Fund backs two North East businesses

The Finance for North East Technology Fund has closed investment deals with digital company MymCart and university spin-out Durham Graphene Science.

The fund, in partnership with intellectual property commercialisation company IP Group, has invested £350,000 into MymCart, a business which provides services allowing small businesses to create mobile websites and apps.

As part of the deal MymCart has also received an additional £125,000 from a group of private angel investors.

The deal with MymCart follows on from the £1.2 million of seed financing provided to Durham Graphene Science, a business which originated at Durham University.

Mark Kuhillow, managing director of MymCart, says the business is making mobile commerce ‘simple and accessible’ to any business already trading online which want to open up a new revenue stream.

The business has already received backing from digital and retail figures including former CEO of digital agency Wheel, Philip Hunt, and Peter Robinson, head of from its launch in 1999 to 2007.

According to the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, an additional £500,000 has been earmarked for the future, subject to the meeting of initial business targets.

On the back of the financing, Manchester-headquartered MymCart is to open up an additional base in the North East as part of its expansion plan.

Ian Wilson, investment manager at IP Group, adds, ‘MymCart has addressed the major cost issue faced by many businesses in being able to offer mobile commerce, and has come up with a cost-effective solution.

‘The fact it is endorsed by so many leading figures in the digital sector is testament to the strength of the business and its product.’

The investment into Durham Graphene Science sees the Fund and IP Group pledge £500,000 each alongside an additional £200,000 from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.

Alan Aubrey, CEO of IP Group, comments, ‘This is a great example of IP Group leveraging its core model through its managed funds.

‘When we won the mandate to manage the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund in 2010, our vision was that the Group would co-invest alongside the fund in appropriate opportunities. We are delighted that this has led to us making our first investment into a spin-out company from Durham University.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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