The UK has been seeing an impressive display of economic growth within the tech sector in recent years.
In North West England, business growth has been impressive over the past year especially. According to data gathered by private equity firm ECI Partners, entrepreneurs in the region launched 43,255 new businesses in 2020/1021, up 19% from the 36,290 businesses created in 2019/2020.
With recent economic growth also comes new job opportunities within the North West England tech scene. The UK government announced the location of its National Cyber Force (NCF) campus within Samlesbury in Lancashire. The £5 billion campus is expected to bring even more new tech jobs and more business development to the area.
In addition, a new Digital Tech Cluster at Sci-Tech Daresbury was unveiled last year, which could potentially bring 1,000 jobs to North West England.
We have scoped out seven tech companies in the area to keep your eyes on. These companies have shown great promise in demonstrating the potential future tech growth in this region.
CircleLoop is a Rossendale-based company that provides cloud-based phone software to organisations and businesses. Customers include the NHS and Tesla – although it does have around 2,000 clients in total. The tech firm says its technology has been specified, designed and built in-house, with no reliance on third party platforms.
Its business phone system uses technology, integrations and webhooks to support features that help teams optimise their tasks and communication. Notable integrations include Hubspot, Zoho, Zapier and Office365.
The company was founded in 2016 and has since raised a total amount of £1.5 million in seed funding. In 2020, CircleLoop launched in Ireland.
Founded in Blackpool in 2011, Pentagull provides cloud ICT services and business solutions for organisations. Pentagull provides prebuilt systems or uses an enterprise service builder (ESB) platform to build clients their own system using its low code / no code platform. For example, its ESB Fleet Management System is a cloud software service for managing a fleet of vehicles and associated assets.
The tech firm is a team of former local government IT professionals and was originally formed as a spin-out from the Blackpool Council ICT department.
Since the beginning of 2022, Pentagull has been showing signs of growth. It announced the release of version 22.01 of its ESB platform in January and gained two new customers in April, with South London Waste Partnership and Hertfordshire County Council.
PPC Protect is a Chorley-based company that focuses on eliminating click fraud, enhancing PPC performance, reducing CPAs, and removing invalid users from organisations’ PPC funnels.
The platform analyses traffic behaviour to provide services and solutions that prevent invalid and low-quality traffic for businesses.
PPC Protect has raised $2.9 million (£2.2 million) in total funding over three rounds. In November 2021, it launched its protective analytics platform, expanding its protection services across more networks. Clients listed on its website include McDonald’s, Nike, Hugo Boss and Europcar.
Praetura Asset Finance
Praetura Asset Finance targets SMEs with its alternative equity and debt financing solutions. The Blackburn-based company specialises in funding services for hire purchasing, asset refinancing, finance leasing and more.
The company was founded in 2013 and has raised a total funding amount of £1.5 million over four rounds, the most recent of which occurred in 2016.
In more recent news, Premature Asset Finance has been busy via Praetura Group (which comprises Praetura Asset Finance, Praetura Commercial Finance, Praetura Invoice Finance and Kingsway Finance), when it reported a record £253 million in 2021. In addition, this year, it looks as though Praetura Asset Finance is planning to expand, as Praetura Ventures invested £3 million in tech startup Orka Technology Group. It will be exciting to see where Praetura’s recent success takes it.
Relative Insight is a Lancaster-based company with offices in London and New York. The firm provides text-analysis services through its software platform.
It was founded in 2012, and its technology compares qualitative data to deliver insights into business communications. Customers named on its website include Sky, John Lewis and HSBC.
It has secured $11.5 million in total funding over five rounds, most recently in a private equity round with YFM Equity Partners in March. Relative Insight plans to use this funding to accelerate its new product development, scale-up its operations and support its business expansion to the US.
TymeOnline is a managed technology solutions provider for businesses. Based in Blackburn and founded in 2014, it offers services for enterprises looking to outsource their online expansion.
The company provides a range of services. For instance, its complete managed solution is designed to boost firms’ products, brands and presence on the web via online marketplaces. TymeOnline says it uses its partnerships with eBay and Amazon to analyse a client’s sector, and then optimises the data feeds to help businesses grab opportunities that come along.
TymeOnline is having a pretty good time and recently raised £150,000 in Debt Financing from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance.
Vendreo is a financial services provider based in Poulton-le-Fylde. The firm offers digital payment processing solutions to merchants, enabling them to increase their payment options.
In a scoop, eWeek UK recently reported on the fintech startup, sharing a glimpse into its business foundation and features such as Vendreo Pay option, which enables users to receive single payments and recurring subscription payments.
The startup is very new and is targeting three industries – e-commerce, subscription services and charities.
Check out the previous features on tech firms in Yorkshire, Leeds, North East England and Newcastle.