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DIGIT Deal Roundup May 2019

Dominique Adams


DIGIT Deal Roundup May 2019

Welcome to the May edition of the DIGIT Deal Roundup. This month we cover new partnerships and funding from companies such as Modulr, Money Dashboard, and Natantis. 


Hutchinson Networks

Hutchinson Networks Investment: Paul Hutchinson, CEOMidlothian-based IT and networking specialists, Hutchinson Networks, has gone into administration. Blair Nimmo and Alistair McAlinden of KPMG were appointed as joint administrators to oversee the sale or closure of the business, which was founded by CEO Paul Hutchinson and COO Stephen Heslop (COO) in 2011.

Upon appointment, KPMG made 94 of the company’s 109 employees redundant with immediate effect. The 15 remaining employees have been retained to help the administrators to continue trade the network operation centre and provide multi-cloud platform services to customers.

Nimmo said: “Hutchinson Networks was a rising star in global IT network deployment. It had invested heavily for future growth and secured attractive contracts for the second half of 2019. Despite the exhaustive actions of the directors to increase sales, reduce costs and attract new investment, the business was unable to continue trading.

“We’re exploring a sale of the business and assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible. Additionally, we’re working with Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland to provide a full range of support to the company’s employees throughout this process.”

Hutchinson Networks project manager, Dan Barnes, posted on LinkedIn: “It’s a sad day for many as Hutchinson Networks has gone into administration. As such myself, as well as a hundred-plus others, now find ourselves seeking other employment.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Calero Software

Software Company EdinburghUS global software company Calero Software has opened its new European headquarters in Edinburgh as it seeks to expand its presence in the market. The Edinburgh office will see the majority of the company’s European-based software development, operations and sales resourced housed at the site.

Ivan McKee MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Trade, who officially opened the office said: “It’s an honour to welcome Calero’s European headquarters to Edinburgh. The decision by Calero to lead its European operations from here is testament to Edinburgh, and Scotland, that is fast becoming known worldwide for its vibrant technology scene.

“The Scottish Government has published an ambitious plan to boost international exports and I’m delighted that, in Calero, we have added another important exporter to our economy; an encouraging marker for economic development in Scotland.”

Jo Pajer, president and CEO of Calero, commented: “Our new European headquarters is a defining moment in Calero’s ambitious growth strategy for, and investment in, Europe. We have chosen Edinburgh as the location for our headquarters to tap into Scotland’s deep technology talent pool to add to our existing dynamic team.

“Topping off another year of record growth in 2018, we could not be more excited about the Edinburgh headquarters.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Geovation Scotland

Geovation Scotland EdinburghRegisters of Scotland and Ordnance Survey is creating a Geovation Hub in Edinburgh to help accelerate Scottish property and geospatial startups. The collaboration between the two organisations will promote open innovation, provide startups in the capital with supported access to public datasets and create closer ties between the Scottish technology ecosystem and geospatial community.

The Scottish branch looks to build on the success of its sister organisation, Geovation London, which since its launch has supported more than 74 companies, created almost 200 jobs and helped generate more than £20 million in investment funding.

Commenting on the creation of the hub, Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes MSP said: “It gives me great pleasure to officially announce Geovation Scotland. This will promote innovation, providing startups with access to public datasets, whilst harnessing the opportunities of working alongside tech and geospatial communities.

“With support from the Geospatial Commission, Geovation Scotland will provide a dedicated hub to incubate new startups in Scotland, and utilise digital data sources to benefit the Scottish economy.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Exchange Communications 

Cloud transformation specialists, Exchange Communications have secured a major five-year public sector contract with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. The firm has combined with partners BT and Avaya to deliver innovative cloud-based telephony solution ACS Select, transforming the point of contact experience for staff and patients.

The new cloud system will be used by 3000 front-line NHS staff in non-acute hospitals, clinics, GP practices, health centres and NHS offices across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Somerset. It will significantly improve patients’ phone experience, reduce costs and enhance system reliability, while also lowering the Trust’s carbon footprint. It will take effect across an initial 63 sites, with the first phase of the project earmarked for completion in the summer.

Tom Sime, MD of Exchange Communications, said: “This project will greatly enhance Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s ability to interact efficiently with its patients. The solution we are putting in place offers a unified communications and contact centre service that’s flexible and customisable and offers simple migration to the cloud.

“We’re delighted to have been successful and awarded this contract – delivering it not only for the Trust and its teams, but patients across the counties.”

Mark Walker, Head of IT of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our decision to work with Exchange Communications should see our point of contact experience transformed across our multi-site locations. Not only will Exchange help us bolster our telephony capabilities, but the Trust will make important cost and carbon efficiencies as a result. We look forward to the completion of the first phase of works this summer.”




Modulr Investment

Payments as a Service API platform, Modulr, has received a £14m investment from its latest funding round led by new investors Frog Capital and existing investors including Blenheim Chalcot. The fresh funding will be used to increase the speed at which new payment types and functionality are added to the company’s platform. It is hoped this will accelerate its growth into existing industry verticals, as well as support entry into new industry verticals.

It will also support the continued growth of the teams located in Edinburgh and London, two of Europe’s leading Fintech hubs. The recent establishment of an additional office in Dublin will be the focus for expansion into Europe.

Myles Stephenson, chief executive, Modulr, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have completed our latest funding round, led by Frog Capital, and to have found a like-minded investor to work closely with the leadership team and our existing lead investor, Blenheim Chalcot, to pursue the significant global opportunity for our business.

“We’ve rapidly demonstrated the size of the market opportunity having processed more than £10bn of payments through the platform in our first two full years of operation. The investment allows us to take the next step in pursuing our vision to become the world’s leading digital alternative for commercial & wholesale payments.”

Jens Düing, senior partner, Frog Capital, said: “Ever since the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) we have monitored the markets across Europe for leading innovative scale-ups addressing this sizeable segment. Modulr stood out with the quality of its team, its product and the unrivalled traction the company has already managed to achieve.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Money Dashboard

Money DashboardThe Scottish fintech company managed to secure more than £2 million in less than 24-hours in its latest funding round. The company surpassed its initial target funding of £1.5 million within 45 minutes and, over the course of the day, saw more than 1,000 users invest in the business.

Steve Tigar, CEO at Money Dashboard, said he has been “blown away” by the news and underlined the “transformative” impact Open Banking will have in retail banking. Reaching our target within an hour of going live on Crowdcube and securing over £2 million investment in under 24 hours is a testament to the excitement in the industry, and among our users, about the transformative impact Open Banking will have in retail banking,” he said.

“The business has never been in a stronger position, which is why we’re so excited to be raising on Crowdcube this month. We’re raising funds to support our growth plans, which include increasing the size of our team from 20 to 65 staff, allowing us to reach one million users in five years and growing our revenues exponentially,” Tigar added.

Mark Horrocks, chairman of Money Dashboard, commented: “The last few years have brought an explosion in UK FinTech, and the adoption of digital money managers across the space has never been stronger. As consumers, personal finance has become a mainstream part of our public conversation and people are now searching in high numbers for ways to be more savvy with their money and improve their financial situation. It’s a really exciting time to be working, and investing, in the financial services space.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


Natantis researchers based at Heriot-Watt University have been awarded more than £500,000 from Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth spin-out programme to revolutionise cancer diagnosis and treatment. The team will use the funding to further develop its CNAsafe device, which is capable of extracting cell-free nucleic acids (cfNA) from whole blood with aspirations to spin-out into a commercial venture by 2020.

Natantis’ Principal Investigator, Dr Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas, commented: “Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Spin-out Programme is a fantastic opportunity to bridge the gap between the academic lab and the commercial enterprise.

“We are getting essential support from both Scottish Enterprise and Heriot-Watt and we’re looking forward to moving to the new GRID building as an incubator for Natantis, just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Airport, with all the benefits of the campus’ facilities.”

Scotland’s Public Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, visited the Natantis team at the Heriot-Watt campus this week to see the CNAsafe device first hand.

She said: “Scotland has a thriving life sciences community and a long history of world-changing innovation. The Scottish life sciences sector is incredibly innovative, accounting for almost a quarter of Scotland’s Business Enterprise Research and Development spend in 2017.

“The results of this can be seen in projects like Natantis which, with its CNAsafe device, has designed a truly innovative Scottish product with the potential to have a real impact on the liquid biopsy process. The project has already shown promising commercial interest, proving its very real market and giving Natantis the opportunity to develop into a major contributor to Scotland’s life sciences sector.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Project Heather

Tomas Carruthers, Project HeatherProject Heather has announced it will receive a £750,000 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant to support its investment in Scotland’s stock exchange. Funded by Scottish Enterprise, the grant will enable the organisation to provide up to 45 high-skilled jobs across Scotland.

Commenting on the announcement, veteran broker and entrepreneur, Tomás Carruthers, said: “We are delighted to receive Scottish Enterprise’s support for the creation of a stock exchange for the 21st century; one which serves society and can be trusted to serve all stakeholders. “In addition to directly employing many highly-skilled people, a successful stock exchange in Scotland will foster greater prosperity and support the decentralisation of capital and wealth away from London and the South East.”

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Enhancing the Scottish funding landscape by the establishment of a Scottish Stock Exchange would not doubt add value and provide greater choice to Scottish companies seeking to grow and fulfil their ambitions. This would be a welcome addition to Scotland and to the businesses who would wish to use the stock exchange for investment.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


Glasgow-based fintech startup Soar has been awarded a £450,000 Research and Development (R&D) grant from Scottish Enterprise. The grant has enabled the firm to create an additional 15 jobs, bringing its total headcount to 22, and will allow it to focus heavily on targeting new overseas markets including Ireland, Germany and the United States.

Commenting on the award funding, Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes said: “I’m delighted that this £450,000 research and development grant, funded by Scottish Enterprise, will support Soar’s ambitious plans to develop an innovative platform for credit unions and other ethical banks.

“Projects like Soar’s help sustain Scotland’s international reputation for innovation, moving us closer towards achieving an even more elevated status in the global innovation sector.”

Andrew Duncan, executive chairman at Soar, added: “The financial services market is changing at an alarming rate for ethical providers. Typically, they don’t have the knowledge or the significant IT budgets required to launch apps that are on par with online banks such as Monzo and Revolut.

“By next year over 80% of financial transactions will be carried out on smartphones. Ethical providers need to leap forward to become digital first and remain relevant for the next generation of savers and borrowers – millennials. This grant will help Soar build cost-effective and cutting edge solutions that will help the whole market compete and grow in this fast-paced sector.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


DIGIT Deal Roundup May 2019Energy technology firm Synaptec, a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, has secured £2.1m investment to support its planned expansion. Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund has provided  £2m, while the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund has contributed £100,000. The funding will help the company expand its production, international sales and help it capitalise on future data analytics opportunities.

Synaptec managing director and co-founder, Philip Orr, commented: “This investment represents an exciting new phase of growth and development for Synaptec and will enable us to make a positive and lasting impact on the global energy transition.”

Commercialisation infrastructure manager with Strathclyde’s Research & Knowledge Exchange Services, Stuart Mackenzie, said: “The University is delighted to participate in this latest milestone in Synaptec’s growth. Synaptec is a fantastic example of the contribution Strathclyde technologies can make to industry through its role in the Glasgow City Innovation District, where Synaptec is based.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Talking Medicines 

DIGIT Deal Roundup May 2019The Glasgow-based startup has secured its first institutional investment as part of a funding round worth £622,000. The latest funding round, led by SIS Ventures, marks the third successful seed investment for the business and takes the total amount raised by the firm to £1.2 million over the past two years.

The Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also contributed to the funding round, which will support the company’s ongoing growth plans as well as the technical development of its Medsmart tools and data-mining capabilities.

Chief executive Jo Halliday commented: “This latest investment round demonstrates the growing support around the vision of enriching the experience of patients and understanding how their medicines are being taken. The Medsmart App is in the 30,000-50,000 download bracket and the data insights are being accessed by marketing teams from a number of pharmaceutical clients. We have a vision to open up the traditional data model for the pharmaceutical industry and today marks an important milestone in that journey.”

Thomas Gillan, director of SIS Ventures, said: “We’re delighted to have made our first investment in such a purpose-led, impact-focused business as Talking Medicines. Although still a young company, Talking Medicines has established strong initial traction with consumers, pharmaceutical companies and the investor community.

“Working with Jo and the team, we’re looking forward to supporting them on their journey to becoming the global gold standard for real-world insights on consumer usage of medicines.”

Kerry Sharp, director of SIB, added: “This deal represents an exciting progression in the growth of Talking Medicines. Scottish Enterprise has supported the company throughout its evolution through account management, SMART: SCOTLAND innovation support and Jo’s participation in the Unlocking Ambition challenge.

“We’re delighted to support Talking Medicines’ long-term ambitions to establish a high-growth business with a clear social conscience that will benefit our communities.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Symphonic Software

DIGIT Deal Roundup May 2019Maven Capital Partners has joined existing shareholders Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank in supporting high-growth company, Symphonic Software, to scale-up. David Milroy, Partner at Maven, said: “We are delighted to be leading the investment in Symphonic Software. The company operates in a high growth sector driven by significant new regulation.  The firm will use the funding to scale the business, investing in sales and marketing resource, as well as product innovation.

“Symphonic is targeting further growth in retail banking and other sectors and is well positioned to expand into new markets. We look forward to working with Derick and his team over the coming years to scale the business and deliver on its growth strategy.”

Derick James, CEO at Symphonic, added: “We are very pleased to maintain our strong relationship with Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank and are delighted to welcome Maven as part of this latest investment round.

“The team at Symphonic is looking forward to continuing to drive the Company’s success with the support of our new and existing investors.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


The ID Co.

James Varga, CEO, the ID Co.The Edinburgh-based fintech has secured $2 million in seed funding from technology investors including Amadeus Capital Partners, Six Thirty and others. This investment takes the total funding raised to more than $9 million and will enable The ID Co. to extend its offering to new sectors and international customers. The firm also continues to grow in existing markets.

The ID Co. helps businesses such as lenders to onboard their customers more efficiently, with its technology alleviating friction caused during application processes by the current challenges of risk, fraud, compliance and regulation. Commenting on the funding announcement, The ID Co. CEO, James Varga, said: “This funding gives us the support we need to execute our plan to bring bank data to the global market. We are hiring fast and entering new markets and geographies across the globe.

“The recent launch of DirectID Insights and Income Verification means that we are in an excellent place to capitalise on the need for greater efficiency in lending practices to reflect borrowers’ expectations.”

Nick Kingsbury, partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, added: “The ID Co. is delivering real value to its clients. The application of Open Banking-based data allows financial providers to personalise their services and streamline and shorten lending processes. We are delighted to be supporting the company in solidifying its lead in the UK and expanding its international presence.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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