The founders of Agency Core, a management tool designed exclusively for creative agencies, have successfully closed a seed investment round worth £150K, after relocating from Surrey to Edinburgh and spending a Scottish winter living in a motorhome.
The funding from Par Equity and Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, has enabled Agency Core to expand its team by hiring Andy Berry as lead developer and to increase marketing activity around the agency event scene.
Agency Core co-founder Matt Davies said: “We were aware that the business might attract investors keen to take a more hands-on role so it was something we were prepared for. I’m very pleased to say that it’s worked out even better than we imagined and the team as it stands now includes people with absolutely the right attitude and experience to take Agency Core forward. This is testament to Par Equity and how they utilise their excellent investor network to add value beyond financial support.”
Founded by Davies and Helen Visser, Agency Core was developed from first-hand experience of running their own digital agency in Surrey. In April 2014, motivated by a belief that there must be a better way to manage the operational aspects of a creative business, the pair shifted their focus from agency work to bringing their idea to life. Six months later, they applied to join the Edinburgh-based ‘UP Accelerator’ digital tech business development programme and were accepted, prompting their relocation to the Scottish capital and their four-month stint living in a motorhome as they got the business up-and-running.
Danny Meaney, founder of the ‘UP Accelerator’ programme, said: “We always look for people who have industry experience relevant to the product they are trying to launch. We also look for resilient characters and Matt and Helen demonstrated that in spades by what they were willing to give up in order to get a place on the UP programme. And of course we knew the market they were looking to sell into.”
Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, Kerry Sharp, said: “It is great to see Agency Core, a strong company with growth potential, being successful in raising seed finance for its next phase of growth, after taking part in the UP Accelerator programme.”
Par Equity’s Andrew Castell said of the investment: “With a successful pitch at our First Thursday event, the business caught the attention of several Par Syndicate members and over the coming months, with the support of the Scottish Investment Bank, Agency Core successfully raised the £150,000 they need to sustain the next phase of their growth. The early engagement of Par Syndicate members in key areas such as business development is a powerful illustration of the blend of intellectual and financial capital brought into play by informed investors.”
Davies agrees that the investment process has also connected Agency Core with key mentors who, as well as providing financial input, will be actively involved in the development and growth of the business, which operates bases in Edinburgh and London.