COMPANIES: Mumsnet to Technetix

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on July 31, 2017, 9:00 am in News, Other



Technetix £118.5m | Peanut | Mumsnet £7.1m | Mush | Callsign | Medica £28.5m | Servelec £61m | Advanced Medical Solutions £82.6m


Broadband technology – social networks for mothers – AI cyber security
– NHS reporting – Healthcare software –
Hospital bandages


News about UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 23rd – 29th July 2017:




TECHNETIX: cable TV and broadband kit – West Sussex
We were quick to reboot after the dotcom crash | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times. July 23 2017
DZ profile: Technetix Group Limited
Business: designing and making cable TV and broadband kit for customers including VODAFONE and American cable giants LIBERTY GLOBAL and COMCAST. The technology, which is used in 90 countries, allows operators to revamp old networks and improve internet speeds without digging up roads or changing cables. “We make the components in those green boxes you see down most streets,” said Broadhurst.
Launched: 1990
Location: 11 offices in Britain and abroad, including the HQ in Albourne, West Sussex
Founder: Paul Broadhurst, 57, Martin Sellars – who sold his stake after a year - and Richard Chamberlain who left in 2011. The trio used £9,000 of savings to design and make satellite dishes in a garage ….focused on making smaller parts and TV accessories before moving into equipment for cable TV when it took off in the mid-1990s.
Staff: 200
Financials: posted pre-tax profits of £4.3m on sales of £118.5m last year.
Investment: Last year, LIBERTY GLOBAL VENTURES invested £7.5m in return for a 9.5% stake. Broadhurst owns 70% of Technetix, with the rest held by staff.
News: When the dotcom bubble burst in 2001, Paul Broadhurst’s business was nearly swept away. For a decade, the company had supplied equipment to telecoms companies such as NTL and Telewest, forerunners of Virgin Media. When the meltdown came, they slashed their orders. To keep afloat he closed its factory in Royston, Hertfordshire, laid off 75 employees and outsourced manufacturing to China. … the company scraped by on smaller orders until things picked up. Technetix also grew through acquisitions. In 2005 it snapped up a Dutch rival, taking the business international for the first time. Today, 76% of sales come from overseas.



The apps helping mothers wave goodbye to loneliness | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times. July 23, 2017

PEANUT: social network for mamas - London
DZ profile: Peanut App Limited
Business: social app for parent an app to connect local mothers who have children of a similar age. Once mothers fill out their profiles, they can show interest by swiping up to “wave” at a mum. If she waves back, it’s a match and mothers can chat and set up a playdate. After going live in February, following months of research, the service now has user numbers running to “six figures”. There are about 8m families in the UK spending more than £1bn a year on products and services for children. A welter of new apps — mostly set up by frustrated parents — is looking to access a small slice of that spending. Peanut uses the same type of algorithm employed by dating sites to help mothers connect. The idea came to Kennedy after she discovered that motherhood was often a lonely experience.
Launched: 2016
Location: London NW1
Founder: Michelle Kennedy, 34, ex-deputy chief executive for the dating business Badoo and Greg Orlowski, the ex-tech boss of Deliveroo. Neither is taking a salary. Kennedy previously helped set up BUMBLE and still holds a stake in the women-led matchmaking app, which is now in talks with MATCH.COM over a $1bn sale. Before that she was deputy chief executive at BADOO, a dating-focused social media network with 366m members globally.
Staff: 3
Investment: has raised an undisclosed seed round from NEA, FELIX CAPITAL, PARTECH and other angel investors.

1. “In social [media], you don’t know what the magic formula is going to be,” Kennedy said. “The only thing you can do is to build your user base and watch how they are using the product.” Investors seem keen to find whatever it is that could chip away at Mumsnet’s crown. Cash may be hard to come by for new ideas, but once a certain scale has been reached, investment is freely available.

Lonely mums on Peanut app find rich friends | Danny Fortson, The Sunday Times. November 19 2017, 12:01am,
2. Since Peanut went live in London and New York in February, more than 170,000 mothers have signed up.

3. ...has secured a cash injection.The seed round was led by SWEET CAPITAL, set up by the founders of Candy Crush developer KING DIGITAL and FEMALE FOUNDERS FUND in New York. Other investors included Kutcher’s SOUND VENTURES and Greycroft Partners as well as previous backers FELIX CAPITAL and PARTECH VENTURES. Kennedy declined to disclose how much she raised, but plans to use the cash to grow in America and Britain.


MUMSNET: the original social forum for Mums - London
DZ profile: Mumsnet Limited
Business: social network for mothers with 10m monthly users. Mumsnet has launched three apps of its own to tap into demand for the new generations of mothers who live on their smartphones, not glued to a desktop computer.
Launched: 2000
Location: Kentish Town, north London
Founders: Justine Roberts, 49, chief executive and friend Carrie Longton
Staff: 100
Financials: posted pre-tax profits of £2.1m on sales of £7.1m last year.

1. Mumsnet was eight years old before it could pay salaries to many of the people who were putting in the hours to moderate its forums.


It’s by parents — and for parents | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. February 17 2019

2. More than 14m people a month visit Mumsnet. In 2017 posted a pre-tax profit of £2.8m on turnover of £8.3m, which comes from advertising and charging big brands for market research. ...about 15% of users are men ....employs 120 people, three-quarters of them women. 

3. They tried to raise £4.5m from venture capital firms, but the dotcom bubble was close to bursting. Some of Mumsnet’s early users sent in donations to keep it going.

4. Starting with David Cameron, answering members’ questions soon after becoming Tory leader, the Mumsnet Q&A has become a rite of passage for senior politicians, and the general election in 2010 was even dubbed the “Mumsnet election”.

5. Roberts, 51, started a companion site, Gransnet, in 2011 to “give older women a voice”. Roberts is the  majority owner of Mumsnet, with the rest held by angel investors and long-term fund. ...she accepted a non-executive role at the FTSE 100 insurer Admiral three years ago.


MUSH: Mum’s meeting + marketplace app - London
DZ profile: Mush Limited
Business: A social network that helps new mothers make friends. The Tinder-style app helps users to find other mothers living nearby and also indicates the age of their children. It also a marketplace to buy and sell second-hand pushchairs or high chairs, as well as Mum-written guides on key issues such as breastfeeding. More than 150,000 people have downloaded the app and trials are under way in America. A couple of devotees — mums in particular, although dads use it too — are spreading the word in Australia “as a passion project” in return for a small equity stake. Massie-Taylor and Hesz have bagged deals with companies such as TESCO, UNILEVER and JOHNSON & JOHNSON to feature brands and products within the app and are toying with several ideas that will help them to become profitable.
Launched: 2015
Location: London SW14
Founders: Katie Massie-Taylor, 34, an ex-Citi derivatives broker, who with Sarah Hesz, 35, a marketing consultant, after they met at a London playground with their children and talked about how they had struggled to make friends with other new mothers. 
Investment: Since launch, the duo have had two successful funding rounds: £250,000 of seed capital and a further £926,000 raised on CROWDCUBE, the crowdfunding platform.

1. The app is free, but further down the line they could introduce a “fremium” subscription, whereby money is charged for additional features such as “access to meet-ups or free coffee at local shops”, said Massie-Taylor.


Mums spread the word at Mush | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. January 28 2018.

2. has bagged a £2m cash injection to boost growth and invest in app development. The pair plan to use the cash to expand Mush’s staff of 22, increase spending on the app and add new features. The funding round was led by OCTOPUS VENTURES.

3. More than 300,000 mothers have downloaded the free app to date. Massie-Taylor said Mush hoped to “usurp” more established social networks such as Facebook by becoming a platform where women can “unashamedly be a mum and geek out about mum life, without it being visible to all of their colleagues and university friends”.



CALLSIGN: AI-based cyber security - London
London cyber security startup Callsign, used by Lloyds and Deutsche Bank, has raised a huge $35m series A led by Accel and PTB Ventures | Lynsey Barber, City A.M. July 27
DZ profile: Callsign Ltd.
Business: cyber security startup focused on digital identity which helps keep Lloyds and Deutsche Bank protected. Callsign's technology offers businesses a way to securely authenticate users on various digital platforms, when they log in based on hundreds of data points such as where a person is and how they use a smartphone, including how they tap a touchscreen.
Launched: 2011
Location: London
Founder: chief executive Zia Hayat.
Investment: has landed $35m in a series A round of funding led by Spotify backer ACCEL and PTB VENTURES a New York-based early-stage investment firm specialising in digital identity. ALLEGIS CAPITAL, a Palo Alto-based cyber specialist and David DeWalt, a well-known name in cyber security having done stints at Intel, McAfee and FireEye.
News: DeWalt will join the Callsign board. The fresh investment will go toward global expansion with a focus on the US, where it plans to open offices in New York and San Francisco, as well as Asia. It will increase staff numbers across the business, including engineering, sales, marketing and business development. Accel partner Harry Nelis will also join the five-year-old startup's board, along with Allegis's Bob Ackerman and PTB's Dave Fields.

Small-cap medical stocks at risk from NHS belt-tightening | Aliya Ram, FT. July 29, 2017


MEDICA: NHS reporting, Teleradiology - Hastings
DZ profile: Medica Group Plc
Business: teleradiology company which provides remote reporting of medical images such as MRI and CAT scans for clients, including the NHS ....provides consultant radiologists - "specialist, routine and out-of-hours cover" for short-staffed NHS trusts that need support in reading and diagnosing scans.  ...most of its revenues come from NHS trusts
Launched: 2013
Location: Hastings, on England’s south coast

Staff: John Graham, chief executive
Financials: to 31-Dec-16 - Revenue £28.5m; Pre-Tax £4.3m
Investment: floated on London’s main market in March 2017, raising £121m through the listing. The group’s market value has increased by more than 50 per cent, from £150m at listing to £236m.

1. In the year to June 2016, NHS England carried out more than 30m X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. The Royal College of Radiologists found that one in seven patients waited more than a month for the results of X-ray scans, which have to be analysed by skilled doctors. 

Smaller technology groups spy opportunities in healthcare | Aliya Ram, FT. January 4, 2019

2. Medica’s revenues rose 18 per cent to £18.6m in the six months to June 30. Profits before tax more than tripled to £4.4m. The shares, which listed in March 2017 at 135p, currently trade at about 125p.

UK biotechs lead the way in early detection of deadly diseases | Sarah Neville, FT. April 6, 2019

Medica, a  whose , 

3. ...£39m  revenue in 2018, up 16 per cent on the previous year. cap is around £166m  ...shares 145.75p, about 19 per cent higher than a year ago.

4. starting to expand globally, having already set up a subsidiary in Australia. It is putting resources into New Zealand and one or two other markets.

5. ... its technology  and the expertise of the radiologists it employs, means the company can turn round examinations within an average of less than 25 minutes.


SERVELEC: software for healthcare groups - Sheffield
DZ profile: Servelec Group Plc
Business: designs software to make healthcare groups more efficient in how they handle patient records, empty beds and budgets. … this means the group’s largest customer is the NHS, though it has attempted to branch out by buying a number of smaller companies.
Launched: 1995
Location: Sheffield
Financials: to 31-Dec-16 - Revenue £61m; Pre-Tax £9.5m
Investment: Listed on London Stock Exchange Main Market on 02 Dec 2013
1. Last year the group bought SYNERGY, a supplier of education software to local authorities, for £19.4m, and ABACUS, which makes technology so social workers can accept payments online.
2. Despite the acquisitions, Servelec also remains exposed to changes in health policy. When the government extended a deadline for NHS trusts to upgrade their IT systems last June, the group was forced to issue a profit warning that sent its shares plunging.


AMS: wound and surgery products - Cheshire
DZ profile: Advanced Medical Solutions Group Plc
Business: hospital supplier - manufactures bandages for hospitals at prices that analysts estimate are 20-30 per cent lower than market rates. ….has grown steadily as hospitals come under pressure to cut costs. Investec’s Ms McCallum estimates that Advanced Medical Solutions has a 6 per cent share of the £100m wound dressing market.
Launched: 1993
Location: Winsford, Cheshire
Financials: to 31-Dec revenues increased by a fifth to £82.6m; Pre-Tax profit £19.1m
Investment: company listed on London’s junior market 15 years ago