- Contigo secures £1m funding to expand customer base
Business moves to next stage of strategic development
- Funding includes £500k Growth Capital investment, backed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund
Solihull-based energy software developer Contigo has secured a £1 million finance facility through Santander’s Breakthrough programme to expand the team, enter new markets and accelerate business growth.
Contigo, established by Simon Piercy, Jonathan Yeomans and Adrian Bullock in 2006, designs and implements energy trading, portfolio risk management and logistics (ETRM) software solutions to the European energy industry. Following seven successful years, the business has completed the first phase of its strategic development and is now looking to further expand into international markets. The firm will also switch focus from product development to solution delivery. This will require an increase in headcount, creating up to six new roles in the year ahead, to enable more time to be invested in exploring new market opportunities and expand its existing customer base.
Contigo currently offers a number of key ETRM software applications known collectively as the enTrader Product Suite. These industry leading solutions are currently used in the purchase of well over £1 billion worth of fuel products each year. Additionally, approximately 17 per cent of all UK generated energy – some 14,035MW – is now transacted by power stations benefiting from the enTrader Products Suite.
The funding includes £500,000 of growth capital finance from Santander’s Breakthrough programme. Growth Capital funding provides mezzanine-based finance at a low rate which bridges the gap between traditional bank lending and angel and equity investment, helping to fill the recognised investment funding gap for UK companies of less than £10 million turnover. The Growth Capital loan is backed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
Breakthrough also provided Contigo with the opportunity to participate in a marketing masterclass with Saatchi & Saatchi at the end of 2012. The company was able to take part in a range of individual workshops and group sessions delivered by TEAM Saatchi experts to learn tips on core brand positioning and how a marketing and communications strategy can help realise growth potential.
Simon Piercy, Managing Director for Contigo, said: “We are excited to have secured this investment for our businesses. We have great products and already have a very impressive customer base, but we have now reached the stage where we are ready to accelerate our growth. However, getting the right finance for this type of growth can be tricky for a company of our size. Santander has given the support we need, not just with affordable funding to fuel this growth, but also through the marketing masterclass, which could not have come at a better time for us.”
Steve Pateman, Head of Banking at Santander UK, said: “We are delighted to have provided Simon and the team with this injection of growth capital. Their strong sector and industry knowledge combined with their acute business acumen, means we are confident that they will make every success of this next stage of their venture.
“At Santander we are committed to helping small companies achieve their aims and become stronger and bigger companies. Only by enabling small business owners to expand and grow their businesses, will they in turn be able to create the jobs and demand to drive forward UK economic growth and dynamism. That is why we created the Breakthrough programme, to provide smaller companies with both the finance and support they need to help them achieve this growth.”