £825,000 in its latest funding round.

The equity investment, which has come from several angel investors together with £125,000 from the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund, managed by The FSE Group, will be used to invest further in the product, advance technological development and increase revenue streams.

HealthUnlocked provides an online setting where individuals affected by various medicals conditions can link up with others sharing the same experiences, along with associated support groups and healthcare professionals. The site was launched in the UK and Europe in 2010 and in the US last summer and has grown quickly during that time with many leading medical organisations – including the NHS – charities and advocacy groups, choosing to operate their community forums from the platform. It now has over 250,000 registered members communicating across more than 500 peer-to-peer communities and figures for January alone showed over 2.5 million users visiting the site.

The HealthUnlocked team has developed a highly sophisticated AI based platform to underpin the site. The ‘HealthGraph’ focuses on medical terminology across language and usage barriers to identify connections across content and users.

Data extracted from discussion posts within the communities such as how often members with a specific condition also report other symptoms, whether a community is discussing a specific drug, what treatment members of a specific community recommend, can be extremely valuable to medical research efforts. The system allows even anecdotal conversations to become evidence to inform studies.

Jorge Armanet, HealthUnlocked CEO and co-founder, says: “The majority of our users are highly invested in the communities they are members of, often personally affected by the medical conditions concerned. As a result, almost 70% of registered users want to participate in research. This means that, amongst other things, we can identify and select clinical trial subjects according to specific criteria, quickly and accurately. Indeed, in a recent trial for a major pharmaceutical company we were able to present a pre-screened cohort, which by their usual methods took six months, in only three days.”

Furthermore, HealthUnlocked is developing applications for better management of individual patient care, in conjunction with specialist healthcare providers. One such application enables patients to communicate with health workers who can then create a personalised care plan. Aggregated information is used by the hospital and healthcare provider to improve care planning. The application is currently being used by over 10,000 patients in 65 NHS and BUPA hospitals.

Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “The early success of HealthUnlocked as a provider of a niche social network is evident in its rapid growth in users and site visits, along with testimony such as 90% stating their knowledge of treatment options had improved as a consequence. However, the true potential of this complex platform has yet to be utilised. We are excited to be working with the team as they explore its full capacity and work to achieve their ambitions for high growth on a global scale.”

Simon Labahn, Fund Executive at The FSE Group, adds: “With several high-profile angels in the funding round, we’re thrilled to see the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund added to the list of investors backing this innovative company. Completing any deal is a complex process, one which we were grateful on this occasion to have Penelope Garden, Partner at Field Seymour Parkes solicitors, advise us upon.”

The Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £200,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the Coast to Capital region.

For more information about the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Avent Bezuidenhoudt at avent.bezuidenhoudt@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608526.

Expansion is ‘On The Menu’ for Winchester Business

Winchester based On The Menu who make nutritious and tasty free from food are set to expand with the help from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme. The company was established in Winchester, by Elizabeth Jones in 2010, who found the ready meals available in the mainstream supermarkets lacked the sufficient nutrients needed for a balanced diet, including those with diabetes.

The £50,000 Expansion Loan will be used to develop and market a new range of table sauces made without refined sugar and 70% less salt than regular table sauces, which are launching this year.  

Elizabeth Jones, Founder of On The Menu, “With the spotlight on obesity and the growth of diabetes 2 amongst young people we have used our expertise to develop a range of naturally free from, no added sugar table sauces under a new sub brand Real Good Ketchup. This funding will allow us to continue our growth plans and branch our products out into new emerging markets.”

Derek Ellis, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “With a portfolio of customers including, Ocado, The Co-operative, Amazon and Whole Foods Market in the UK and exporting to Dunnes Stores in Ireland, we firmly believe that On The Menu has a great future. We are delighted to be working with them and look forward to watching Elizabeth expand the business to the next level.

The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is a £5.5m initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. It includes a growth equity fund and provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding of £50,000 to £200,000 for activities delivering high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator or contact Derek Ellis at derek.ellis@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607302.

RazorSecure Looks to Future with Investment from Enterprise M3 Growth Fund

A company offering an innovative cyber security solution for small-scale networks is looking to expand with the help of an investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund.

The £150,000 investment is part of a larger funding round that will see RazorSecure establish itself within the transport sector, targeting in-travel infotainment systems within aeroplanes, cars and trains.

The software’s small footprint means it is suitable for small systems without it affecting the operation of the underlying device, making it perfect for in-flight entertainment that is unconnected to a large network. Furthermore, it is unique in the fact that it can detect a hack and close down the relevant system in under a minute, leaving a hacker no time to search for valuable data.

Alex Cowan, CEO and CTO at Razorsecure says: “with hacks becoming more sophisticated, and systems more interconnected, it may be possible for a hacker to access a plane’s controls via vulnerabilities in the entertainment system, or a ship’s navigation system via the GPS signal. With driverless cars on the horizon, this particular threat will also affect the automotive industry. Our protected IP is ground-breaking in the speed at which it can identify a threat and take action to stop it, increasing the overall security of transport networks.”

Following an introduction from SETsquared, and help from the EM3 Growth Hub the funding round was originated by The FSE Group, which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and led by Breed Reply, the Internet of Things investor and advanced incubator.

Ralph Singleton, fund manager at The FSE Group comments: “We are delighted to have facilitated this deal that sees RazorSecure acquire the funding needed to take it to its next stage of growth. The company founders have identified a gap in the IT security market that they have been able to fill with their innovative IP. We look forward to working with Alex and the team to ensure that the company takes advantage of the opportunities available to truly reach its potential.”

The Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, a £5.5million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £200,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/fund/enterprise-m3-growth-fund/ or contact Ralph Singleton at tel: 01276 607307.

For more information about RazorSecure visit www.razorsecure.com.

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions Closes New Funding Round to Expand Operations

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions, the Theale-based provider of reusable thermal packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, is poised to develop its market with support from the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund. TOWER’s containers, offering a powerful, passive and environmentally-sound way of transporting valuable pharmaceuticals, are in use with major pharmaceutical companies across the world.

With hubs already located in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Brussels, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, as well as its UK base west of Reading, the company now intends to provide a wider service to its customers. The new investment will be used to grow TOWER’s fleet of rental containers as well as to open new hubs in Philadelphia and Singapore. Requirements outside these locations are met with a DHL-supported repositioning service that allows customers to drop off TOWER containers in a wide range of strategic locations.

Chris Pollard, CEO of TOWER, explains “We are very proud of the fact that TOWER’s KTM range of modular pallet shippers are in such demand across the pharmaceutical industry. We are therefore building new containers to meet this demand and to keep TOWER at the forefront of a rapidly-expanding and dynamic global market. As regulation forces more and more drugs across the world into an audited supply chain, the need for containers such as TOWER’s increases.”

“It is not enough just to create the stock, because the market needs containers to be located close to major manufacturing centres, so our new hubs will expand our capability to match availability to demand. We are delighted that the FSE Group has decided to support TOWER, a local business manufacturing all its products in the UK, exporting globally, and we are grateful to them for the measured and structured process that allowed the investment to take place.”

Bradley Jones, Fund Manager at the FSE Group comments, “We are extremely pleased to announce our investment into TOWER Cold Chain Solutions. We look forward to working with TOWER as they continue to scale-up and expand into new and emerging markets. We wish them all the best for the future”

About The FSE Group:

The FSE Group provides tailored funding solutions and support for ambitious and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help them achieve their maximum potential. This includes the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund, which is one of a number of Local Enterprise Partnership backed funds that The FSE Group manage. For further information about the range of products and services offered by FSE, visit www.thefsegroup.com

Online Content Sharing Software Platform Secures Expansion Loan

Hampshire based software company Widgety is set for expansion with the help from a £200,000 loan from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme.

Through a neatly designed interface businesses are able to quickly and easily update, monitor and distribute their content to any website. Launched in 2012 Widgety was first aimed at the cruise and travel sector, with clients including Regent Seven Seas Cruise and Advantage Travel. The company has recently adapted the platform to cater for the small and medium sized enterprise market, allowing attractions and businesses to showcase their events and promotions seamlessly across multiple third party sites.

Damian Gevertz, Managing Director at Widgety, “The concept is a simple one, we identified the problems that businesses have when updating a vast amount of information about their company online, and came up with the Widgety platform that does everything for you. Widgety works across all devices allowing content uploaded just once to update automatically everywhere”

Derek Ellis, Fund Manager at the FSE Group, “With strong existing contracts and the mechanisms in place for growth, we believe that Widgety can continue to excel and enter new exciting markets. We wish them all the best for the future and look forward to helping them reach their future goals.”

The funding is being used for new staff and software development to finish the remaining key modules needed to bring the product together and move towards full automation and support. This will allow Widgety to grow from its current base geographically.

The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is a £5.5m initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. It includes a growth equity fund and provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding of £50,000 to £200,000 for activities delivering high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator or contact Derek Ellis at derek.ellis@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607302.

Powerlase Photonics Secures Funding for Growth

A Crawley based independent laser manufacturer is set for growth after securing funding from the Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme.

Founded in 2009, Powerlase Photonics has accelerated the introduction of high power lasers into a variety of industrial applications worldwide, chiefly in materials processing, annealing, ablation, de-painting and cleaning. The company specialises in the design and development of innovative state-of-the-art process solutions for flat panel displays, photovoltaic, microelectronics, EUV, machine tool, automotive, and aerospace markets.

The £200,000 funding will be primarily used to focus on the sales and marketing strategy, allowing Powerlase Photonics to enter new markets and expand their client reach. The company also plan to increase their staff numbers significantly at their UK headquarters in Crawley, West Sussex.

Dr Young Kwon, Managing Director at Powerlase Photonics, “The funding allows us to press ahead with our expansion plans and focus on the emerging markets both in Europe and Overseas. We have seen a rise in the demand for high power pulsed lasers over the last couple of years. More and more businesses are accepting the need for lasers in the manufacturing of their products, especially in the automotive and aerospace sectors.”

Ian Baker, Senior Fund Manager at the FSE Group, “In a growing market we believe that the extensive experience and knowledge of Young Kwon and his team can lead to more success for Powerlase Photonics. We are delighted to be supporting the company and look forward to working with them whilst they achieve their growth ambitions.”

The Coast to Capital Funding Escalator is a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital LEP. The escalator, which includes an expansion loan scheme and a growth equity fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £500,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator please visit www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Ian Baker at ian.baker@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608517.

For more information about Powerlase Photonics please visit: www.powerlase-photonics.com

New Beauty Medi-Clinic Opens in Maidenhead

Located in the Nicholson Centre, in the heart of Maidenhead town centre, Laser Med is now open for private appointments and consultations. With the help of a £30,000 loan from the TVB Commercialisation Loan Scheme, Laser Med have been able to successfully launch their new studio, which officially opened its doors at the beginning of July.

lasermed

(Laser Med, 27 Nicholson’s Walk, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1LB)

The company offer two main services, ranging from laser hair removal to the cosmetic procedure hydro-dermabrasion. The funding was used to carry out a full shop renovation, including the purchase of a new computing/management program system and the arrival of the state-of-the-art jet peel machine. The jet peel is a specialist skin treatment system, which works by using a highly pressurized oxygen jet to accelerate sterilized water at a supersonic rate, through a hand held fine nozzle.

Ali Moasser, Managing Director of Laser Med, “There is a huge UK shortage for reasonable priced, high quality beauty treatments, we therefore feel that we are ahead of the game with the range of treatments that we provide. It is our aim to provide an affordable, pleasant and reliable practice for all of our clients.  The beauty and cosmetic sector has seen a sharp rise in customers over the last decade and we see now as the perfect opportunity to expand our profile.”

Cheryl Weeks, Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the commercialisation loan scheme on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP says: “We are delighted to be supporting Laser Med in the next stage of their development. Laser Med is the perfect example of the type of company that our commercialisation loan scheme aims to support, one that requires funding support to significantly enhance their market positioning and deliver a step change in growth. We look forward to working with Ali and his team and wish them all the success for the future.”

For more information about Laser Med visit: www.lasermed.co.uk or call 01628 318325. To make an appointment visit: https://lasermed.appointedd.com/

Ends

The TVB Commercialisation Loan Scheme is part of the TVB Funding Escalator, a £7.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme and a growth equity fund, which provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £25,000 and £250,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the TVB Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator/ or contact Cheryl Weeks at cheryl.weeks@thefsegroup.com tel: 07866 835143.

Paleo Energy Bar Manufacturer Secures £200,000 Loan

The UK’s first Paleo Energy Bar brand is set for expansion with the help of a loan from the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator. The Primal Pantry, based in Maidenhead and launched in 2014 was the brainchild of nutritionist Suzie Walker. In little over two years Suzie has developed a diverse range of energy bars, focusing strongly on content and taste. The wholefood paleo bars are made with no more than 5 ingredients and are free from grains, dairy, soya, refined vegetable oils and refined sugars.

Suzie Walker, Founder and Chief-Firestarter at The Primal Pantry outlines, “The funding has come at a crucial time as we look to capitalise on the influx of people who are eating a gluten and/or dairy free diet. Over the last few years there has been a growing surge in demand for a healthy energy bar. People want to eat clean, and feel the benefit of a more nutritious diet. We now export our bars to 26 countries across the world and we are stocked nationwide in several UK retailers, including Waitrose, Holland & Barratt, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Wholefoods. We will be shortly rolling out our products to 565 Tesco stores, whilst exploring further new markets in Europe.”

The funding comes jointly from the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator’s trade and expansion loan facilities and will be used to scale-up the business, supporting the fulfilment of new retail contracts. To meet these demands the company is aiming on doubling its workforce over the next 2 years.

Cheryl Weeks, Fund Manager at The FSE Group comments, “We are delighted to assist Suzie and her team with their expansion plans. The company has grown rapidly in such a short space of time and with a firm focus on marketing and brand awareness we believe that Primal Pantry can continue to impress in the wholefood market. We look forward to joining them on their journey and wish them all the very best for the future”

About The FSE Group:

The FSE Group provides tailored funding solutions and support for ambitious and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help them achieve their maximum potential. This includes the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, which is one of a number of Local Enterprise Partnership backed funds that The FSE Group manage. For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Cheryl Weeks: Cheryl.weeks@thefsegroup.com tel: 07866 835143.

About The Primal Pantry:

The Primal Pantry’s mission is to provide tasty nutritious foods, which fully compliment a clean eating lifestyle, free of any grains, dairy, refined sugars and vegetable oils. Always made entirely with real food. For more information and to see a range of our products please visit: www.primalpantry.com