How was the deal introduced?
The original introduction came from Brian Hale of the Glasgow region of LINC, the investment angel industry body. After an initial session with Kenny Bain, an experienced NED helping to shape SnapDragon’s business plan, the team were introduced to Rachel Jones, CEO.
What did the company plan to use the initial funds for?
The initial investment was planned to automate the largely manual process of counterfeit detection and report production. Initial sales staff were recruited, and marketing materials created for launch at industry specific events and online promotion.
What progress has the company made since the first investment?
The product has been developed, and the board has been strengthened with Heleen Kist joining as a NED and Gordon Craig, co-founder of Craneware, being appointed Chairman. The company now has the capacity and software to operate with larger customers – to offer brand protection to businesses other than SMEs and has recently been appointed to work with ITV, the Harris Tweed Authority, Clug, and Orchard Toys. Additionally, the funding will provide resources for new marketing and sales hires to deliver growth.
The Mercia Effect
What have we been able to do for this company as a result of our involvement?
Having recognised Rachel as an outstanding sector expert with industry credibility, Mercia has supported the company in the transition from a managed service business to a product company. Rachel has grown her board as well as her commercial and technical teams.
We have provided support at board level and guided the hiring of the head of product in Edinburgh.
“Mercia has supported SnapDragon since the very beginning when we were a team of just four, delivering an almost entirely managed service but with significant expertise and experience in the sector, underpinned by huge ambition. It’s very much a partnership where sector expertise can be accessed, and advice sought on key hires, for example, rather than just the provision of capital.”Rachel Jones, SnapDragon