Direct Investments

Netacea raises £4.4m to help firms win battle against bot attacks

Netacea, the Manchester-based cybersecurity business, has secured a further £4.4m investment from Mercia Asset Management PLC to support its continued growth.

The funding comes from PLC’s own cash, and several of its funds under management including Northern VCTs and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). Mercia now holds a 34.2% stake in Netacea, with its managed funds holding a further 31.2%.

This latest funding round will support Netacea’s continued commercial progress as a leading provider of cyber security against bot attacks that target mobile, web and API applications and its growth plans in the UK and internationally.

Netacea started life as the cybersecurity arm of Intechnica Holdings, an IT consulting business backed by Mercia, and was spun off as a standalone company in 2022. Intechnica was sold to US-based Crosslake Technologies in January this year for £14.5m in a deal which provided an exit for Mercia and founders Jeremy Gidlow and Andy Still. However all three retained a stake in Netacea.

As part of the funding round, the company has made two key appointments. Pat Clarke, who becomes chair, was executive chair at Phoebus Software and Hublsoft and also guided Orchard Information Systems through significant growth and a successful transition to MRI Software. He has extensive experience in the data storage and financial technology sectors, including roles at Tandberg Data and in various firms across EMEA regions in various firms.

Meanwhile Mick Bradley takes on the role of CEO.  Bradley started his career as a software engineer before moving into more commercial sales roles, most recently operating as chief revenue officer. His skills include developing sales strategies for territories worldwide while recruiting and managing the teams to deliver them.

Co-founder Jeremy Gidlow, the former CEO, will now transition to a pivotal non-executive role where he will focus on the strategic development of the business by building key relationships and partnerships. His fellow co-founder, Andy Still, remains as chief product officer.

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management, commented: “Our support reaffirms Mercia’s belief in both Netacea’s technology and the growth potential within the cyber security market. The appointment of Pat and Mick, whose experience includes delivering growth strategies in international markets, will further strengthen the management team.  Together with the continued support of founders Jeremy and Andy, it makes the company well placed to establish itself as a key player in the global cybersecurity market.”

Keira Shepperson, Director at British Business Bank said: “ This investment demonstrates the transformational impact that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has on the businesses it supports and the wider business community, helping to facilitate knowledge-sharing and building new bridges and connections.  It’s no surprise to see how NPIF investment has attracted top level management to join Netacea in the next stages of its growth journey.”

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.