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Surrey Based Business The Little Pasta Company Secures £75,000 Growth Loan from Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator

Online hand-made meal kit business The Little Pasta Company, has secured funding from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme. The £75,000 growth loan will assist the purchase of a new commercial premises and create three new positions within the business.

Due to the popularity of the meal kits and increased product demand, the business needs to scale-up its operations by relocating to a larger more purpose-built facility. The new kitchen will be based in the centre of Woking and will see the addition of two new chefs and an administrative assistant joining the current team.

The premises move will enable the business to offer cooking workshops and, as the UK starts to host outdoor events again the business’ new fully branded food truck will be available for hire nationwide. The company also plans to launch a subscription service later this year.

The Little Pasta Company was established in 2020 by Daniel Webber-Quick.  On numerous trips to Italy over a decade with his family, Daniel became immersed in the culture and found himself surrounded by fresh ingredients. From a young age he enjoyed cooking and recently decided to turn this passion into a business. He developed a range of easy to cook Italian hand-made meal kits created from his home kitchen. Orders are placed either via the company’s website or on plateaway.com. The kits are then made to order the evening before and delivered fresh the next day. They provide a nutritious, healthy alternative to ready meals or takeaways and because they contain correctly measured ingredients there is no food wastage.

Daniel Webber-Quick, Founder and Director of The Little Pasta Company, commented: “I wanted to start a business which could offer healthy, fresh, nutritious food which was easy to prepare. The demand for this type of food is on the increase. The EM3 Expansion Loan has given the business the opportunity to be able to meet this demand and to reach more people to further grow. The new food truck will allow us to expand into the events market and the range will be extended with the addition of the subscription service. James at The FSE Group, saw the potential in our business model and I am grateful for his support in securing the funding to drive the business forward.”

Busy modern lifestyles can mean that time spent in the kitchen is decreasing but the demand to maintain a healthier lifestyle is on the increase. In 2018, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) undertook a survey and found that 78% of consumers were focussed on changing their eating habits to achieve a healthier way of life.

James Edwards, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “The growth in this sector is leading to rising market demand and is expected to continue to increase. Daniel is a focussed, driven manager with over 10 years’ experience in luxury retail management. He has a clear vision for the future of the business as demonstrated in his plan and I am thrilled to be able to help him reach that potential.”

Kathy Slack, MBE, Enterprise M3 LEP, commented: “What a success story; a local business which, in the space of just one year, has had to expand into a purpose built facility to cope with rising demand. Enterprise M3 is focussed on helping the region move toward the goal of net zero and for many people changing what we eat, and reducing food waste, will play a part in that journey. Daniel has found a great way of providing healthy food, with little waste, to an expanding market and I wish him and his team every success.”

The EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 LEP. The escalator, which also includes a short-term trade 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 Expansion Loan Scheme please visit https://www.thefsegroup.com/fund/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator/ or contact James Edwards at james.edwards@thefsegroup.com tel:  01276 608531 / 07384 8167

For more information about The Little Pasta Company, visit: https://www.thelittlepastacompany.co.uk/

News

Recovery Loan Scheme now available through The FSE Group

The FSE Group (FSE) has been accredited as a lender under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) in the London & The Midlands regions. The RLS is administered by the British Business Bank on behalf of the government and is designed to support access to finance for businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic. Able to offer loans from £100,000 to £1m to eligible SMEs across London through the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) and loans from £100,000 to £1.5m to eligible SMEs in the Midlands through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), FSE aims to strengthen and support businesses as they look to recover and grow.

Being a CIC, the company ethos centres around building relationships with businesses and is key to its more than money approach. This is particularly significant given the strain put on many small and medium companies over the last 18 months.

The Government backed scheme aims to help businesses affected by Covid-19 and can be used for business purposes, including, managing cashflow, investment and growth. It is designed to support businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes. Businesses who have taken out a CBILS, CLBILS or BBLS facility are able to access the new scheme.

Paul Marston, CEO at The FSE Group, commented, “We are incredibly proud to work with SMEs who show such extraordinary resilience including those that have pivoted the business model to adapt.  Our fundamental purpose is Funding Scale-up Enterprises, and the Recovery Loan Scheme allows us to help business move from perhaps survival to now growth.”

The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit http://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/recovery-loan-scheme

News

Equine and animal bedding business relocating to Shropshire following £180,000 investment

Cardboard Bedding Ltd, trading as Green Mile, is relocating to Prees in Shropshire after securing £180,000 from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

Cardboard Bedding secured the finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) – provided by The FSE Group, Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The funding will also allow the company, which was previously based in Soham, to install two additional production lines to meet the current demand for its equine and animal bedding products, as well as supporting job creation within the business.

Joey Kinnersley established Green Mile in 2012 and began producing cardboard horse bedding which is highly absorbent. The product helps eliminate odours, provides warmth through insulation and is eco-friendly and 100 per cent biodegradable within eight-12 weeks.

Joey Kinnersley, Founder of Cardboard Bedding, commented, “We were previously unable to produce enough bedding to meet demand, but this funding will allow us to both relocate and further expand the business. I would like to thank Kerry, from The FSE Group, who supported us throughout the whole process in order to obtain the funding.”

Kerry Haughton, Investment Manager, at The FSE Group, which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund adds: “We were really pleased to be able to support this growing business in furthering its expansion plans and facilitate a move back to its Midlands roots. The additional production lines will provide the opportunity for local job creation and we are looking forward to working with Joey, accompanying him on this journey.”

Ryan Cartwright, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF investment into Cardboard Bedding is enabling the company to relocate back to the Midlands and expand its production capabilities – boosting both the business’s growth, as well as the region’s economy. These are key aims for the Fund and helps to evidence the role the MEIF continues to play in improving the finance landscape for small businesses across the Midlands.”

Marches LEP Access to Finance champion Paul Kalinauckas said: “This is excellent news for the business and for the Marches regional economy. The LEP works closely with MEIF to ensure a wide range of finance solutions are available to businesses in the region so that companies such as this can expand and create new jobs.”

The Midlands Engine 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.

For more information about the MEIF Debt Finance Fund visit https://www.thefsegroup.com/fund/midlands-engine-investment-fund-debt-finance/ or contact Kerry Haughton, kerry.haughton@thefsegroup.com / m: 07826 001902

For more information about Cardboard Bedding Limited, visit www.cardboardbedding.co.uk

News

Central London AI Business Receives £250,000 from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF)

Situated in the London borough of Westminster, technology company Dragonfly AI has secured a £250,000 loan to expand its operations whilst creating employment opportunities for the region.

During COVID-19, the company has continued to invest in its commercial and marketing functions, doubling the size of the overall team. This funding will now allow Dragonfly AI to create 12 more jobs within the next three years. The business will also use the finance to further develop its artificial intelligence (AI) technology and undertake marketing activity to support planned expansion.

Established in 2018 as a spin-out from Queen Mary University of London, Dragonfly AI has developed a suite of tools that enable brands, retailers and marketing agencies to predict, analyse and influence consumer behaviour.

The cutting-edge AI software simulates how attention works in the brain, displaying results on an easy to interpret visual heat map that shows where attention is drawn to in the first few seconds of engagement. The data can then be analysed using the integrated metrics suite, to help marketers optimise their website, content, or retail space by making data lead decisions on how best to display information to attract consumers’ attention. The technology is significantly faster and more accurate than traditional focus groups and works across all principal media types.

Data Informed Design: Image depicts the visual heat map analysis which uncovers what grabs customers attention

Mark Bainbridge, Co-Founder of Dragonfly AI, commented: “Turning a decade’s worth of scientific research into reality has been incredibly rewarding. Our customer base is growing fast and we are working with a lot of well-known brands. The GLIF funding will allow us to execute our expansion plans, creating new employment opportunities in the UK whilst looking at further growing the Drafgonfly AI brand overseas. Our huge thanks go to The FSE Group for guiding us through the process and enabling us to secure the finance.” 

Research shows that around 60% of marketing leaders plan to increase their use of marketing technology, highlighting a clear demand for more innovative tools to give them the edge and stand out from competitors. Dragonfly AI has gained considerable traction with FMCG brands where a $1.5 trillion global market provides the business with significant opportunities for growth.

Stephen Mitchell, Investment Manager for The FSE Group, which manages the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, commented: “Mark and his management team have vast experience in launching new technology-based solutions for the marketing industry. They have attracted high-calibre commercialisation and investment partners and, with a next generation product that goes well-beyond others currently available, are well-positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities available.  We look forward to working with the business as the team expands and it looks to enter new international markets.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “With the help of their innovative AI solution and notable enterprises deploying their software, Dragonfly AI is ideally positioned to maximise the sizable opportunities available in the marketing sector. We are delighted to support Mark and his co-founder David with the growth of their team and are excited by the prospect of international 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.

Vacancies

Investment Manager Cornwall – Equity

Reporting directly to the Head of Fund, this is an exciting opportunity to join a small locally based team managing a £37m  fund backed by The British Business Bank. The fund provides both equity investments and loans to  high growth potential SMEs based in the county of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (‘CIOSIF’).

CIOSIF has already built a portfolio of equity investments, which include leading edge technology with a particular emphasis on marine, renewables, agri-tech and communication.

We are seeking an Investment Manager to join our team to drive further growth of new equity investments.

Principal accountabilities:

Origination, appraisal and execution of investment applications in the range £50k – £2m to include:

  • assessing applications in line with operating guidelines,
  • conducting due diligence,
  • preparation of proposals and presenting to investment committee
  • negotiating approved proposals through term sheet to final documentation phase
  • representing the fund as observer on investee company boards as necessary

Pro-active portfolio risk/return management including working on exit strategies

Promotion of the fund throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to create a sustainable pipeline of deals and general marketing to raise awareness.

Contributing to reports to stakeholders and general fund administration.

Support new business development tasks, if required, including fund modelling.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Whilst we are ideally looking for someone with equity investment experience, we are prepared to consider someone who has a financial or legal background in corporate structuring/restructuring, acquisitions etc, and who has a good understanding of how businesses operate.
  • Exposure to/knowledge of key industry sectors which may include technology, marine , healthcare, education, cleantech.
  • Ability to drive lead generation through personal networking/marketing/conferencing.
  • IT proficiency – MS Office 365 package
  • A diligent working style and some form of experience using CRM systems to manage & track proposal activities.
  • University educated or equivalent.
  • You must be able to travel throughout Cornwall and to the Isles of Scilly* to meet with customers and attend marketing events. A current UK driving licence and vehicle are a prerequisite.

What we offer:

  • A competitive base salary commensurate with your experience (banding £45k to £55k)
  • 25 days annual leave plus usual Bank holidays in England & Wales, plus your birthday off
  • 5% contribution to employer pension scheme, subject to minimum 3% contribution from employee
  • Ability to join the private medical scheme after probation period finishes (50% employer contribution to premium)
  • Death in Service benefit equivalent to 4x salary.

About us:

Established in 2002, The FSE Group primarily manages funds on behalf of public sector organisations which are used for investing in or lending to growth small or medium enterprises (SMEs).

A period of rapid growth now sees our group funds under management at nearing £200m. With a head office located in Camberley, Surrey, and group offices located in Birmingham, Ipswich, Truro and London.

For more specific information on the Cornwall fund visit www.ciosif.co.uk

FSE is dedicated to bridging the funding gap for innovative, ambitious and scalable small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).We provide funding to eligible early stage or established businesses. We strive to create growth in local economies by helping SMEs with their funding needs.

You must have the right to work in the UK and be located, or willing to locate with a reasonable commute of the Truro office.

*During Covid restrictions employees have been working from home. There will be a blended approach of home/office working going forwards as restrictions ease.  Therefore, access to good quality/speed home internet is a must.

Apply by submitting CV to Karen Karaahmet Karen.Karaahmet@thefsegroup.com

Closing date: Friday 30th July.

Strictly no agencies.

Previous applicants need not apply.

News

Cornish Hotel Software Business Completes £200k Funding Round with CIOSIF Support

Bodmin based business, Caterbook, has secured £100,000 of equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), as part of a larger £200,000 funding round. The round was led by The FSE Group, the appointed fund manager for CIOSIF.

The investment will help the business expand its sales and marketing functions to accelerate growth. Over the next three years, six new jobs will be created within the company to strengthen the sales and customer support teams. The business will also seek to appoint a chief operating officer.

The business has already benefitted from a £150,000 loan made through CIOSIF, which helped it to complete the R&D stage and early roll-out of the software. This debt deal was handled by SWIG Finance who work with The FSE Group to deliver the small business loans part of CIOSIF.

Caterbook was founded in 2005 by Chris and Sally Noon, both of whom have significant experience within the hospitality industry. Having had to use multiple, often non-integrated systems within the sector, they embarked on creating a single, all-encompassing solution for hotels and other accommodation providers.

The resulting cloud-based property management service (PMS) is an innovative piece of software that is able to automate or simplify many of the repetitive tasks that hotels face daily. The system provides accurate data and statistics whilst saving time and money by reducing errors. It also links to many EPOS systems and booking platforms enabling Caterbook users to get everything they need from a single system.

Chris Noon, Founder and CEO of Caterbook, commented: “Since March last year, the UK hospitality sector has certainly been hit hard. During the pandemic, we have kept in touch with and retained our customer base and now the restrictions have started to lift, we are really looking forward to the summer season. This latest investment will enable us to strengthen our team and to grow the business further.”

With around 45,000 hotels in the UK all affected by Covid-19, many will be looking for ways to save money and maximise productivity. This provides a growth opportunity for Caterbook whilst supporting the industry in its recovery. With a growing customer base of over 100 hotel groups, the company is already helping hospitality businesses become more efficient and enhancing the user experience for its customers.

Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds at The FSE Group, said: “It is great that Sally and Chris were able to leverage the full use of the funding options available through CIOSIF. The fund exists to provide funding solutions for start-up and scale-up businesses as well as those more established companies who, for whatever reason, are unable to get the funding they need through mainstream sources.”

Mike Chapman, CIOSIF Business Manager at SWIG Finance, added: “It has been a challenging year for everyone, particularly those working in the hospitality sector. Chris and Sally have worked tirelessly to make Caterbook a success. This innovative software has the potential to save businesses time and money at a crucial point as they come out of lockdown restrictions.”

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).

Sarah Newbould, Senior Manager from the British Business Bank, said: “We’re delighted to see Caterbook progress from its initial CIOSIF loan to securing an equity investment as it scales the business nationwide. The fund was set up to help smaller businesses in the region reach their growth potential and we’d encourage other businesses to consider the finance options available through the CIOSIF.”

John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Caterbook is continuing the trend of innovative Cornish tech companies harnessing the full potential of cloud-based systems to help their customers become more efficient and competitive. I’m delighted the fund is backing their further growth.”

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 Caterbook at https://www.caterbook.com/

News

The FSE Group Boost Their Midlands team with the Recruitment of two new Investment Managers

The FSE Group is pleased to announce the appointment of two experienced Investment Managers: Ann Marie McFadyen and Chris Bailey. They join the Group’s Midland’s team which manages the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Debt Finance Fund and will be responsible for supporting eligible SMEs within the area.

Ann Marie brings over 30 years of experience within the financial services industry, having previously worked at RBS and Bibby Financial Services. Ann Marie will be focusing on the East Midlands area, working to help support businesses based in the South-East Midlands LEP and Leicester & Leicestershire LEP.

Chris joins The FSE Group after 30 years at Lloyds Banking Group, where he had various roles, including in Commercial Business Development and as a Client Relationship Director managing varied, high value portfolios across different sectors. He has an in-depth knowledge of specialist funding and will have responsibilities throughout the Midlands region, helping to build new intermediary contacts and ultimately to fund and support SME’s who are working to scale-up their businesses.

Andy Moss, Head of Fund at The FSE Group, which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund commented: “We welcome Ann Marie and Chris to The Midlands Team. They are very experienced finance professionals, bringing strong capability that will help the team support eligible SMEs within the region, enabling us to deliver our stakeholder commitments, whilst strengthening the local economy.”

MEIF Debt Finance Fund can be used for expansion related activities which will deliver substantial growth impact within the area. Through this fund, eligible SMEs can secure growth loans ranging from £100,000 – £1,500,000 which could be used for sales and marketing activity, hiring of new employees/job creation/new product development/exporting abroad/purchasing new equipment/entering new markets.

Ann Marie McFadyen, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, adds: “I am looking forward to supporting local SME’s by helping them to realise their potential. Being able to offer the right financial solutions for their individual requirements is so important and will enable them to grow their business. I’m excited to build long term relationships with local SMEs and watch them go from strength to strength.

Chris Bailey, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, added: “I am keen to provide advice and guidance to help entrepreneurs within the Midland’s area to ascertain the next step of their business journey. I am looking forward to working with a diverse portfolio of companies and being instrumental in helping them reach their goals.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank added: “It’s good to see the MEIF Debt Finance team at The FSE Group being strengthened with the recruitment of Ann Marie and Chris. The Fund is dedicated to supporting smaller businesses across the region in reaching their growth potential, working through our Investment Managers and having experienced teams on the ground, is of course, very important in being able to successfully deploy our funds.”

The Midlands Engine 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.

News

Leicestershire-based Remedi Pharmacy Solutions to create new jobs following £250,000 loan

A Whetstone-based pharmaceutical business has secured a £250,000 loan to support the development of its latest software platform and enable it to create seven new jobs.

Remedi Pharmacy Solutions secured the finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), provided by The FSE Group Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The new roles will allow Remedi to strengthen its sales and distributions teams, reach out to more customers and cover a wider geographical area, helping the business to achieve its expansion plans.

Remedi is a pharmaceutical distribution business that provides direct to door prescription fulfilment. The funding will be used alongside external finance to further develop and roll-out the company’s proprietary software which will see it move to a fully automated, electronic dispensing process.

Remedi also delivers its services to care homes, using an efficient “closed loop” software system to provide both medicine management and care planning.

Kenny Black, Managing Director of Remedi Pharmacy Solutions, commented: “The electronic processing of prescriptions, combined with direct delivery, has had a positive impact on care homes in these challenging Covid-19 times. As the business expands, this loan will allow us to create new positions to service the increase in demand and continue to deliver to more care homes. Thanks to The FSE Group for guiding us through the funding process, enabling us to secure the funds to support our growth ambitions.”

With over 11,000 care homes in the UK, 30% of all UK prescriptions are dispensed to care homes at an annual cost to the NHS of £700m+. This cost is set to increase in line with the rise in aging population. Remedi offers a simple, one size fits all platform with easy-to-use software which greatly improves the efficiency and dispensing of medications to care homes from a central hub, thus reducing the cost to the NHS.

Andy Moss, Head of Funds at The FSE Group, which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund, adds:Remedi Pharmacy Solutions has a strong and experienced management team with over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience. The care home sector continues to grow and Remedi’s electronic service is efficient, smooth and accurate, minimising the human error that comes with manual prescription processing. The creation of these roles will help the business to fully implement its new software and provide a platform for rapid growth.”

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “We’re delighted to see this latest investment from the MEIF supporting new technology within the health and social care sector. Some of the key objectives of the fund are to help businesses, such as Remedi, to secure finance to innovate, develop new products and expand. We’d encourage other businesses in the region to consider the options available through the MEIF.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “Remedi Pharmacy Solutions’ direct delivery business model is innovative and highly relevant for the times we live in. I’m very pleased therefore that it has secured this funding to enable it to expand its team and invest in the future of the business. We all want our loved ones to receive the best service possible, and Remedi’s positive impact on the ever-expanding social care sector is great to see.”

The Midlands Engine 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.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The scheme ended on 31 March and has been replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

The FSE Group, MEIF Debt Finance Fund provides loans between £100,000 and £1.5million to help growing SMEs across the region.

News

UK SaaS business OpenBlend attracts investment and talent in the post pandemic HRTech landscape

OpenBlend, the SaaS platform transforming the way companies and their employees think about performance management has taken additional funding and appointed David Grundy as Chair to support rapidly growing demand for its products and services. OpenBlend performance management software helps companies and their employees stay engaged and productive as they respond to the new challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and the new world of work.

UK based OpenBlend has received funding from the FSE Group through the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund which has been matched with investments from a number of high profile SaaS Angels. Alongside this round, David Grundy was appointed as Chair and will be working closely with OpenBlend founder and CEO Anna Rasmussen to support the business through the next stage of growth. Grundy previously co-founded Invenias, the leading SaaS platform for executive hiring which was acquired by Bullhorn in 2018. He is currently a Venture Partner with MMC Ventures, Board Observer at MMC portfolio company StorageOS and Chair at SaaS Marketing platform StoryStream.

David Grundy, Chair at OpenBlend “The past 18 months have highlighted the critical importance of good communication between managers and their teams. As we move into a post pandemic world with permanent adjustments to physical working models and expectations of a better work/life balance, OpenBlend can really help companies build stronger partnerships with their employees, driving better performance for the business while improving employee satisfaction and retention. OpenBlend is the right tool at the right time and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Anna, Kate and the team.”

Anna Rasmussen, CEO & Founder of OpenBlend “OpenBlend has always had a forward-thinking approach to performance management. Placing the employee at the centre of performance conversations is both logical and effective in driving high performance. Whilst the last 15 months has rocked many aspects of our working lives, the silver lining is how its accelerated the mindset in recognising ‘the human’ in high performing workforces. It’s how it should have always been and I’m thrilled with the outcome. Our time is now, the workplace needs OpenBlend and we very much look forward to scaling the business with the support of FSE.”

Bradley Jones, Equity Portfolio Manager at The FSE Group: “Having known OpenBlend through other FSE funding activities, we have been able to witness the great strides made by the business over the past two years. It was a real pleasure to work with Anna, Kate, David and the rest of the team to complete this funding round. In an ever-evolving work environment, OpenBlend is at the forefront of effecting change in its market. I look forward to working with the OpenBlend team as the business scales with its next stage of growth.”

News

Performance Marketing Analytics Start-Up Receives Funding from Greater London Investment Fund

Camden based Appsumer has secured funding from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF), to fund new business opportunities and create a dozen new jobs over the next 18 months.

Founded in 2015 by Shumel Lais and Moin Maniar, Appsumer is a SaaS analytics platform that supports developers of smartphone mobile apps to monitor their marketing spend and user acquisition success rate. Their client facing platform powered by AI captures same day marketing spend data and trends whilst delivering a decision-making tool as to where best to allocate daily marketing spend to maximise new customer downloads.

The mobile app market has grown rapidly in the last decade, and marketing spend in the sector has doubled year-on-year. As more apps are developed, marketing expenditure is the key driver to grow revenue. These developments have a greater data capture which is delivered faster to clients, along with AI decision making tools determining where marketing spend should be distributed. This reduces costs for clients and gives them an edge over the competition.

Shumel Lais, CEO and Co-Founder of Appsumer commented: “It’s great to be working alongside Marco and the GLIF team with a loan that has come at a crucial point in our journey. 2020 has delivered a step change in product offering for us with faster same day processing of data and greater client customisation, allowing us to better service our customers. This loan has put us on a strong footing for further growth as it will allow us to expand and take on major new contracts this year. Additionally, we will be able to create a dozen new jobs in London by 2022. “

Marco Cerrone, Investment Manager for The FSE Group, who manages the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, commented: “Appsumer have developed a strong product offering and have an opportunity to build a widespread customer base in a huge & fluid market. We were impressed with the management team and their commercial traction with consistent year-on-year sales growth. We are delighted to be able to provide this funding and look forward to the next stage in their journey.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “We are excited to announce our investment into Camden-based SaaS analytics platform Appsumer.  Seven years ago, Shumel Lais and Moin Maniar capitalised on the opportunity presented by the rapid growth in the mobile app market. GLIF’s investment will support the escalation of the customer experience alongside the team’s expansion. We wish Shumel and Moin great success with their growth plans over the coming months.”

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.