A University of Oxford spin-out company which has developed a software platform for broadcasters has secured an £850,000 investment led by the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.
The funding will allow Covatic to bring its software to market and create six new technical and management jobs. This latest investment, which also includes money from Oxford Sciences Innovation fund, Creative England, management and private investors, brings the total raised by the company to over £1.6million.
Covatic’s innovative platform enables broadcasters to deliver personalised content to users’ mobile devices and tailored adverts to boost advertising revenues, but without the need to expose any personal data. It understands where and when a user is consuming media on their mobile – crucial insight that can provide guidance on the most appropriate format, for example an audio clip when walking to the station and downloaded material to read on the train. As personal data is never accessed on the user’s mobile, privacy is protected at all times.
Founded in 2016, Covatic now has offices in Oxford, Birmingham and London. The company has already delivered a successful prototype for the BBC and is in commercial discussions with a number of key global broadcasters currently interested in rolling out its software platform by the end of 2018.
Nick Pinks, CEO of Covatic, said:“The future of TV is personal, but the industry is lacking the right technology to achieve this. We help broadcasters learn what their audiences want on an individual basis and deliver the right content and advertising, giving them an unrivalled experience.”
Julian Dennard, Fund Principal with Mercia Fund Managers, said:“The ability to personalise data has been a major factor in the success of tech giants like Amazon and Google. Covatic’s platform allows broadcasters to tailor their content to individual consumer needs and this funding will allow the company to begin tapping into a huge potential market.”
Grant Peggie, Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank, said:“The Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to support innovative and growing businesses across the region. This investment in Covatic is a great example of what can be achieved when the MEIF collaborates with other funders to support Midlands-based businesses and further demonstrates the area’s strength globally in digital technologies”
Pat Hanlon, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Board Director for Access to Finance, said: ‘’MEIF’s funding for Covatic will be instrumental in helping the firm to create highly skilled jobs, whilst bringing its software to market and gaining new clients. The region’s tech sector is stronger than ever, highlighting the importance of investing in digital companies with significant growth potential. Supporting Covatic demonstrates our commitment to growing economic opportunities, creating private sector jobs and helping companies in the tech and digital industry.’’
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.