The Finance Durham Fund, managed by Maven Capital Partners, has made its first incubator investment.
The beneficiary of £40,000 is Moralbox, a technology start-up which helps employers and employees to work together to manage training records. The money will help Moralbox to develop the technology platform’s functionality, enabling the business to enter new markets, promote the software and employ a full time sales team.
The investment fund was launched earlier this year by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, on behalf of Durham County Council.
Based at the Spectrum Business Park in Seaham, Moralbox has designed a web-based software platform which creates a centralised training and certification profile of each employee. This helps employers analyse and manage their workforce training records and staff certification programmes, saving them time and money.
The founders, Gordon MacPherson Jnr, Gordon MacPherson Snr and John Dunnill, have between them almost 50 years’ experience in health and safety training management and software development. They have a great balance of industry experience, IT knowledge and a strong contact base to grow the business and continually adapt the platform.
The funding was secured through the £20 million Finance Durham fund from the 10% of the fund which has been ring-fenced specifically for incubator investments to support innovation.
Investment Associate of Maven Ben Jones, said: “We’re delighted to support Moralbox’s growth plans at this stage in the company’s development. The team at Moralbox has identified a clear gap in the market and demonstrated that there’s a real need for the technology they’ve developed across a wide range of business sectors. This is a great fit for an investment from the part of the fund allocated to support innovation. We look forward to helping more companies like Moralbox expand through an incubator investment.”
CEO of Moralbox Gordon MacPherson Jnr added: “We’re delighted to secure an incubator investment to support the innovation and growth of our business. We’re passionate about our technology and believe we’ve created a system that will revolutionise the way employers manage their training. The funding will allow us to scale up by employing extra sales staff to market our product and enter new markets as well as further develop the functionality of our software to meet the changing needs of the customers we supply to. The Finance Durham Fund is pivotal to the development of small businesses like ours and we’re pleased to benefit from it.”
Councillor Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, said: “It’s vitally important we support our fledgling businesses in County Durham as we look to build the county’s economy around the next generation of business leaders. We hope this £40,000 will not only accelerate Moralbox’s growth, but also generate a return on our investment which will be used to provide further opportunities for other businesses in the future.”
Interim managing director of Business Durham Sarah Slaven added: “We’re always keen to support innovation in County Durham and this funding will allow Moralbox to combine the experience and skills of its founders and reach new markets by developing this exciting technology further. Durham is home to many innovative companies which are able to take advantage of a range of support from finance, links with universities and links to the thriving network of like-minded business people in the county. We look forward to continuing our support for Moralbox as the company grows.”
(picture shows: L-R standing Sarah Slaven Managing-Director-of-Business-Durham, Cllr Carl Marshall of Durham County Council and Ben Jones Investment Associate of Maven)