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Tel: 01276 608513
Email: tom.clarke@thefsegroup.com

Codices raise game to the next level with £650K equity investment

Penryn-based tech company, Codices, has secured £250k equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), as part of a larger £650k funding round, which includes investment from both existing and new private investors.

Codices Interactive Limited (Codices) was founded in 2018 by Tim Edwards and Fern Pombeiro at the Falmouth University Launchpad Entrepreneurship programme.

Codices works with brands and influencers to create live interactive shows on Twitch, a video live streaming service which is a subsidiary of Amazon. By using Codices’ tools, broadcasters can build, engage and monetise their audiences through player-driven entertainment. The Twitch platform has proven a great success with over 3 million unique active streamers and over 15 million daily active users.

Codices’ product, Quiz Kit, is the most used game show creation tool on the platform globally, serving thousands of content creators across the world. With social distancing measures in place and more people staying at home, Codices has seen an upward spike in their uptake, with over a million players entertained with Quiz Kit, as at the end of June.

Tim Edwards, CEO of Codices said, “During the pandemic, where we haven’t been able to socialise as much, it is increasingly important for us to stay connected to friends and family. With the increase in users, this investment will allow us to seek out new content partners to join our team, whether that be brands looking to capitalise on live streaming, or existing IP holders looking to expand their digital footprint. We are looking forward to expanding our team.”

Ralph Singleton, Head of Fund at The FSE Group said, “It has been very rewarding to be a part of Tim and Fern’s journey and watch them develop the Codices technology. The team already have credits on very popular television shows such as ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and ‘The Million Pound Drop’. Their Twitch extension Quiz Kit has flourished and kept people connected during these uncertain times and we wish them well as they create more job opportunities with the backing of CIOSIF.”

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.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said: “This deal is another example of the growing demand for equity investment that CIOSIF is helping to drive in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as entrepreneurs look at options for growth. It also shows how the fund can play an important role in attracting co-investment.”

LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Codices is the second Falmouth Launchpad tech business to be backed by CIOSIF and shows how Cornwall has designed an ecosystem that can turn tech start-ups into scale-ups in just a few years. The live streaming market is booming and Codices is helping to drive that 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

Woking Based Sport Tech Business Completes £400,000 Funding Round with Investment from The Enterprise M3 Growth Fund

Playwaze Ltd, a SaaS business providing a digital platform for managing and participating in sport and physical activity, has successfully completed a £400,000 funding round with a £200,000 investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group.

Physical activity, leisure, and sport commands a significant market, with over 1 billion participants globally, and the Sport Tech sector is rapidly gathering momentum. Rupert Jenner, the founder of Playwaze, 6 years ago had a vision of how a digital platform could dramatically increase operational efficiencies around the delivery of sport and physical activity, while creating a more seamless connection between people that organise and people that play.

Having spent 20 years working as a freelance software engineer, Rupert turned his focus to creating Playwaze. The Playwaze platform now supports over 100 different sports and activity types delivering value to their 230K current active users. Playwaze is designed to provide value at all levels of delivery and the company already boasts an impressively diverse client portfolio including National Governing Bodies, leading universities, Active Partnerships, fitness instructors, regional associations, clubs, and social activity groups.

Playwaze provides an extensive online toolkit of easy-to-use features for the operational and engagement needs of sports organisers and activity providers. The platform’s functional feature set is extensive, including a full suite of competition formats with the addition of Competitions Plus for running regulated competition networks at scale. Activity management provides for all sorts of sessions, courses, and volunteering opportunities. Payments, memberships, and reporting are fully integrated into the platform giving organisers greater control and insight on activity. Participants benefit from quick and easy access to all their activities through the mobile app – a single place where they can manage all their bookings, entries, results, memberships, payments, and communications.

With the current climate still having an impact on in-person sport and activity, Playwaze has leveraged its modular technology to deliver a full suite of virtual activity opportunities, including live streaming and on demand video sessions. They will also be releasing an innovative solution for Virtual Competitions in September, allowing providers to continue delivering contactless competitions and activity schedules.

Rupert Jenner CEO of Playwaze, commented, “I’m immensely proud of what the Playwaze team has achieved to date. We’re committed to delivering innovative technology that turns inactivity into activity and believe that, with our help, the sports and activity sector will continue to see significant growth over the forthcoming years. It’s great to now have the backing of Paul and the FSE Group which will help us expand our team and strengthen operational infrastructure. We’re excited about the future and continuing to leverage our technology – getting more people active globally while delivering highly scalable returns to our investors.”

Paul Lyristis, Senior Fund Manager, at The FSE Group, which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of the LEP adds: “Rupert and his team at Playwaze are proving that technology can deliver real value to the sports sector. I was particularly impressed with the reach and diversity of their SaaS solution with the business being able to demonstrate traction across such a broad spectrum of clients and users. The business clearly has significant opportunity to expand its reach further across the sector and become a truly global technology leader.”

Kathy Slack OBE, Enterprise M3 LEP CEO said: “I’m delighted the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund has been able to provide funding for Playwaze, particularly in this time of economic uncertainty. The team at Playwaze have developed a fantastic piece of software to help keep us all fit by making sport easier to organise and have shown a capacity for rapid innovation through the Covid-19 pandemic by ‘going virtual’. Innovation is the cornerstone to recovery and success in our region and I am really pleased to see another local business continuing to grow and thrive.”

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 Playwaze, visit www.playwaze.com

CIOSIF Loan supports independent music publisher with company growth

Penryn based independent publishing company, Red Planet Publishing Limited, has received an £80,000 loan from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).

Red Planet Publishing, established in 2013 by founder Mark Neeter, who brings to the table a wealth of experience gained from BBC local radio as well as national stations including Radio Caroline and behind the scenes at Capital Radio, before turning his love of music to journalism.

The result is an eclectic mix of informative music books encompassing a broad collection ranging from Ska, Mod and Punk through to Bob Dylan, The Smiths and Queen. Offering readers a range of books from the comprehensive Dead Straight Music Guides, to the more succinct Pocket Guides.

Mark comments: “Red Planet specialises in books about music. We operate in a competitive market and sell through stores across the UK, Europe and the USA. Part of the funds are to allow us to develop direct sales with our audience through a new website supported by social media. We aim to grow as an independent business and provide employment in Cornwall and support the local economy. In turn, as a business, more sales earn higher margins online, allowing us to maximise our potential and bring out more exciting new books. Thanks to the support of CIOSIF we can further develop, grow brand awareness and cover the printing costs for expanding our range of exciting new books.”

The deal was handled by SWIG Finance who are working with fund managers The FSE Group to deliver the small business loans part of the fund. Mike Chapman, CIOSIF Business Manager at SWIG Finance, added: “Mark has a really interesting range of books, good branding and a great business model. It is always a pleasure to be able to support local businesses and to help them achieve their growth plans. I wish Mark every success on the next stage of his journey.”

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.

Lloyd Brina, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Red Planet is looking to grow the market for its specialist titles with direct to consumer digital marketing and this deal is a good example of how CIOSIF loan funding can help small businesses reach the next stage in their development.”

LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Mark has established a successful niche publishing business with an impressive catalogue of titles and export sales. We’re delighted that CIOSIF is able to support his growth ambitions.”

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

Bespoke bike brands Wyndymilla and Spoon Customs join forces and set sights high, with an EM3 Expansion Loan

A Surrey based company operating in the high-end custom bicycle market, has secured £100,000 from the Enterprise M3 (EM3) Expansion Loan Scheme, to fund activity that will promote further growth of the business.

The recently merged brands now operating as Spoon Group Ltd specialise in bespoke bikes, designed for the rider’s physiology and the riding the customer wants to do, with the highest standards of fit, fabrication and finish. The bikes are precision built carbon fibre or steel frames, designed in house, then fabricated one at a time by hand, before being finished to the highest possible standard at their base in Surrey.  Alongside their performance bike range is a curated range of quality clothing and accessories.

Following a re-organisation of the company, keen cyclists Chris Houghton and Andy Bonsall who have been involved with the Wyndymilla brand for a number of years, were appointed as Non-Executive Directors in 2019.

The merger with bespoke steel brand Spoon Customs has increased their product offering and the expansion loan will help both brands to grow. Spoon Customs was established by Andy Carr and recently won two awards at Europe’s largest handmade bike show, Bespoked 2019.

Andy Carr joined the merged entity, Spoon Group Ltd, as CEO and now that the acquisition is fully complete, he is looking to develop both house brands and exploit the growing market potential.

The EM3 loan will enable the team to execute their vision and strategy for Spoon Group Ltd as they operate and grow their stable of custom, high performance cycling brands, including a move to a larger premises, and recruitment to expand the team with a focus on research and development. The company has already developed their custom paint business, recently rebranding that arm of the business to Gun Control Custom Paint, designed to give their award winning paint services wider appeal to both trade and private customers.

Chris Houghton, Non-Executive director of Spoon Group Ltd commented: “We were very pleased to receive this Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan. These are very exciting times as we look to expand through acquisition and re-focus the business. Our product is incredibly niche in that we create unique bikes for the individual. The team are all keen cyclists, fuelled by passion. We have been a part of the Wyndymilla journey for numerous years now and are very much looking forward to what the future holds for our brands and the business. We are excited to welcome Andy Carr on board and for the road ahead.”

James Edwards, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the EM3 Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “We first supported Wyndymilla back in 2016 and it is great to see the progress the company has made since the start of our relationship. It has been a complete pleasure to be able to assist the business again as it continues to evolve and to help them reach the next stage of their cycling journey. We wish the team every success for the future.”

Kathy Slack, Director, Enterprise M3 LEP, comments: “Across our region EM3 is involved in projects which are focused more than ever before on encouraging active travel, so the opportunity to help this unique business grow has come at exactly the right time, particularly as the nation is focused on delivering a green economic recovery. 

The passion for cycling from the team at Spoon Group Ltd is really evident and it’s always a pleasure to play a part in turning a hobby into a flourishing business.“

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 http://www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-expansion-loan-scheme or contact James Edwards at james.edwards@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608531

For more information about Wyndymilla or Spoon Customs, visit: www.wyndymilla.com or www.spooncustoms.com

CIOSIF supporting growth and innovation says new report

A £40m investment fund to help growing small businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is boosting business performance and changing attitudes to finance, according to a new report.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) was set up by the British Business Bank and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to increase access to finance for small and medium sized businesses across the region.

It is designed to help businesses start up, invest and grow and aims to increase financing options for smaller businesses including access to venture capital which has traditionally been weak in Cornwall and Scilly with a lack of choice.

The British Business Bank commissioned economic development consultancy SQW to carry out an early stage assessment of CIOSIF in its first full year of operation.

It found that businesses in receipt of CIOSIF funding had shown a marked improvement in performance and productivity including:

  • new highly skilled jobs and upskilling of existing skills,
  • more investment in research, development and innovation; and
  • the launch of new products and services.

All of the portfolio businesses had increased employment, with a quarter of the jobs created being in the top 25% of income – or above £35,600 a year, compared to Cornwall’s average annual wage of £21,000.

Without CIOSIF investment, most businesses surveyed said projects would have been delayed or not happened at all, and they said CIOSIF played an important role in helping them secure match funding from other sources.

Significantly, 85% said engaging with the fund had made them more confident about raising funding from private sector sources in the future, which is seen as an important part of changing attitudes towards external finance and developing a sustainable market.

The fund’s latest equity investment was £140,000 to support the growth of Penryn-based agri-tech business Glas Data as part of a larger funding round which included investment form both existing and new private investors. It will allow the business to recruit new staff including software engineers, a project manager and customer services employees.

John Acornley, a director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “The fund has quickly established itself as an important part of the financial landscape in Cornwall and Scilly, driving job creation, business growth and innovation. Without CIOSIF a lot of the activity it has helped to fund simply would not have happened.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, at the British Business Bank, said: “This report shows that the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund is having a positive impact on businesses and it is starting to impact on the way entrepreneurs consider their growth options.

“There is growing knowledge and awareness among businesses about the different finance options available, especially when it comes to equity funding where demand is growing strongly.

“CIOSIF can be a catalyst for attracting new finance providers into Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the longer term. That’s important if we are going to translate finance into growth and achieve the levelling up in access to finance that the region needs.”

CIOSIF provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It is supported 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 CIOSIF including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk  or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2

Jungle Creations expand with Greater London Investment Fund

Jungle Creations Ltd, an East London (Tower Hamlets ) social-first digital media business, has secured a £1,000,000 growth loan from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) which is managed by The FSE Group, to expand its operations.

In July 2014, the then 23 year-old creative entrepreneur, Jamie Bolding set to work creating and developing his vision: to build a social-first ecosystem where people and brands can thrive. His vision centred around providing entertaining and informative social first content, marketing services which focus on creating and distributing unrivalled branded content and to grow commerce opportunities through these ventures. 

Fast forward six years and Jungle Creations now owns and operates six media brands that live on social, each focusing on a different niche, including fitness, crafting, food and beauty and with a collective following of over 115 million people cross platform.  The company’s videos have been watched by over 465 million people worldwide reaching over 20% of the world’s social media users. This year Jungle Creations was named Branded Content Team of the Year for the third year in a row by The Drum’s Online Media Awards and its commerce operation has gone from strength to strength.

Jamie Bolding , Founder & CEO of Jungle Creations Limited commented: “Jungle Creations has firmly established itself as a leading producer of original and branded video content. With a team of over 100 and a business which has grown so quickly, our GLIF loan will help us invest in the continued expansion of our team, with the aim to nearly double it by the end of 2021. Strengthening our three core business arms, this loan will create exciting opportunities for us and for London.”

David Booth, Senior Fund Manager for The FSE Group, who managed the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, comments: “It was a pleasure to work with Jamie and his senior team. The business demonstrates strong commercial traction in a fast-growing market. We are delighted that due to the success of Jungle Creations, part of the GLIF loan will enable Jamie to expand his team to help the business achieve their growth plans.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “Part of the ‘Greater London Investment Fund’ (GLIF) core mission is to support job creation in London. With the investment from GLIF, Jamie will be able to expand the business, creating sustainable jobs and having a positive impact on the capital’s economy.  We are delighted to support ambitious entrepreneurs like Jamie, though their next stage of growth.”

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.

The future is bright, the future is Armadillo LED Lighting

Background

In 1995, David Bide was working in the electronics industry when he spotted a gap in the lighting market. Fast forward 25 years and that gap was the beginning of an incredibly successful LED business.

Based in Great Dunmow, North Essex, Armadillo LED of which David is the Managing Director, his sales pipeline is full of exciting installation projects, even in the current climate.

Armadillo Lighting LED – Providing a clear, well-lit vision

Back in the 90’s and even into the early part of the noughties, there was a lot of mistrust around LED lighting and its capabilities. Lighting designers were expensive and the luminère source didn’t always deliver the required results leaving streets or buildings adequately lit but the actual source of the light was not great.

Armadillo Lighting set out to differentiate their business from competitors with a strong desire to give trust back to companies who wanted to incorporate LED lighting into their infrastructure.

They set out to provide not just a cutting-edge range of interior, exterior and street-light LED applications, but a complete package which would meet the increasing demand for innovative electronic and solid-state lighting products. By providing creative, cost effective LED design solutions which offer substantial energy savings helping clients to achieve carbon reduction targets.

Finance East (FE) shines a light at the end of the tunnel on Armadillo’s growth plans

Establishing a new business can have its ups and downs with business plans, projected revenues and cash-flow all having to be carefully monitored and adjusted accordingly.

In 2010, David was looking to further grow and expand his business but was finding it difficult to source funding. He approached Finance East (FE) based in Ipswich to see if the business would be eligible for term debt finance.

FE is The FSE Group’s regional funding organisation for the six counties of the East of England, providing an alternative source of term debt finance supporting high-growth businesses.

Stuart Ager, Head of Funds at Finance East comments: I first met David 10 years ago and was delighted to be able to secure debt funding of £75k for his business. This enabled them to grow to the next level, investing in research & development, market entry activities for new products and sales delivery. Off the back of their expansion success, we were pleased to be able to award a further £75k loan secure in the knowledge their pipeline was strong. Having secured some lucrative large installation projects within the Capital, which included: The Shard, Tower Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral and Putney Bridge, Finance East were further able to support Armadillo with an additional three business growth loans. It has been a real pleasure working with David, Bart and his team, watching them grow over the last decade literally lighting up our skylines. It hasn’t always been straightforward and there have been challenges en route. David has always had the vision, faith and confidence in his business coupled with his strong product offering I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds. We wish you every success as you continue to grow.”

David Bide, Managing Director at Armadillo commented: “We really could not have grown as significantly as we have without the help of Stuart at Finance East. It wasn’t always a smooth road, there were many twists and turns along the way with some difficult financial decisions when quite simply, we couldn’t afford the repayments. Stuart always gave good, sound financial advice and helped us enormously. It is fair to say that we wouldn’t be where we are today without Stuart and Finance East.”

Lighting up London and beyond

The ethos of Armadillo is clear to see: listening to their clients’ needs and always putting them first.  Sourcing the correct product solution for their application, supported with technical advice, backed up with educational literature.

David has a dedicated, hardworking team of individuals who can apply their lighting knowledge to the three divisions of the business: LED solutions for transport, sports stadiums and architecture.

Next time you’re taking a tube to cross London, whilst staying at a Marriott Hotel to embark on some sight-seeing, taking in  The Tate Modern, or a river boat passing Tower Bridge, the LED lighting is all thanks to the expertise of Armadillo.

Their lighting solutions are not just restricted to the Capital. Having secured a contract with Welsh Rugby, you will clearly be able to admire the floodlit pitch in Rhyl. With the Plymouth Life Centre and Manchester’s Royal Infirmary having benefited from David’s LED lighting, the future is bright for this dynamic business.

The East of England Regional Trade Finance Loan Scheme, which is funded by UK Government, provides up to £250,000 of loan funding to established businesses based in the region that show strong growth potential and are seeking funding to deliver that growth.

For more information about the East of England Regional Trade Finance Loan Scheme, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/fund/east-of-england-regional-trade-finance-loan-scheme or contact Stuart Ager at stuart.ager@thefsegroup.com tel: 01473 722910.

If you have any upcoming projects which Armadillo may be able to support you with you can contact them directly or visit their website:

Enquiries: sales@armark.com or sportlighting@armark.com

Tel: 01371 876969

Web: https://armadillolighting.com/

Funding Secured to Support Agricultural Tech Company’s Expansion

Penryn based agri-tech company, Glas Data, has secured £140k equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), as part of a larger funding round, which includes investment from both existing and new private investors.

Rob Sanders and Colin Phillipson, founders of Glas Data, recognised that data fragmentation issues within the agricultural sector existed and saw how it restricted farmers, processors and retailers.

Technology is developing rapidly, allowing farmers to collect data on everything from weather and soil nutrients to animal health. With so much data now available, the challenge is how to make it accessible and easy to understand.

Having identified this issue, they worked on developing a solution which would unite the agricultural sector and food supply chain with a universal data dashboard.  This would simplify the world of precision farming and unlock the value of the data it produces, saving farmers time, money and improving their productivity.

In 2018, they set to work on designing a cloud based, data management and decision support tool – the GlasCore dashboard. The system is fully customisable, specifically for use with the agricultural sector. Furthermore, the clear visualisation of the system, makes it easy to use on any device. Glas Data now employs seven people, with more recruitment to follow.

Rob Sanders, co-founder of Glas Data comments: “Colin and I met when we were on Falmouth University’s Launchpad (with MA Entrepreneurship) course.  We soon spotted these issues within the agricultural sector and had a vision to unite it with a universal dashboard. This latest round of investment will enable us to expand our business by investing in recruitment. We will be recruiting additional software engineers who can refine the software product, as well as a project manager and customer service employees which will include marketing and event support.”

Meg Salt, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, added: “GlasCore is an exciting technology solution aimed at optimising agricultural productivity and facilitating the fourth agricultural revolution. There is no competing software which collates and clarifies as many data sources into a single customisable and user-friendly interface, allowing its users to select data for their needs including integrating data from Internet of Things devices. We wish them every 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.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said: “Glas Data have been able to access the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund to address an opportunity they see to introduce a technological solution to a problem that is arising in a very traditional industry.  We’re delighted that the fund is continuing to support businesses like Glas and attract private investment to the region.”

LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “It’s great to see a Falmouth University Launchpad businesses moving to the next stage and creating quality jobs with CIOSIF support. Glas Data have produced a dynamic, scalable and invaluable tool that truly combines agriculture and technology.”

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

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.