Biscuit Tin tech entrepreneur secures six-figure funding ahead of Dragons' Den appearance

A serial entrepreneur has secured £300,000 of backing from investors to accelerate the rollout of her online “death tech” service.

The funding for Edinburgh-based Biscuit Tin – a secure digital vault that can hold important documents, account details, and post-life wishes – comes as founder Sheila Hogan is set to appear on BBC TV show Dragons’ Den this week in a bid to attract further support.

The latest investment round has been led by London-based Velocity Capital alongside Scottish Enterprise and private investment, and will support product-development and a series of hires. The firm is targeting both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets, with a number of commercial partnerships set to be announced in 2022.

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Biscuit Tin CEO and founder Sheila Hogan and chair Iain Mackay. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

Ms Hogan named the two-year-old company after the biscuit tin in which her parents kept all their important documents, notes, and photos. Digital legacy is a new and growing market, expected to reach a value of approximately $35 billion (£26bn) worldwide over the next five years.

“The end-of-life process has become complicated and stressful as a result of the shift from an analogue to a digital world. Digital legacy planning is set to replace more traditional and outdated practices, and we want to be at the forefront of this in the UK,” the businesswoman said.

“As well as having an offering for individuals, we are increasingly speaking to financial-services players in areas like life insurance, mortgages, and pensions, with a view to either joint ventures or white labelling our product so these kind of providers can increase value and engagement with their customer base.”

Kirsten Gohl of Velocity Investment said the Scottish business is looking to tackle a “very real pain point” for individuals by managing the end-of-life planning process through a user-friendly digital vault.

Biscuit Tin appointed an advisory board last year including technology veteran Iain Mackay; former Scotland lead for Deliveroo, Andy Robinson; and former ZoneFox chief technology officer Matt Little.

Opportunity

Mr Mackay was recently appointed non-executive director and chair, and said the tech business is “well-positioned to take advantage of the shift in end-of-life planning in an increasingly digital world”.

He added: “In Sheila, the business has a passionate founder who spotted a high-growth market segment that has been under-serviced in the UK context. We think this makes Biscuit Tin an attractive proposition for individuals and financial services groups alike.”

The company plans to embark on an additional investment round over the next 12 months. It has already secured Scottish Enterprise innovation grant funding and is currently on Business Gateway's Growth Pipeline.

East Lothian-based Ms Hogan is a former president of the Association of Scottish Businesswomen and previously ran her own maintenance business, while awards for Biscuit Tin include the 2020 Fintech and Cyber Security AccelerateHER Award. She will appear in the next episode of Dragons’ Den this Thursday, and said: “I have learnt so much due to the Dragons’ Den experience and I am more ready than ever to take Biscuit Tin to the next level.”

Velocity has so far invested in 40-plus technology-enabled companies through its funds. Other companies in its portfolio include Sportcor, which has developed a “smart” cricket ball capable of capturing information during games. It is also a backer of Machine Medicine, which is developing an artificial-intelligence platform to assess a person’s disability based on video clips.

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