Recent investments made by the North West Fund 4 Digital and Creative


David Smith, Investment Director at AXM Venture Capital Limited, manager of The North West Fund 4 Digital and Creative has been keeping me updated on recent successes.


David said:  “We started operations earlier this year investing in locally-based hardware, software, marketing, web, media and creative businesses – from start-ups to large established companies. We have now concluded three investments.”  Details of those investments are highlighted below:


Autology, Chester


The fund provided the bulk of the £660k development capital investment in Autology – an early stage educational discovery tool aimed initially at the UK secondary school market. This is a fabulous company headed by an experienced Chairman with a history of creating valuable businesses. The company has digitised the primary educational resources from the major publishers, and using the Autonomy contextual search engine, it pushes truly relevant content from this library and from a safely-chosen selection of the web, straight to the pupils’ desktop.


This involvement resulted in not only the investment and the co-investment which was leveraged in to this North West business, but assisted in the refinement of the business plan and the mutually agreeable recruitment of three new members of the management team including a new CEO.


In the brief period since the investment, Autology has already progressed to win new county-wide deployments within local authorities.


Camiloo, Salford


A £50k seed investment was made to Camiloo an early stage developer of extensions to the Magento e-commerce platform, serving the eBay and Amazon merchant community globally. The young, two man team had achieved a great deal on their own accord prior to investment, and the funds were to be used to finesse an overarching product suite – ChannelUnity, which is now out in Beta. The company has been recruiting customer service and development staff, and AXM continues to work very closely with the company to make the expansion phase successful.


Azullo, Lancaster


A first institutional round investment in Azullo was made by the fund, following on from substantial angel investment to take its developed product, Respond, to market. Respond is a call-to-action tool which generates revenues for web publishers from merchants using Respond’s affiliate advertising network. The system has since launched with amazingly high-profile publishers, advertisers and trade partners on board – and the product has been constantly evolving.


Fund progress


David said:  “We have had approaching 300 applicants this year, and have met about a third, with a super pipeline of deals under negotiation and review. The next few months will be exciting, but the main point is not just the volume, but how good the ideas are and the people we meet. The North West has really developed and now contains a big population of entrepreneurs who are tech-savvy, as good as any in the South East, and really, really smart.”


Potential applicants can contact David at: