EquinITy gallops forward with growth fund support

EquinITy gallops forward with growth fund support

Plans to introduce a digital horse training system to new equine markets are off and running thanks to a six-figure investment from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund.

EquinITy is a fully automated web-based horse welfare, training and yard management tool that integrates GPS, stride, and heart rate monitoring technologies into a simple-to-use single button device.

Data such as distance, split times, speed, location and altitude is collected by the device, and can provide an early indication of improving fitness and potential health deterioration.

Information can be streamed immediately to any web-enabled device anywhere around the world, while a multi-platform app allows for live viewing of the horses as they work.

The system was the brainchild of North East entrepreneurs and race horse owners Keith Hanson and Steven Catchpole, who got the idea back in 2011 while watching one of their horses during a training session.

They have since invested their own capital in developing and refining the product, and regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers is now investing £400,000 from the Growth Fund that it manages to support the product's full commercialisation.

The company is now aiming to break into other equine markets, such as polo, show jumping and leisure riding through dedicated digital marketing activity.

Fine EquinITy Ltd was advised on the investment by Neville Bearpark, corporate finance partner at accountancy firm UNW, supported by corporate finance managers Carole Almond and Michael McCulloch.

Keith Hanson says: "Detailed assessment of accurate data clearly plays a very important role in many fields these days, and having watched a lot of sessions where views of a horse's performance was primarily based on a stopwatch and the trainer's intuition, we knew there was a business opportunity for us in capturing more detailed information.

"Working with the NEL team to bring in the investment was a very positive process, and they're the right partners to help us market and develop our product offering."

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: "This is a niche product born of real knowledge of and passion for the equine industry, and it has the potential to become a huge success in many different spheres."

Neville Bearpark, corporate finance partner at UNW, says: "The EquinITy product is truly disruptive technology and has gained significant ground in the marketplace against global competition.  This is due in no small part to the foresight of Keith and Steven who identified a gap in the market and to their team who have developed such a world class product."


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