£11 million of investment deals for Gloucester-based Blackfinch Ventures

Photo shows: One of Blackfinch Ventures' investments is Staffcircle
Blackfinch Ventures Staff Circle

Gloucester-based Blackfinch Ventures has completed on 12 new investment deals totalling in excess of £11 million ahead of the tax year deadline. The company says the move  ‘significantly increases’ the number of technology and tech-enabled companies within its portfolio.

Familiar names such as HR companies Candidate.ID, Staffcircle and headphone company Kokoon make up the seven companies to have received follow on investment in totals ranging from £430,000 through to £1.09 million.

Whereas a further five new companies – including 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 – also secured a total of £6.5 million.

Both the ‘quality and quantity’ of the number of investments reflects the ‘passion of the team’, according to Blackfinch’s Dr Reuben Wilcock, who said the total amount raised also reflected a ‘real confidence’ in the Group’s commitment to investing in disruptive businesses that deliver a solid return on investment.

A total of £10.4 million was raised through Blackfinch’s EIS Ventures Portfolios this tax year, which invests in innovative start-up and early-stage technology companies across the UK in a variety of industry sectors, and a further £5.8 million was raised through its Spring Venture Capital Trust (VCT) which investsprimarily in companies at the start of their growth journey.

Combined, Blackfinch Ventures targets high-growth opportunities, as well as supporting start-ups, and early stage and growth stage businesses with technological potential. The focus is on disruptive businesses, offering products that address real world needs, with the capability to make an impact in global markets.

It follows a comprehensive rebrand for the Blackfinch Group which last year confirmed its commitment to helping to create a more sustainable world through its own focus on environment, social and governance factors.

Dr Reuben Wilcock, Ventures Director at Blackfinch, said: “The latest round of investments for Blackfinch Ventures is a true testament to the dedication of the team, all of whom have worked tirelessly over recent months to complete on such a significant number of deals.

“The growing Ventures portfolio is reflective not only of Blackfinch’s commitment to investing in innovative technology driven companies that reflect our own environment, social and governance (ESG) values, but also the value that those businesses see in having us as their investment partner and the role that we can play in furthering their growth ambitions.

“Similarly, the total of funds raised is reflective of a real confidence from both new and existing clients in our commitment, as an investment group, to cementing lasting relationships with exciting, disruptive businesses that create products and platforms that address real world needs.”

Jesse Lee, CEO and co-founder of Brooklyn Vendor Assurance, said: “We are delighted to have joined the Blackfinch portfolio at such an important time in the journey of Brooklyn Vendor Assurance.

“Our Enterprise Vendor Management platform helps global enterprises govern their supplier contracts and relationships across many areas including environmental impact. Blackfinch has identified the procurement domain as ripe for digital disruption and the alignment with their ESG mandate made this a perfect fit.“

Investors in the Blackfinch Spring VCT include financial advisors and their retail clients and investors using direct-to-client platforms.

Richard Cook, CEO of Blackfinch, added: “The latest round of investments announced today brings exposure to some of the most exciting, innovative, and forward-thinking tech companies in the country for our customers.

“Each organisation that has received funding is a true reflection of the emphasis that Blackfinch has on working with businesses that are aligned to our environment, social and governance values, and each company has ambitious plans for the future.

“We are looking forward to continuing to provide support to those companies that have received follow-on investment, and to forging strong working relationships with those who run the businesses that are new to the Ventures portfolio.”

Investment summary:

New Investments:

  • Brooklyn Vendor Assurance – GBP 1.60 million;
  • Clientshare – GBP1.33 million;
  • Cyclr – GBP1.60 million;
  • OnePulse – GBP1.60 million;
  • LSTN– GBP440 thousand.

Follow On Investments:

  • Candidate.ID – GBP760 thousand;
  • Cyance – GBP440 thousand;
  • Edozo – GBP870 thousand;
  • Kokoon – GBP430 thousand;
  • Staffcircle – GBP1.09 million;
  • Tended – GBP600 thousand;
  • Transreport – GBP540 thousand.