(L-R): Cllr Carl Marshall of Durham County Council, Sarah Slaven of Business Durham, Gavin Sewell of honcho, Michael Vassallo and Alex Marsh of Maven Capital Partners.
Tech start-up Honcho Markets Ltd has raised £850k to complete the final build of its software and launch its product, creating three new jobs based in Durham.
The Finance Durham fund has provided £150,000 of investment to Honcho, which was added to the £700,000 the firm had already raised on CrowdCube.
Honcho’s software is an innovative alternative to price comparison websites (PCWs), and aims to disrupt the market by providing consumers with a new way to buy insurance products reducing the cost of insurance for motorists.
Founded in 2014, honcho sought to raise £650,000 to fund its app, initially through CrowdCube. With the support of the Finance Durham Fund, managed by Maven, honcho closed the investment window nine days early following the exceptional support it had received. The campaign was overfunded to a capped limit of £850,000 from 713 CrowdCube investors.
Now headquartered in Salvus House, Business Durham’s flagship office space at Aykley Heads, Honcho is resident in the thriving business community in Durham.
The investment in honcho is the fifth deal from the £20m fund established with funding from Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham. The Fund is managed by Maven Capital Partners to support the growth of high potential businesses located in, or looking to relocate to the County.
Alex Marsh, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “Honcho is a hugely exciting new business and we are delighted to support its plans to launch such an innovative app for motorists that empowers the consumer and ultimately reduces the cost of insurance. The team has identified a clear gap in the market and the overwhelming response from the crowd demonstrates that there’s a real appetite for the technology they’ve developed.
Gavin Sewell, CEO of honcho said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received such a fantastic level of support from the crowd as well as Business Durham and Maven and to have exceeded our funding target by more than 25%. We are very much looking forward to working with Maven, Business Durham and our other key partners in the North of the country to launch our reverse-auction marketplace for financial services products. honcho will be a truly disruptive force in the marketplace; putting consumers’ first, encouraging competition and transparency, and saving them time and money.”
Sarah Slaven, Business Development Director, said: “Business Durham are pleased to have helped honcho move to Salvus House, our prestigious office building in Durham City. Joining the thriving business community at Aykley Heads, honcho will be at the heart of the growing Fintech cluster in the City. It is fantastic that this exciting new company has also been able to benefit from the Finance Durham fund to help it thrive and grow.”