The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) has announced a £100,000 equity investment in Newquay-based artificial intelligence company SimSage as part of a £200,000 deal.
The investment round was led by the FSE Group as the appointed fund manager for CIOSIF and includes investment from a number of Angel investors working with corporate finance and venture capital company Mylor Ventures.
SimSage has developed an AI-powered search platform designed to dramatically reduce time spent searching for information, both for employees within organisations and on websites for customers. The system has been developed specifically to find relevant information within organisations, and where quite specific uses of English language is critically important.
It allows staff to quickly find documents, files and information from multiple systems using a single unifying search box, which improves productivity, removes the cost and complexity of document management systems and reduces business risk particularly around legislative compliance.
SimSage also allows customers to find exactly what they are looking for on a website, increasing website visitor engagement and sales, and reducing pressure on frontline staff having to deal with queries by telephone.
The business has an experienced management team led by Sean Wilson and Rock De Vocht who previously operated a similar business in New Zealand. SimSage is already working with four launch customers. Future customers are likely to include local government, where websites are key sources of information, and accountants, lawyers and utility companies.
Sean Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of SimSage, commented: “The funding has come at an important time for the business as we look to accelerate our growth so we can reach more industries who will benefit from this product. Having supportive investors such as CIOSIF and Mylor Ventures will be key to underpinning our future aspirations.”
Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds at The FSE Group, added “We live in a very modern, fast paced world with information readily available at our fingertips but do not have time to waste trying to locate or extract the relevant data. We have all at some stage been frustrated by the mass of information on company websites when we can’t find what we are looking for. We look forward to working with SimSage to solve these new world problems.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said: “Through the British Business Bank’s regional funds we are actively supporting businesses that improve the efficiency of the UK economy through the use of technology. Supporting early-stage businesses as they fulfil their growth is an important component of helping generate economic growth in Cornwall.”
John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “SimSage uses some very sophisticated IT that can make businesses more productive and build better relationships with customers by helping them find what they need. Cornwall is growing force in the tech sector, and we are very pleased to see the fund supporting the growth of another technology company in the county.”
CIOSIF 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.
Advisers on the transaction were: Field Seymour Parkes (FSE legals), Ignition Law (SimSage legals), and Mylor Ventures (SimSage corporate finance).
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2
Read more about SimSage at www.simsage.ai