Bristol Fintech company, Payaca, an innovative business which has created a digital job management platform that helps service and trade-based businesses streamline operations and deliver first-class customer service, has secured £331k in investment from Gloucester-based Blackfinch Ventures.
This latest investment in the Bristol company follows £400,000 in funding announced in June, £212,500from local entrepreneurs from the Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) and £128,000 of further funds from Cambridge-based venture capital firm, SyndicateRoom, with the rest of the round made up of individual investors.
Targeted at small to medium sized businesses to increase their chances of winning work, Payaca’s mobile and web apps allow users to produce interactive quotes, provide built-in finance options, and to integrate seamlessly with accounting and payments services.
Founded in Bristol in 2020 by entrepreneur and CEO Matt Franklin the platform boasts a unique blend of sales CRM, job management, payments and analytics features.
It is designed and maintained in-house by the company’s dedicated software development team, meaning its functions are regularly reviewed and improved based on real-time feedback.
Now boasting several hundred business users across the UK, Payaca will use the funds secured from Blackfinch to further enhance its offering – including adding to its CRM and job management capabilities, as well as a number of payment options to provide greater flexibility for customers, including a fee-free open banking solution.
Commenting on the investment and Payaca’s growth plans, CEO Matt Franklin, said: “We know that smaller companies offer the same level of customer service as their competitors, and so our platform allows SMEs to compete with the bigger businesses when pitching for work.
“As our development team is in-house we are able to constantly respond to the feedback of our growing customer base to ensure the platform best meets their needs, and this latest round of investment means we can significantly expand the functionality of our product.
“This is a truly exciting time for Payaca and we’re delighted to have the backing of Reuben and the Blackfinch team as we continue to build on our existing reputation as the ‘go-to’ digital platform for service businesses from start-ups through to those looking to scale up.”
To deliver on its growth strategy, Payaca has recently welcomed a number of senior hires to the business including Lauren Schmitt as Head of Growth from Rated People, Chris Burton who joins as a Senior Engineer from Mango Solutions and Luke Johnson who joins from OVO Energy as Head of Operations.
Dr Reuben Wilcock, ventures director at Blackfinch, said: “Payaca’s platform is designed to save time and money for SMEs operating in the service and trade-based industries, and its commitment to improving the customer journey on behalf of those companies is perfectly aligned to our own environment, social and governance (ESG) values.
“Since the business was established in 2020, it has demonstrated impressive revenue growth, which is underpinned by a high proportion of organic customer sign-ups.
“Given that Payaca is operating in a large market with limited direct competition, we are confident that this investment will facilitate real growth for the business – reaching new customers and spanning a greater geographic footprint.”
Reuben went on to say that Payaca’s ethos and approach complements Blackfinch’s growing Ventures portfolio which is reflective of the company’s commitment to investing in innovative technology driven companies.
He added: “It is important to Blackfinch that we invest in companies that reflect our own ESG values, and in businesses that can truly benefit by having us as their investment partner in order to help them further their growth ambitions.”
Earlier this year Blackfinch Ventures completed on 12 new investment deals totalling in excess of GBP11 million ahead of the tax-year-end deadline in April.
A number of other deals have also been completed throughout the year, including follow on investment in commercial real estate valuation software firm Edozo.
Earlier this year Blackfinch revealed it had raised a total of GBP10.4 million through Blackfinch’s EIS Ventures Portfolios in the tax year ending April 2021, which has been invested in innovative start-up and early-stage technology companies across the UK in a variety of industry sectors.
A further GBP5.8 million was raised through its Spring Venture Capital Trust (VCT) which invests primarily in companies at the start of their growth journey.
The portfolio now includes businesses such as Candidate.ID, Staffcircle and Kokoon, as well as digital vendor management platform Brooklyn Vendor Assurance, global client engagement platform Clientshare, embedded integration platform Cyclr, real-time market research company OnePulse and hyper-realistic text-to-speech platform LSTN.
The latest round of investments is indicative of the wider Blackfinch Group’s commitment to helping to create a more sustainable world through its own focus on environment, social and governance factors.