Murray family lead funding rounds for two Scottish start-ups amid pandemic

Edinburgh-based Murray Capital, the private investment office of the Murray family, has led funding rounds for two Scottish start-up businesses.

Murray Capital is wholly owned by the Murray family and led by David Murray, pictured, as managing director. His father, Sir David Murray, is the chairman.
Murray Capital is wholly owned by the Murray family and led by David Murray, pictured, as managing director. His father, Sir David Murray, is the chairman.

The funding rounds saw the firm reinvest in two of its existing portfolio companies – Zumo and Blackford – with the support of the UK Future Fund and other co-investors.

Murray Capital is wholly owned by the Murray family and led by David Murray as managing director. His father, Sir David Murray, is the chairman.

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Zumo, the Leith-based digital currency and payments platform, raised £1.4 million while Blackford, an insurance brokerage with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, secured £800,000.

Zumo has appointed its first chief technology officer to lead its plans for product launches later this year. Tim Sabanov, who was previously lead technical architect with Zumo, assumes his role immediately.

The fresh capital will allow both businesses to fund their growth through the pandemic and provide “solid financial footings” for the future.

The investment follows Murray Capital’s participation in another Future Fund cash injection, in a company called CloudNC at the end of 2020. Based in Chelmsford, CloudNC is a UK precision engineering firm which has introduced a “ground-breaking” AI-based (artificial intelligence) approach to manufacturing.

Managing director Murray said: “Supporting exciting, early-stage companies is an increasing focus for Murray Capital.

“As a long-term family investment business, we don’t face the same time pressures as some other organisations and are able to take a patient view with the capital we deploy. Therefore, we are particularly well-placed to support innovative businesses with significant long-term potential like Zumo and Blackford.

“The coronavirus has resulted in an uncertain landscape for people and business across the country. However, we must always be willing to support those who bear risk in starting and growing enterprises. This will be vital for securing a sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic.”

Nick Jones, chief executive and co-founder of Zumo, said: “Our goal of bringing the benefits of smart money to everyone is supported by forward-thinking investors like Murray Capital.”

Tom Aldridge, managing director at Blackford, added: “The recent support and investment we have received from Murray Capital and our other investors reflect the quality and strength of the team we have built, as well as the potential for Blackford to continue to develop the business as the go-to insurance advisory firm, despite the challenging climate all businesses continue to operate in.”

Meanwhile, Zumo has appointed its first chief technology officer to lead its plans for product launches later this year.

Tim Sabanov, who was previously lead technical architect with Zumo, assumes his role immediately and will oversee the development and roll-out of new products including a debit card that converts cryptocurrencies to traditional currencies like sterling.

Sabanov is based in Edinburgh, from where he leads a team of developers working in Scotland, London and Slovenia.

He said: “We are just beginning to realise the potential use cases of blockchain technology which is why I am delighted to take up this post and help further Zumo’s mission to bring the benefits of smart money to everyone.”

Jones added: “Tim is a leader in blockchain technologies of truly global stature and his experience will take our products to the next level. We are so excited for him to take up the role and can’t wait to bring his plans to market.”

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