Angels pump £500,000 into Napier start-up firm

Share this article
0
Have your say

A SPIN-OUT company launched by a student from Edinburgh Napier University has secured £500,000 of funding from business angels and the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB).

Jamie Graves developed the programming for security software package ZoneFox while carrying out a post-graduate project at the university in 2008 looking at ways to improve digital forensic investigations.

He set up Inquisitive Systems in 2010 to turn the software into a product that could be taken to market and secured his first sales last year.

Now Graves has landed funding from the Archangel and Tri Cap business angel syndicates and the SIB, which will allow him to turn ZoneFox into “software-as-a-service” (Saas), a technique used by many computing companies through which customers pay for repeated use of programs.

Graves said: “The investment we’ve received will allow us to launch ZoneFox to the market more aggressively and start to build our pipeline and customer base, offering our solution at a competitive price.

“It will also be utilised to further develop the product to become a Saas solution, which will put us in a position where we can offer ZoneFox as a market-leading data security product to businesses of all sizes, in all geographies and across all sectors.

“The funding allows additional investment to be made in our development team in order to deliver this new model to the market, supported by an effective sales and marketing operation that will maximise the opportunity.”

Archangel is investing £270,000, with Tri Cap contributing £70,000 and the SIB pumping in £100,000.

Inquisitive Systems’ existing investors – which the company describes as “seven high-net worth individuals” – are also investing a further £60,000 into the business.

Documents filed at Companies House also listed Edinburgh Napier University as a shareholder.

Kerry Sharp, head of the SIB, said that Scottish Enterprise had already supported the business through a “proof of concept” grant in 2009 and advice from its high-growth unit and Scottish Development International, its overseas arm.

“The potential of this company is something we’ve long-recognised,” said Sharp.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the company as it moves towards its ambitious and exciting goals.”

Paul Yuskaitis, Tri Cap’s recently-appointed investment director, added: “We can see the growth in the information security marketplace and the scope of the ZoneFox product in enabling companies to monitor their data and protect their intellectual property.

“Our investment will enable ZoneFox to become a Saas solution, which we expect will deliver aggressive growth.”