A Leeds-based tech company whose advanced remote working software is used by the Home Office and the NHS has raised £400,000 from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), and angel investors.
Flabba’s platform integrates with standard videoconferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams to provide a complete workflow solution. It enables professionals to collaborate with colleagues in different locations and manage projects from start to finish – for example booking appointments, managing and sharing documents, recording meetings and creating reports.
Flabba was founded by Colin Rhodes, a HR professional who had worked for enterprises including Microsoft, and software engineer Anthony Marris. The platform – Neugo – was created in 2017 to enable Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to manage recruitment of doctors and nurses from locations worldwide and has since been deployed across 20 other NHS Trusts and service providers.
It has also been adapted to help the Home Office to interview visa applicants and been approved by the NHS for remote patient consultations. The company has now developed specific versions for sectors such as legal, financial advice, professional services and creative industries.
The funding will enable the team to work with existing partners Zoom and Microsoft Teams to develop apps, and with Amazon Web Services to incorporate machine learning. Flabba, which currently employs nine staff, is planning to create a number of new jobs in Leeds.
Colin Rhodes, CEO, said: “Remote working is here to stay and we are very excited to be driving innovation to make collaboration easier and more effective for everyone. The funding will allow us to add new features, drive uptake across different sectors and establish the Neugo platform as the leader in the field.”
Will Clark of Mercia added: “Flabba’s platform is the next level in remote working and is currently the only one of its type in the market. It has already attracted some high-profile users and partners but the potential audience is huge. The investment will allow the business to build on its ‘first mover’ advantage and accelerate its growth.”
Sean Hutchinson at the British Business Bank, said: “It’s fantastic to see funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund contribute to the expansion of Flabba, as it looks to work closely with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft and Amazon to incorporate machine learning. We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to act as a springboard for Northern businesses to reach their growth potential and look forward to seeing what Flabba will achieve in the future.”
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.