CentraStage finds angels more ‘attractive’

Software development company CentraStage has closed a second round of funding ahead of a US launch, turning to more ‘attractive’ angel investors rather than venture capitalists (VCs) for finance.

The Buckinghamshire-based business, which was founded in 2006, has not disclosed the amount raised in the round or the individuals involved, however, managing director Christian Nagele, says the fundraising will enable the beginning of international operations and the appointment of a marketing director.

CentraStage offers online cloud-based software as a service for IT service providers and clients include 32 local authorities, which run the support software in schools. The business will start to offer the service in the US in the next three months, and in South Africa later this year. It also plans to introduce cross-platform support for tablets and smartphones, running both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS software.

Nagele says securing finance from high net individuals was a ‘quicker and less onerous way’ of fundraising because approached VCs failed to offer the same level of advice and strategy that will be gained from the business angels.

He tells GrowthBusiness, ‘We looked at the institutional route and spoke to a lot of VCs and private equity houses, but in the end we built the round on some high net worth individuals.

‘We didn’t feel the venture capital community were of the right mindset currently in this climate to invest. VCs were coming to the table with terms that seemed to attempt to de-risk themselves across the board.

‘The deals were high-levered and not particularly attractive. Also, we did a fair bit of due diligence on the VCs, and they didn’t seem to be able to bring a huge amount to the table other than money.’

Nagele continues, ‘The team we have on board for the round, not only do they provide the financial backing, but they also bring a huge amount of experience in our space. It is far more attractive for us to not only have the money, but the expertise and network that these people bring with them as well.’

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for growthbusiness.co.uk when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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