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Email: tom.clarke@thefsegroup.com

Bakedin Completes £675,000 Funding Round with Investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund

Basingstoke based Bakedin, have successfully completed a £675,000 funding round with a £200,000 investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group. The business has created a time saving baking kit which delivers the complete cake or biscuit making experience, by providing everything the budding baker needs in a fun yet simple package.

Joe Munns, the CEO and inspirational founder behind Bakedin wished to turn his passion and hobby for baking into his full-time career. That was in 2013 and since then, his high-end, time saving baking kit range has grown.

These stunningly presented kits, provide the full baking experience from scratch, but with less hassle. Containing locally sourced individually bagged ingredients, they also come with handy extras to craft the perfect cake. The easy to follow step-by-step instructions, should ensure that your ingredients will seamlessly turn into a wonderful cake, baked to perfection.  

Having the exact raw ingredients already measured out reduces food waste. Once the kit has been delivered direct to your door, all you will need to add is an egg or water depending on the recipe. Their user-friendly website makes ordering easy, or you can find the range at selected major retailers.

Joe Munns, CEO of Bakedin, commented, “We’re thrilled to receive this investment from Enterprise M3 Growth Fund. We’re directing the investment to continue to grow the business, invest in factory expansion and further develop our market share in the US. We want to increase brand awareness through continued product development and right now, we’re looking at breaking into more health-conscious sectors. Growing our incredible Baking Club community is also a priority as we look to delight our customers with new product development.”

Paul Lyristis, Senior Fund Manager, South East for The FSE Group, which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of the LEP adds: “Joe has put together a fantastic, talented and motivated team. It has been a privilege to work with such great people.  Together, they have built a truly distinctive and innovative company which is attuned to the way we live our lives and their products are designed to bring joy and fun to all.”

Kathy Slack OBE, Director Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “It’s enormously encouraging to see some businesses continue to thrive even in the most difficult of circumstances. Bakedin will no doubt have provided hours of much needed fun for families and baking enthusiasts throughout these few months of lockdown and I’m delighted to see the company continue its expansion with the help of Enterprise M3. One of the things EM3 is most proud of is the ability to help small business grow and companies such as Bakedin demonstrate that it’s perfectly possible to turn a hobby about which you are passionate into a flourishing business with global ambitions.”

The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator II is £10 million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which includes an expansion loan scheme, a trade finance loan scheme and an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the EM3 area. For more information about the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/fund/enterprise-m3-growth-fund/ or contact Paul Lyristis at paul.lyristis@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607307 / 07973 712203.

For more information about Bakedin, visit www.bakedin.co.uk

Aquaforno, the ultimate outdoor kitchen in a back pack

Reading based team, Tim Rhodes & Karen Jenkins, have recently secured £300,000 from Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator (TVB) to further grow, develop and expand their unique outdoor business.

The business was established by the team in 2011, when the duo spotted a gap in the market for outdoor cooking. Enjoying rural life themselves and having their own young family, they understood the need for being able to feed yourself a variety of different meals whilst also keeping warm outdoors.  When both of these needs are met, enjoying the great outdoors can be so much more fun.

They invented and developed their versatile outdoor cooking stove, Aquaforno.  Able to cater for a variety of different meals within the one solution, negating the need to transport multiple outdoor cooking appliances like BBQ’s, hot water tanks and small grill appliances.

This high-end specialist outdoor cooking stove is both easily portable, and collapsible.  It features a multi-fuel BBQ, grill, pizza oven, rotisserie and smoker.  In addition, once meals are cooked, they can be kept warm in the storage facility meaning families can all eat together. The Aquaforno cooking stove is also the only outdoor cooker on the market which has an integral boiler, ensuring hot drinks are available on tap.

Their patented product prevents competitors from manufacturing telescopic cookers with a boiler functionality. This patent covers Northern Europe and patent pending in the United States.

Once mealtimes are done, Aquaforno’s design neatly collapses to store away the stove in its space saving back-pack, ready for the next day or to transport back home.

Tim Rhodes, Co-Founder of AquaForno Ltd, commented  “We are immensely proud of Aquaforno and its unique position in the market-place. The £300,000 which has been secured will help us further grow and expand our business, allowing us to strengthen both the Management Team and our back-office support. We have enjoyed varied PR coverage, endorsements and received recognition via awards and are looking forward to the future, developing a content strategy and extending our reach across social media, taking the brand to the next level.”

Cheryl Weeks, Head of Funds, South East for The FSE Group, commented: “It was a pleasure to be able to reach out and support this exciting, unique business. The Aquaforno brand is the key to the success and growth of this business. Tim & Karen are both passionate and dedicated individuals who will use this loan to continue developing brand awareness globally to promote Aquaforno.”

TVB Expansion Loan Scheme is part of TVB Funding Escalator, an £11.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator, which also includes a Trade Finance Loan Scheme and a Growth Equity Fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

Greater London Investment Fund Supports East London Business with Expansion Loan.

Situated in Shoreditch, East London, Kaelo has secured a £350,000 growth loan, (through its holding company Kaezen Ltd), from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) which is managed by The FSE Group.  Kaelo Limited are the pioneers behind the Kaelo, a unique new way to serve and enjoy perfectly chilled wine in the home, and the hospitality and marine markets.

With humble beginnings, Kaelo is an inspiring story of British innovation and manufacturing that grew from a simple idea and is now specified in homes and yachts across the world after just a few years.

Using a patented dry-cooling system, Kaelo keeps wine (or other beverages) chilled within 1-2 degrees of its opening temperature once the bottle is open, and without any drips, mess, or fuss.

With increasing demand in the UK and overseas, Kaelo is now ready to invest into its next level of growth and move towards becoming a staple product in many modern interiors world-wide.

Kaelo is available in the UK via specialist kitchen and interior designers or direct from www.Kaelo.co.uk. Kaelo is also distributed in Continental Europe, the United States and South Africa.

Kevin Jabou, Founder & Chairman of Kaezen Limited commented: “It’s a little surreal what Kaelo has achieved considering it all started in a shed! Now with FSE’s support we’re able to open a new exciting chapter to expand the business and create job opportunities, streamline our manufacturing process and develop our product portfolio. I would like to sincerely thank Jerry, our FSE Fund Manager for his support in helping our small company reach that next level.”

Jerry Donohue, Senior Fund Manager for The FSE Group, who manage the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, comments: “It was a pleasure to work with Kevin, Alistair, Chris  and all of their team. It is rewarding to be able to help and support successful local businesses helping them to expand via job creation and product development. This will help them to accelerate the growth of their business. GLIF helps to support companies with the potential to impact on the economy, promoting job creation, manufacturing expertise and economic growth in Hackney Borough. We look forward to providing more support for other similar companies.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “Kaelo is an excellent example of London’s strengths in design and innovation. We are delighted to support the impressive Kaelo team in their ambitious growth plans for 2020 and beyond. It is an exciting new chapter for the team and we are thrilled to be part of their journey.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.

GreenTech Business Secures Investment to Power the Future

London based cleantech company Powervault has successfully secured an additional £2 million of funding to support its continuing innovation in the vital field of energy storage. This includes a £725,000 growth loan from the Greater London Investment Fund, managed by The FSE Group.  

We can’t control when the sun shines or the wind blows – so energy storage is absolutely key to our transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Right now, there are times when wind turbines have to be switched off because more energy is being generated than the grid can cope with. Equally, as a nation we are still firing up fossil fuel powered stations during times of excess demand.

Joe Warren, Powervault’s CEO, is passionate about the importance of the company in providing a road map for consumers to zero carbon. He said: “We’re delighted to close our £2 million funding round including support from the Greater London Investment Fund. Greener energy is essential for a sustainable future and Powervault is a clean yet simple way for people and companies to save money and reduce CO2 emissions. We are at the start of a revolution in the way we generate and use energy. Electricity consumption is set to double as we move from heating our homes with gas and fuelling our cars with petrol to using clean renewable energy. To do this we need to store wind and solar power which often comes along at the wrong time.  Powervault is key to achieving this.”

Powervault was founded in 2012 and has from the outset been a trail blazer. Powervault’s vision is for its smart battery to be as commonplace as the dishwasher. It is on a mission to save customers money and reduce carbon emissions both directly, by storing low cost renewable energy and also indirectly by encouraging energy efficiency and the use of renewable technologies. To date Powervaults have typically been used by homeowners with solar panels to store their surplus solar energy in the day to be used in the evening. The roll out of smart meters and ‘time-of-use’ tariffs make the product of potential interest to millions more customers. When energy is cheap Powervault automatically fills itself up; when it’s more expensive, it supplies the cheap electricity into the house, reducing the load on the grid at peak times and saving customers up to 50% of their electricity bill. Powervault expects smart time-of-use tariffs to become widespread over the coming years, growing the potential market size to 25 million homes.

The funding secured in this round will be used to grow its marketing and development teams – offering new green jobs at a time when they are needed most. The funds will also be used to develop exciting new product features.

Paul Shadbolt, Senior Fund Manager for The FSE Group, which manages the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, comments: “No one can deny the need to find greener technology to power almost every aspect of life. The energy sector is aware of the substantial need to combat climate change which can only support demand for Powervault. We are delighted to be supporting Joe and his team as they help people lower their bills and their carbon footprint.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “An accelerated transition to a greener economy is essential to avoid irreversible damage to the environment. I believe by supporting companies like Powervault, who are building a sustainable future for all, we are helping change the path of early stage investing. We are thrilled to support Joe and the team as they continue their mission to encourage adoption of renewable energy technologies.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies. 

Robotics company eyes growth with £300k equity support from CIOSIF

Service Robotics Limited, a health and wellbeing business focusing on supporting the vulnerable and elderly through innovative technology, has raised £600,000 in their latest funding round.  The funding includes a £300,000 equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) and investment from Britbots and the Enterprise 100 Angel Investment Club.

The company has created an intelligent companion robot that will assist the elderly via patient-centred interactions. GenieConnect® helps users by providing companionship and support by offering services such as prescription management, medication reminders, daily welfare checks, video calls and music entertainment. Through intuitive AI and a dedicated Customer Care Centre, GenieConnect® can reduce loneliness and helps older people live safely and independently in their own homes.

The robot is one of the first of its kind and uses cutting edge software to better the lives of an aging population. Service Robotics launched its first pilot project in Cornwall in August 2019, and won its first contract from the NHS Small Business Research Initiative six months ago, for the way in which it is tackling one of society’s biggest social challenges.

The latest funding will be used to further develop the business, expand the pilot program and establish a Cornwall project office in Bude.

Rob Parkes, CEO of Service Robotics Limited said: “The current outbreak of Covid-19 is teaching us all the importance of staying connected and the increasing need for zero touch virtual care. Genie is on hand to support the most vulnerable people in society, giving their families peace of mind that their elderly relatives are well, safe and happy. Responses have shown that Genie is filling a definite gap in the market where live-in support is not needed but older people cannot live as independently as they once did. This investment will enable us to expand our pilot program and build on our existing relationships with local authorities and stakeholders in the adult care sector.”

Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds, Cornwall at The FSE Group, the appointed CIOSIF fund managers, added: “GenieConnect® is both an exciting and desperately needed social care innovation. The mixture of automated applications with connectivity to loved ones and caring professionals will undoubtedly be of benefit to many people in need. The importance of connecting virtually is being proven during this COVID-19 crisis and we are delighted to be supporting a company that is tackling such an important  issue. We wish them all the success for the future.”

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) and is operated by appointed fund managers The FSE Group.

Sarah Newbould, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “By creating a friendly and responsive virtual assistant for older people, Service Robotics is helping to meet a real social need, especially for those who live on their own where isolation and loneliness can be a real issue. The fund’s investment will help move the company to the next level and it’s good to see other investors coming on board, which has doubled the impact.”

LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Our ageing society is one of the Grand Challenges identified by government and has been brought into sharp focus by the coronavirus crisis. As we look toward recovery it is innovative companies like Service Robotics that can make a real difference to people’s lives and demonstrate how Cornwall can lead the way in pioneering e-health solutions.”

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.

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

The FSE Group announces new head for Midlands Engine Investment Fund and CBILS accreditation for the fund

  • The FSE Group, MEIF Debt Fund is now an accredited lender under the British Business Bank Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Also announces New Head for Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Accreditation will now allow The FSE Group to issue loans from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Debt Fund backed by a CBILS guarantee.

Furthermore, following the launch earlier this year of a further £40million MEIF Debt Fund by the British Business Bank, appointed fund manager, The FSE Group, is now delighted to introduce the team managing the fund.

The additional Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) money provides loan funding between £100,000 and £1.5million to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based across the whole of the Midlands area, to facilitate growth. This latest phase of investment addresses regional demand for alternative debt finance options and brings the number of MEIF funds to seven, with The FSE Group working alongside six other MEIF fund managers.

The FSE Group’s MEIF team is led by Andy Moss. Andy comes to FSE from Lloyds, where he has spent more than 34 years building a strong network in the finance community across the Midlands region. He has led teams across the SME sector, where he specialised in manufacturing and for the last 3 years, worked with large corporates.

Andy is joined by four fund managers and a fund executive, who are working to deliver investments to growing businesses across the whole of the Midlands region:

  • Chirag Mistry is the newest member of the FSE team in the Midlands, having spent the last 13 years with Santander. Chirag is also a Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce committee member and will be working with high growth businesses in the West Midlands, focusing on Worcestershire, The Marches, Coventry & Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham & Solihull. 
  • Kerry Haughton is a Fund Manager who, before joining FSE, spent 14 years working in various commercial and corporate relationship banking roles for Thincats and RBS, both onshore and offshore. Kerry is working to support SME growth in the West Midlands, focusing on The Black Country, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire as well as Greater Birmingham & Solihull, along with Chirag.
  • Fund Manager, Paul Lynam, joined FSE after almost 37 years with HSBC, Paul is now applying his experience in the commercial banking sector to helping SMEs in the East and South East Midlands unlock their growth potential, focusing on Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.
  • David Price joined HSBC over 40 years ago, where he spent the majority of his banking career, working as both a branch manager and a commercial lending manager across several different sectors. He is FSE’s second Fund Manager for the East and South East Midlands, focusing on Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and other areas of the South East Midlands.
  • The team is completed by Fund Executive, Harriet Saunders. After graduating from University of Bath with a Business Administration degree, Harriet spent time working in financial support roles, including as a Fund Administrator for Mercia Asset Management, before joining FSE earlier this year.

The FSE Group’s CEO, Paul Marston, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andy to FSE and our Midlands team. The FSE Group has been specialising in SME lending, with a particular focus on managing government and public sector intervention funds, since 2002. Andy’s commercial lending expertise, combined with his regional knowledge is a great fit and a welcome addition, which will be put to good use managing the team and supporting growing SMEs throughout the Midlands.”

Andy Moss, Head of Funds for the Midlands at The FSE Group, added: “The FSE Group is a niche lender with a unique approach, focusing on business potential, rather than security available, to help growing businesses reach their full potential. I am excited to be part of this dynamic team and look forward to leading the successful delivery of this latest MEIF funding.

Grant Peggie, Director, British Business Bank, also commented: “It’s great to see The FSE Group now have a full team in place to work on MEIF, headed up by Andy, who we look forward to working with. MEIF is still very much open for business, especially at a time when businesses are reaching out even more for financial support. We are pleased that The FSE Group also now join our other regional fund managers, BCRS Business Loans and First Enterprise as an accredited lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund are 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.

New Future Fund Enhances Funding Capability

The Government’s new Future Fund is now open for applications. Announced by the Chancellor on the 20th April, the Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with growth potential that are currently affected by Covid-19.

To be eligible, a company must find a lead investor and the Future Fund will match up to 100% of the lead investor’s contribution. 

The FSE Group, as manager of the £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (“CIOSIF”), can provide lead investor funding from £50k – £2m to Cornish businesses.  With the addition of the new Future Fund alongside other matched funding, there is the potential to double the investment and provide all the capital to meet companies’ growth aspirations.

Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds, Cornwall at The FSE Group said: “The announcement of Rishi Sunak’s Future Fund is great news for the local economy as it will allow us to deliver even more investment into Cornish businesses at a difficult time. As well as this extra financial investment, we continue to provide our ongoing expert support to help our investee companies realise their growth ambitions.  We encourage any interested businesses to contact us to discuss this exciting opportunity further”

For further information please contact Brent Treloar – Business Development Manager at The FSE Group – 01872 306663 / brent.treloar@thefsegroup.com

Healthy Snack Business Secures Growth Loan

A London based, food brand, has secured a £600,000 expansion loan from The Greater London Investment Fund. Adonis, an exciting, young brand in the health foods sector, aims to create a new generation of snacks that are: keto, plant based and low sugar.

Launched in 2015, Adonis was born from the founder’s interest in providing a healthy alternative to typical artificial and sugary afternoon pick me ups. The company has created a range of snacks that people can rely on to give them what they need: health, the right nutrition and a great taste. Their products suit people’s everyday lifestyles and are plant based, natural and keto to help people keep their focus and avoid unnecessary sugar.

With a rise in the amount of people taking an interest in what they eat, Adonis has seen a growing demand for their products. This has resulted in popular retailers as well as everyday and niche stores stocking their products. You can currently find their tasty snack bars in Wholefoods, Planet Organic, Ocado, Sainsbury’s as well as retailers in Germany and Austria. The loan will be used to hire new sales and marketing staff, to enter new food markets and to further the company’s technical development.

Ingo Braeunlich, CEO at Adonis said, “It is important to have normal snacks for normal people on normal days. Not everyone runs a marathon and needs instant sugar spikes, in fact many people are tired and unfocused after sugary snacks. Healthy low sugar snacks are definitely the future when looking at the needs of office workers and the wider urban population. Snacking is a market with very high growth, and we think it is key for any brand to be part of a solution rather than part of the problem. This funding will allow us to expand the team, push innovation and launch modern, healthy, and functional low sugar snacks. Plus, funding is a key element to success when expanding abroad.”

David Booth, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, commented, “We are delighted to assist Ingo and his team with their expansion plans. The company has grown quickly with a firm focus on marketing and brand awareness. We were impressed by the team’s commitment to their chosen market and the commercial traction delivered to date.  We look forward to supporting them on their journey and wish them all the very best for the future”

Maggie Rodriquez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, added, “It is our pleasure to support businesses which have the wellbeing of customers at the heart of their mission. A start-up with an incredible potential for growth, Ingo and his team have proven they are ready to conquer new heights. We are thrilled to accompany the team in their journey of expansion.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.

For more details about the Greater London Investment Fund visit: www.glif.co or to speak to a Fund Manager contact David Booth: David.Booth@thefsegroup.com / 07786 912674

TVB Growth Fund Exit for TOWER Cold Chain Solutions

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions, equity client of the Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) Growth Fund, which is managed by The FSE Group, has closed a major new funding initiative, leading to a successful exit for TVB Growth Fund.

The deal, which is worth £6m+, has been led by TOWER’s major shareholders, Just Arne Storvik and Tor Erland Fysken, and backed by Investec.

Theale based TOWER provides environmentally friendly, cold chain packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. The company has been receiving support from FSE since 2016 when it secured its first TVB Growth Fund equity investment. The Growth Fund also led a syndicate of follow-on investment of £1m in 2017, to further support the company’s growth.

At the time of the initial investment, the company had 7 employees. Investment from the TVB Growth Fund, alongside other investors, has enabled the company to grow to 23 employees, with representatives in key pharmaceutical hubs across the globe. This figure is expected to grow further as the business uses its latest funding to expand its fleet of rental containers by 400%.

Chris Pollard, Chief Executive at TOWER, said: “At the time TOWER met FSE it was less a start-up, more a small company believing it had the opportunity to become a great deal bigger and more profitable. TVB’s investment and FSE’s associated support was of enormous significance for two reasons: first, because we needed cash to invest in new stock, but second, and perhaps even more importantly, it represented a real validation of TOWER’s prospects and undoubtedly played a part in generating confidence amongst both customers and investors. Beyond that, the part played by Julie Silvester as a Board observer cannot be underestimated, bringing an extra dimension to the corporate governance of the business. I am extremely grateful to FSE, particularly Julie and our fund manager, Kiko Duffy, for the part they played in enabling this latest step forward for TOWER.”

Julie Silvester, Head of Commercial at The FSE Group, which manages the TVB Growth Fund on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “We are delighted to have been a part of TOWER’s journey to a successful business on the cusp of exponential growth and we wish Chris and the team every success in the next part of their journey. The TVB Funding Escalator is all about supporting companies with the potential to impact on the regional economy, promoting job creation and economic prosperity, and we look forward to helping more businesses achieve this.”

The proceeds from the sale of The TVB Growth Fund equity investment will be recycled into new investments or loans to support companies in the Berkshire area. TVB Growth Fund is part of Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, an initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support businesses in Berkshire. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme and a trade finance loan scheme, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – with debt and equity funding between £25,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

Cashless Solution Company Receives £250,000 GLIF Investment

A touch-free, physical-digital payment platform helping charities, retailers and publishers drive engagement with customers, is the latest business to receive investment from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) via The FSE Group.

Camden based company, Thyngs Ltd, delivers innovative solutions that use frictionless smartphone technology to help its clients drive new forms of consumer engagement that are fit for a digital, cashless, COVID-19 world. Thyngs helps brands develop and monitor their offline marketing by turning any product, packaging, or advertisement into an interactive point-of-sale, without the need for human intervention.

Thyngs use simple, built-in smartphone technology, like QR code and Near Field Communication (NFC), for experiences to work across 3.5bn smartphone users worldwide, without an app. Its software negates the need for restrictive card terminals, giving clients the flexibility to take payments on-the-go using any physical object, whilst also using trusted tap-and-go payment providers such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.

The current environment around Covid-19 is proving challenging for many businesses. Fortunately, Thyngs is well-positioned to help support its clients as they see an increasing demand for touch-free, cashless solutions that continue to work at-home. Outside of the current pandemic, Thyngs solutions can be anything from gaining digital loyalty points when buying a coffee, to giving directly to charity by tapping a unique fundraising badge.

Charities are being hit particularly hard this Spring, with cancelled face-to-face fundraising events, plummeting donations and fewer volunteers, at a time when many will be experiencing an increase in demand for their services. Thyngs are helping them stay connected with donors in new and safe ways, encouraging at-home fundraising material and amplified online collection efforts. In partnership with a donation management organisation, Thyngs has introduced the opportunity for any business to support one of up to 18,000 charities by transforming their product’s packaging, such as groceries, into instant donation points for consumers to engage with at home.

The £250,000 GLIF loan will be used to increase the sales and marketing operation as well as further develop the technology and purchase associated hardware.

Dr Neil Garner, Thyngs Founder and CEO, says: “It is great to be working alongside Jerry and the GLIF team with a loan that has come at an extremely important time. Thanks to the loan, we will be able to accelerate our growth plans and continue to help businesses adjust to the immediate and long-term changes this tough pandemic has highlighted we need to make. Businesses and charities will be searching for safe, touch-free contactless solutions to move forward sustainably, and we will be able to offer them cost-effective and robust solutions.”

Jerry Donohue, Senior Fund Manager for The FSE Group, which managed the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, comments: “With a strong management team and an offering which delivers USPs unmatched by the competition, Thyngs is well-placed to take advantage of the growing market for smartphone customer engagements and transactions. We look forward to continuing to work with them as they look to grow the business across the UK and beyond.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “Developing a powerful value proposition and discovering a way to turn challenges into opportunities is what the Thyngs team excel at. We are extremely delighted to support the team’s expansion by creating much needed job opportunities during the pandemic.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.