Jordan Dargue head of operations and investor retations at GCV, Michael McCabe chief executive Intelligence Fusion, Norm Peterson, chief executive GCV and Michael Dickens investment manager Maven

Durham tech firm raises almost £500,000

Technology firm Intelligence Fusion will use the funding to further develop its online global intelligence and risk management system.

Intelligence Fusion, which is based at Durham's Aykley Heads, has raised £486,000 through a new co-investment funding model pioneered by Crowdcube and Growth Capital Ventures (GCV).

The partnership between GCV and the crowdfunding platform helps budding investors invest alongside experienced and sophisticated investors and financial institutions.

GCV worked closely with IF, combining its own expertise in preparing the company 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 £20m 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.’’

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 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."