Finance Durham

Durham technology company beats funding target with support from Finance Durham Fund

Technology business Intelligence Fusion, IF, has broken through its £400,000 target and has gone on to raise over £486,000 to further develop its online global intelligence and risk management system.

This represents an early success for the new partnership between Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) and Crowdcube, an extension of GCV’s groundbreaking investment model which allows retail investors from the general public to invest alongside experienced and sophisticated investors and financial institutions.

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The success of IF’s fund raising coincides with the Chancellor’s Budget proposals to stimulate investment in high growth businesses by attracting £20bn of new investment.

GCV combined its own expertise in preparing IF for market, its investor network and access to venture capital funds with access to Crowdcube’s own huge army of 440,000 registered members.

Before using the Crowdcube platform to raise a further £135,000, IF - a software-as-a-service business that helps security companies and global businesses manage risk - secured more than £352,000 through GVC’s own online co-investment platform GrowthFunders. This included £150,000 from the £20 million Finance Durham Fund set up by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, on behalf of Durham County Council. The Fund is managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s most active private equity houses and SME finance providers, to support the growth of high potential businesses located in, or looking to relocate to the County.

GCV chief executive Norm Peterson said: “We are delighted that Intelligence Fusion has not only achieved but beaten its fundraising target. This demonstrates two things. One, that it is an exciting business with a compelling business plan and an impressive management team and, second, that GrowthFunders, in partnership with Crowdcube, can successfully guide ambitious, high growth companies through the fundraising process and introduce them to a wide and varied range of investors. This model allows retail investors to co-invest alongside experienced and institutional investors.

“Having worked with Michael McCabe and the team at IF for several years, assisting them with their proof of concept round previously, we're pleased to have been able to support their significant growth between their first round and their current round and that we have helped them achieve this key milestone as part of their continued growth.’’

Adam Gillet from Crowdcube said: “We are delighted to have our first successfully funded deal working in collaboration with Growth Capital Ventures and could not be more pleased for the team at Intelligence Fusion to have secured well over their original £400,000 target. 

“This serves as a great example of how different players in the equity funding market can work together smartly and efficiently to deliver great results, freeing up more time for founders to do what they are good at - running their businesses. 

“The Inclusion of Finance Durham’s Investment fund in the round is a welcome addition and we intend to replicate this model with GCV to support other ambitious, disruptive businesses in the region.’’

Michael Vassallo, Investment Director of Maven Capital Partners, said: “We’re delighted to support Intelligence Fusion’s growth plans at this stage in the company’s development. This is a great fit for an investment from the part of the Finance Durham Fund allocated to support innovation and we look forward to helping more companies like them. Michael McCabe and his team are hugely knowledgeable and driven and have demonstrated that there’s a real and growing need for the technology the firm has developed across a wide range of business sectors, and we look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

Sarah Slaven Business Development Director at Business Durham, said: “This is another great investment for the Finance Durham Fund.  An important role for the Fund is to act as a catalyst, helping to lever in finance from other sources to benefit businesses in County Durham, so we’re very pleased to see this in action in a successful funding round for Intelligence Fusion.”

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We are delighted that the Finance Durham Fund is supporting Intelligence Fusion as it continues to grow and we wish it every success for the future.

“More and more firms are starting up in County Durham, creating jobs and boosting our local economy, and we look forward to supporting other companies which are looking to move here.”

IF is also the first external business to be incubated by GLabs, the innovation arm of GCV. This team supported IF’s management from idea stage, helping to source a software partner to launch the MVP (minimum viable product), through to the current stage. The GLabs team will continue to support IF as an integral part of their strategic partnership network.

IF, which was set up in 2014, provides an industry leading platform to help security companies and global businesses manage risk and security issues by collecting, analysing and disseminating intelligence.

The company will use the funds it has raised through GVC and Crowdcube to enhance its platform with more features to provide global coverage at greater speed, frequency and quality as part of its plans to become a global intelligence leader in five years.

Michael McCabe, founder and chief executive of Intelligence Fusion said: "The support from the team at GCV has been invaluable, particularly throughout our recent raise. The team have been involved across many areas, from helping to prepare for the raise and assisting with technical development and marketing right the way through to strategic guidance. I am deeply thankful for their support and delighted to have them on board as partners as the business continues to move forward."