Big money continues to flow into UK based tech companies - here are four funding stories
It’s always fascinating to hear about business fundraising successes. Currently there is no shortage of stories that illustrate how big money continues to flow into UK tech based companies to support development.
That is providing the founding shareholders are willing to give up an equity stake in the company, or the whole company! I’ve pulled out four great examples covering: online language tuition, AI in the complex world of legal contracts, gaming software and a price comparison site to service your car.
In the cases of Memrise and Elgin Technologies at least some of the funding is to support research and development (R&D) activities. Ninja Theory's story illustrates how quickly a successful company can be sold, in this case to Microsoft Studios. Book My Garage is interesting because it is still in the early stages of growth and I have been able to give you an idea of the percentages of shareholdings that have been exchanged for equity funding to date.
Memrise Ltd – (https://www.memrise.com/)
London based Memrise provides online and app based language learning services for adults. Earlier this month it was in the news for successfully raising $15.5 (£11.6m) in series B funding for research and development. It has previously raised around £3.8m in equity investment.
It has a great back story as since it started in 2010 it has grown in reach so that in now provides a service for 35 million adults worldwide. It was nominated for the Google Play Awards in 2017 and subsequently won "App of the Year 2017" and it was one of 26 new companies that joined Tech City UK’s Future Fifty list in March 2018.
It also received support early on from being part of the Techstars London Accelerator program which it joined in 2011.
Read more articles in Funding News June 2018:
Why aren't British software companies applying for tax refunds from the Government?
R&D claims for software and emerging technologies - set for HMRC scrutiny
We’ve added a new video to our list of help videos on how to claim R&D tax credits
Eigen Technologies Ltd – (http://www.eigentech.com/)
Eigen Technologies is a London based company, but already with offices in New York as well. It has been developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology for legal and financial applications since 2014.
Its technology aims to analyse, make sense of and pull out qualitative data held in complex legal and financial documents. According to Business Insider it has just raised its first significant injection of funding (£13.2m from Goldman Sachs and other funders).
Ninja Theory – (http://www.ninjatheory.com)
It seems that the big tech players are always on the lookout for another acquisition. Microsoft Studios recently bought the video games creator Ninja Theory. Cambridge based Ninja Theory started out in 2005 and by 2017 had a turnover of just above £3m.
One of the things that must have made Ninja Theory very attractive was the success of Hellblade in 2017 - gamesindustry.biz reported: “Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has sold nearly 500,000 units and is already profitable, only three months after launch”.
Book My Garage (The Motorists Organisation Ltd) (https://bookmygarage.com/)
Many online comparison sites have enjoyed enormous success and there always seems to be a new one to discover. Those that are successful can make the whole of their industry stand up and take note, if not wake up. Portsmouth based Book My Garage looks set to be one of those.
The company was registered in 2013 and has been successful in raising a constant flow of equity funding since then. By 2016 it had raised in the region of £1.3m in equity funding giving away about 10.10% of its shares. In 2017 it raised a further £662k on Seedrs for an 11.11% equity stake. The latest Seedrs campaign shows that it has raised a further £888k for a 13.93% equity stake in the business.
All these company will be eligible to get cashback to help fund the cost of creating the underlying technology that is driving each business.
Are you ready to find out if you qualify or how much your R&D claims could be worth?