Edinburgh tech start-up Trickle secures seed funding deal

Ross Dempster, Paul Reid, Ed Henderson and Marcella Peacock of Trickle. Picture: Nick Mailer
Ross Dempster, Paul Reid, Ed Henderson and Marcella Peacock of Trickle. Picture: Nick Mailer
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Scottish entrepreneur Paul Reid has secured backing from angel investors and venture capital outfit Techstart Ventures as he looks to grow his latest start-up, Trickle.

Founded in Edinburgh in 2018, Trickle aims to drive improved employee engagement among large corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The venture launched into the UK market earlier this year and is already winning business across the commercial and public sectors, with recent client wins and assignments including ScottishPower, the Scottish Government and Disclosure Scotland.

Reid previously founded Edinburgh-based digital mapping outfit Sigma Seven, which was acquired by FTSE 100 outsourcing giant Capita in 2015. He has brought in some of the Sigma Seven team to his new venture, including fellow co-founder Ross Dempster, who is Trickle’s chief technology officer.

A number of angel investors who had previously backed Sigma Seven, along with Techstart Ventures, have supported Trickle with seed funding of almost £1 million.

Reid, who is Trickle’s chief executive, said: “When Sigma Seven was acquired by one of the UK’s largest companies, I saw first-hand how corporate culture can impact people and I was always thinking about how I had to feed or trickle my team’s sentiments back to the new management.

“With Trickle, we’ve built a people-first technology platform so that a conduit exists to channel employee issues and suggestions to senior management and HR. The end result is a virtuous circle that helps people feel more valued within the organisations we’re partnering with.”

The company’s technology platform features an “analytics dashboard” which highlights the top-five issues or suggestions from employees, called “trickles”, enabling a company’s senior management team and HR function to know where to focus their attention.

Fast-growing

While the venture is working alongside large national and international companies, some of whom are going through or have gone through restructuring or transformational change, the SME market is also proving to be a fast-growing segment for the team.

Trickle’s chief operating officer, Marcella Peacock, said: “Studies show that a happily employed person is more than twice as productive as a satisfied one and more than three times as productive as a dissatisfied person at work.

“Today’s start-ups are thinking more about culture than ever before from day one. For the more established organisations, they realise that in today’s corporate world, putting real focus on engaging your workforce results in higher productivity, increased loyalty and reduced staff churn.”

Trickle, which was one of the companies that joined the third cohort of the Scottish Government’s CivTech digital accelerator programme in 2018, plans to grow its headcount from six to ten. At the end of October, the firm also won CivTech’s fourth cohort to work alongside West Dunbartonshire Council on its people engagement.

Sigma Seven was acquired by Capita for an undisclosed sum, and became part of the Footsie giant’s digital and software solutions unit.

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