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Tech SPARK 11 April 2019
April 2019

A group of private investors have backed local tech firms with £611,000 out of £3m in second round funding,

“We had a busy time in March with second rounds. We provided initial capital a year or two years ago and are coming back for the next round,” said Jerry Barnes, founding member of the Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC).

The club has grown from 49 members in 2016 to 80 today, investing £1m into seven deals in the last six months to bring the total backed so far to 15, including cloud computing firm YellowDog.

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BPEC’S £611K INVESTMENT TO ACCELERATE GROWTH AT FOUR BRISTOL TECH FIRMS
April 2019

Four Bristol technology companies are eyeing growth following significant cash injections totalling £3 million with £611,000 coming from the Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC). 

Bristol Private Equity Club is a group of like-minded individuals with close ties to Bristol willing and able to invest in local businesses as well as support them with a range of skills and experioence. 

The four technology businesses had all previously received investment from BPEC so this was the second round of funding. 

Inductosense, based in Albert Road, which manufactures wireless, battery-free sensors for detecting cracks, corrosion, and defects in structures or products, received £210,000 from BPEC out of a total round of £1.5 million investment. They had previously received £217,000 in 2017 from BPEC. 

Henleaze-based Azul Optics, which is developing a device enabling eye health professionals to rapidly assess eye health, received £132,000 from BPEC out of a total of £300,000. In 2016 they had received £160,000 to support development. 

Wriggle, found in King Street, which uses technology to help people find local food and drink deals, received £154,000 out of a total round of £650,000. They previously received £155,000 from the Club in 2017. 

St Nicholas Street-based Limber, an app that promotes flexible working in the employment sector, received £115,000 out of a total of £200,000. In 2017 they received a first investment of £150,000. 

Jerry Barnes, founding member of BPEC, said the latest round of investments demonstrate the group’s commitment to Bristol’s burgeoning tech scene and support for its start-up culture. 

“Bristol has always been a desirable location for people and businesses alike, and over the last 10 years or so it has carved itself a reputation as one of the premier locations outside London for tech companies to base themselves,” he said. 

“As an organisation BPEC is focused on investing in those companies with the potential to scale up rapidly with our support and continue to generate employment, wealth and other opportunities right here in Bristol.” 

Bristol Private Equity Club provides an effective platform to receive, review and discuss business plans and then share the risk and reward of investing. It is not a fund but a collection of successfuil individuals carefully chosen for their broad range of industry backgrounds. 

In the six months leading up to March 31 BEPC, which has grown from 49 members in 2016 to 80 today, invested £1m into seven deals.  

Crucially all but one were “second round” investments into companies that already received BPEC money in 2016 and 2017. 

“In the three years since our formation BPEC has invested a total of £4.6m into Bristol tech companies, many of whom have progressed to being globally-recognised leaders in their specialised sector,” continued Jerry Barnes. 

“The latest four companies to benefit from our investment all share our values of committing to growth and sustainability and will, I’m sure, help keep Bristol on the map as a place where budding tech companies can flourish.”  

For more information about Inductosense: www.inductosense.com    

For more information about Azul Optics: www.azuloptics.com  

For more information about Wriggle: www.getawriggleon.com   

For more information about Limber: www.limber.work  

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