Mercia EIS Funds

MFM makes EIS investments into two disruptive UK technologies

Mercia Fund Management (MFM), a leading investor in UK technology, has added a new company to their portfolio and supported an existing portfolio company with follow-on funding. Intelligent Positioning (IP), a real-time Natural Search technology developer, received a capital injection of £250,000 and CYP Design Ltd (CDL), a Life Sciences spin-out from De Montfort University, Leicester, received an additional £50,000 of investment.

MFM has built a diverse portfolio across its four key sectors: Life Sciences, Digital, Advanced Materials & Specialised Manufacturing and Software, Electronics & Hardware, and the addition of an established, profitable business in Intelligent Positioning provides our investors with enhanced portfolio breadth alongside maturity through IP’s stellar customer base within a burgeoning market.

The Intelligent Positioning offering empowers brands, corporations and marketers, from SMEs to multi-national businesses, to control and improve their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and online strategy including social media profile.

Their SEO and business intelligence platform, Pi Datametrics, uses a complex data process to track the top 100 URL results across different search-engines, allowing clients to monitor their ranking on a daily basis.

85% of IP’s customers have seen a 40%+ increase in traffic in their first year of working with their system. IP has already secured contracts with global brands, including BskyB, Harrods, Virgin Active and the RSPCA.

Daniel Titterton, Co-Founder and CEO of IP, said:

“Pi Datametrics has made vast progress over the last 12 months. In a very competitive space we have gone through the hard yards of proving Pi Datametrics’ worth with some of the world’s biggest and most demanding digital brands. With Mercia on board we now have the right partner to accelerate the business in value and capability, both now and in the future.”

Rob Johnson, Investment Director and Head of Software, Electronics & Hardware at MFM said:

“We are excited by the proposition created by IP and their ability to develop successful relationships with well-known brands who achieve fast, direct results from IP’s proposition.

“IP is particularly useful for multinational companies that have a large number of products and consequently have a large number of search terms ranking on Google. Without IP it is a tedious, time consuming task to monitor the relevant key search terms against their product set. Using IP makes the process simple and should deliver competitive advantage against their competitors.”

MFM has also made an EIS investment into CYP Design Ltd (CDL), following an SEIS investment in October 2013. CDL is a spin-out from De Montfort University, Leicester, which is currently developing technology to make pre-clinical drug safety tests cheaper, more efficient, and more convenient.

CDL has successfully designed a generic expression system capable of producing highly recombinant Human CYPs in baker’s yeast, resulting in a product called Sacchrosome™, a unique membrane system that brings together all the components necessary for CYP activity in a convenient and highly reproducible way. CYPs are found in the human liver and play a vital role in testing the efficacy and toxicity of drugs.

Pre-clinical trials can cost up to £100m and the pharmaceutical industry is under increasing pressure to improve the efficiency of drug discovery. An improvement of just 10% in predicting failures could save the industry around £64m in development costs per approved drug.

David Gask Executive Chairman of CDL, said:

“The funding from MFM forms part of a further £275,000 contributed by other EIS investors, allowing CDL to take the technology forward into the next growth stage.

“We are grateful to MFM for their continued support, and we look forward especially to working with Dr. Nicola Broughton, who has extensive knowledge and expertise within the Life Sciences sector.”

Dr. Nicola Broughton, Investment Director and Head of Technology Transfer at MFM, said:

“We are delighted to provide further investment to CDL. Their work looks set to revolutionise the drug testing industry by making it quicker, more effective and more convenient, and it has already received attention from potential customers within the industry.”

About Intelligent Positioning (Ton UK Ltd)
Intelligent Positioning are a big data and natural search intelligence company that helps businesses optimise their web presence by giving them detailed and actionable reports on their search ranking performance relative to their competitors. Online visibility and search are and remain critical business drivers, with natural search commanding 94% share of ‘click through’ versus paid online advertisements. To date IP has offered SEO intelligence to companies as diverse as Marks & Spencer, Virgin Active, Invesco, AXA, Disney & L’Oreal. During this time, they have built proprietary technology, and over the last 2 years, have invested free cash flow into developing a multilingual SEO platform for businesses to self serve on a subscription basis, a product known as Pi Datametrics (‘Pi’).

Intelligent Positioning’s aim with Pi is to become the market leader in natural search applications for intelligence, performance, and optimisation, providing marketing and web professionals with unrivalled decision making support. Pi is not about simply providing search visibility reports, but more importantly about providing data rich diagnostic journeys. The platform provides business clients with daily tracking of search terms relative to peers, and has enterprise grade account design for multi-tiered and segmented needs. Pi stands by the principle that for SEO, every theme and search term has a unique set of competitors. Being able to identify winners and losers across themes and categories allows the user to understand the elements in common with winning content and SEO strategies.

About CYP Design Ltd
CYP Design Ltd (CYPDESIGN™) is a spin-out from De Montfort University. The company is dedicated to supporting its customers’ drug research and development needs by offering stabilised, highly active human cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme products. These products are presented in unique Sacchrosomes™ and are stable at room temperature. This provides significant cost advantages as the products do not need to be shipped with dry-ice, or kept in cold storage before use, and they will provide greater convenience for customers carrying out metabolism and toxicity testing. CYP Design’s products are also being developed for use in biocatalysis and the production of drug metabolites.