Digital and creative fund makes first investments


I attended the Lancaster ICT Cluster meeting at InfoLab21 on Thursday 12th May.


One of the presentations was from David Smith of AXM venture capital, manager of The North West Fund 4 Digital & Creative, who said in his presentation that the initial investments were about to be announced……


It was announced last week that the £15m digital & creative fund has made its first two investments.


Autology World, a Chester-based business providing personalised learning tools for educational institutions, and media and merchant services provider Camiloo, are the first beneficiaries of the fund.


The North West Fund 4 Digital & Creative invested £375,000 into Autology World Limited for a substantial equity stake, alongside £285,000 of further investment from a syndicate of private investors.


Autology was formed in 2006 by Steve Moorhouse, David Black and Julian Harley. The founders had previously developed Moorhouse-Black into a leading provider of A-level tuition via video conferencing, before selling it to publishing group Wolters Kluwer in 2002.


It was launched to UK Secondary Schools in September 2007 and secured investment from JGR Capital in 2009.


David Smith, Investment Director of AXM Venture Capital, added “We are delighted to make our first investment from the newly-launched fund, particularly as it involves the integration of education and technology. These are two sectors of particular interest to us, underpinned by a clear market-need, significant societal benefit, and the increasing migration from traditional hard-copy to digital delivery.’’


Meanwhile, Camiloo, which began trading in 2009, provides services to online retailers and also develops mobile and desktop applications for third parties from its base in Salford Quays. It now has more than 320 clients worldwide.


David Malpass, Director of European Programme, said: “The North West is home to a world class digital and creative sector and it is important the region capitalises on the opportunities this growing industry presents. I am delighted with this investment, which will boost economic development and strengthen the regional supply chain.”


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