A Harrogate company whose technology platform is transforming the way food businesses manage their supply chain has secured a new funding round of £2.3m, which includes £1.5 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the remainder from existing shareholders including Summit Alpha.
The investment in Authenticate Information Systems was led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. It will allow the company to double the size of its software and data research teams, creating 10 new jobs in Harrogate.
Authenticate was founded in 2013 with the aim of bringing greater transparency to the global food industry. Its unique software allows food businesses to track ingredients right back to the source and ensure they comply with all relevant standards. The platform offers real-time compliance dashboards and benchmark analytics, and provides a more efficient way for them to monitor their supply chain in respect of food safety, environmental, ethical and social measures.
Authenticate already works with five of the top UK supermarkets and many leading global hospitality groups, and has more than 20,000 food companies worldwide registered on its database, including more than 75% of the UK’s food manufacturers. The latest investment brings the total raised by the company to over £5m.
Authenticate CEO Paul Marples commented: “We are delighted to have secured this latest funding round, which demonstrates investors’ confidence in the potential of our technology. Authenticate is changing the way the food industry looks at supplier compliance. We live in an ever more transparent world and technology means that so much more information can be monitored in real time – reducing the burden on all parties, and delivering genuine insight into the way our food is grown and processed.”
Graham Davies, Investment Director at Mercia said: “Authenticate’s software is helping food companies to meet the ever-increasing burden of technical compliance. This latest investment will enable the business to further develop its technology platform and accelerate its global growth.”
David Dickson, Chair of Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board for the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, said: “Investment in this innovative technology brings multiple benefits. Food production is a central driver in our regional economy, this software will not only develop new jobs, it will help to drive transparency and efficiency across the sector, with benefits for suppliers and consumers. It’s great to see industry advancement being driven from within North Yorkshire with potential global impact.”
Raymond Taylor of Solomon Taylor & Shaw provided legal advice to Authenticate while Adrian Ballam of Schofield Sweeney advised the Fund. Stephen Moore of Princelet Partners and Jonathan Davis of Saffery Champness provided fundraising and financial advice to the company.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.