Previse | Owlstone Medical | Greensphere Capital | Veincentre £3.4m | MortgageGym
News about UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 3rd – 9th July 2017:
PREVISE: City grandee takes AI stake | The Sunday Times. July 2, 2017
DZ profile: Previse Limited
Business: new fintech start-up to tackle the scourge of late payments. The platform that uses artificial intelligence to allow small businesses to be paid instantly by large companies, was set up three years ago by five entrepreneurs
Location: London, SW1
Founders: CEO Paul Christensen, was previously Global Co-head of Goldman Sachs' Principal Strategic Investments team; Chief Data Scientist Philipp Schoenbucher.
Investment: has raised £2m from investors including the banker Rupert Hambro. HAMBRO PERKS and FOUNDERS FACTORY have bought a minority stake
1. Each year 50,000 firms go under because of late payments. “Multinationals are paying small suppliers later and later,” said chief executive Paul Christensen. He added that small businesses no longer had to accept the situation.
Sainsbury’s and British Land chairmen join late payments start-up | Andy Bounds, FT. February 4, 2018
2. has recruited two FTSE 100 chairmen as investors and advisers. David Tyler, chairman of supermarket chain J SAINSBURY, and John Gildersleeve, chairman of property group BRITISH LAND, have joined the advisory board of Previse. Mr Gildersleeve, who is also deputy chairman of telecoms company TALKTALK, said Previse could save small businesses billions of pounds by smoothing their cash flow. He added that big businesses partly financed themselves by delaying payments to suppliers and holding on to cash. British Land has a policy of paying within 30 days, considered the industry standard. However, Mr Gildersleeve said even 30 days was too long for many small companies. Both parties have to agree to use Previse. But he said big customers would do so because they could still delay payment to Previse according to their payment terms. Previse pays the big business for access to its data and charges the small supplier a fee of about 1.5 per cent of the bill. It will use bank borrowings to pay invoices immediately and then collect the money owed from customers. Previse says it can assess the risk by using machine learning and avoid invoices issued to companies unlikely to pay. This is similar to invoice discounting, where banks settle an invoice, deducting a fee. But many of the smallest companies are put off by the bureaucracy and guarantees required to use such facilities. They can sell invoices to investors on sites such as MARKETINVOICE, but it takes several days.
3. Last month, it received a £800,000 grant from SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE, a state fund, to set up a software development centre in Glasgow.
OWLSTONE MEDICAL: Blow against cancer | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. July 2, 2017.
DZ profile: Owlstone Medical Limited
Business: Billy Boyle, a scientist who developed a “cancer breathalyser” after the disease killed his wife has a mission to save 100,000 lives and help prevent other families suffering the loss of a loved one because of a late-stage cancer diagnosis. Had previously developed a sensor used by the military to find chemical weapons. He set out to adapt the technology to detect cancerous cells. Breath samples are sent to his laboratory where scientists search for medical traces that indicate illnesses long before symptoms become obvious.
Founder: Billy Boyle, 38.
Investment: Owlstone Medical has so far attracted $23.5m (£17.8m) funding, including $5m from AVIVA VENTURES.
Money from the next round of fundraising will be used to build laboratories in locations including the US.
News: Last week, Boyle’s breath biopsy earned him a silver medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
GREENSPHERE CAPITAL: Moulton sets sights on power projects | John Collingridge, The Sunday Times. July 2, 2017.
DZ profile: Greensphere Capital Llp
Business: investments include a biomass plant in Port Talbot, south Wales, which produces enough electricity to power 28,000 homes.
Location: Kensington High Street, London
Founder: Jon Moulton, 66, founder of Better Capital
Staff: run by Divya Seshamani, a former Goldman Sachs banker
News: The private equity baron Jon Moulton is plotting an assault on infrastructure projects, ranging from solar farms to power lines, with a £400m investment fund. …is understood to be in the early stages of creating a vehicle that would be listed on the stock market. Moulton is likely to put Greensphere into the fund, which could list in London next year. Moulton is doubling up on infrastructure to capitalise on the rampant demand for these assets, as pension and insurance funds seek returns amid ultra-low interest rates. Listed funds in the sector such as HICL, John Laing Infrastructure Fund and Greencoat have prospered in this climate, swelling in value in recent years as investors search for assets that will provide steady yields over the long term.
VEINCENTRE: Mamils’ varicose veins gave our laser therapy legs | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times. July 2, 2017.
DZ profile: Veincentre Limited
Business: laser treatment centre for varicose veins offering a new, non-invasive laser technique. … varicose veins required surgery and a long recovery time; today they can be treated in an hour. Five years ago …a new wave of patients — Mamils, or middle-aged men in Lycra — were desperate to avoid displaying “grandpa legs” as they worked out in the gym or on their bikes. However, it is not just a matter of aesthetics, patients often experience aching and swelling in their legs. A check-up costs £250; treatment is £1,695 for one leg and £1,995 for both. …has treated more than 20,000 patients.
Location: The couple set up their first clinic in Stoke-on-Trent in 2003. Since then, have opened clinics in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol and Oxford and in the Staffordshire market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Founders: David, 60, a former NHS vascular consultant and Deborah, 58, West
Staff: 22 full-time staff and 17 consultants
Financials: Last year, Veincentre made pre-tax profits of £1.7m on sales of £3.4m.
Investment: The two own the business 100%.
Google’s tweaks can drive away your customers | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. April 21 2019
1. Last summer, Google changed its search algorithm, which meant that some companies would appear lower in the rankings. Overnight, Veincentre dropped from the fourth search result for keywords such as “varicose veins treatment” to the 131st. The impact was immediate. In August, visitors to the website plunged by 68% compared with July and the number of consultation bookings declined by nearly 44%. In total, month-on-month sales fell by £168,000 — about 80%.Then, in February, another unannounced update reversed much of the damage and — without doing anything — Veincentre was back towards the top of the rankings. It can be hard to keep up....now has seven locations
2. ....is on course to hit sales of nearly £5m this year, although its growth rate has almost halved.
MORTGAGEGYM: Former COO of Deutsche Bank joins MortgageGym | Emma Dunkley, FT. July 4.
DZ profile: Mortgage Gym Limited
Business: The mortgage “robo-adviser”, which is working with some of the UK’s largest high-street banks, will provide an online service that allows customers to apply for home loans in minutes. The free site, which gained its licence from the City watchdog earlier this year to provide advice, connects customers to brokers and banks. It plans on dramatically speeding up the loan application process, which usually takes hours and involves reams of paperwork. Customers upload their documents digitally by taking a photo. The site then draws from Experian’s credit files to select the most appropriate mortgage options available. Customers are provided with instant online access to a broker who can advise on the chosen deal before the application is submitted. MortgageGym aims to make money by charging brokers on the site a fee.
Founder: John Ingram, chief executive
Investment: Deutsche Bank’s former operating chief Henry Ritchotte has joined London-based fintech company MortgageGym as an adviser and has personally invested £500,000 in the start-up.
News: Mr Ritchotte, served as chief operating officer at Deutsche from 2012 until the end of 2015. After leaving his position as COO at Deutsche Bank and stepping down from the management board, Mr Ritchotte was responsible for developing its digital services following a management shake-up under chief executive John Cryan in 2015. He left Deutsche earlier this year after more than two decades at the German lender.