North West enterprise briefs: VU Examine; LANX; UVS; Tactical Options; mmadigital
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VU Compare, a revolutionary auto finance and insurance comparison site based in Altrincham, has raised £ 70,000 in pre-seed capital to support product development and marketing before it officially launches later this year.
Managing Director Tim Borthwick said: “VU Compare is such an exciting offer that I and the team are extremely proud of. It promises to be a real market disruptor as it offers a much more comprehensive suite of comparison options when compared to its closest competitors. We are happy to have raised so much capital in such a short amount of time which will make a huge difference if we push development ahead of the website launch. It’s proof of the product itself and our plans for future business. “
The pre-seed funding was critical in supporting the initial campaign activities prior to the website launch. One of the first investors in VU Compare is Safe Hammad, CTO and co-founder of the recruitment consultancy Arctic Shores, who made his own private investment in the comparison site.
The website is supposed to be a one-stop-shop, initially covering car leasing, insurance and the comparison of electric vehicles (EV) – soon to be followed by a car sales marketplace with financing options. It will be the first of its kind to offer this product mix and also the first to introduce comparison options for EV chargers.
With more than £ 19.5 billion in consumer finance spent in the auto market each year, VU Compare aims to simplify the car buying process and enable customers to compare a wide variety of funding sources that suit both their vehicle needs and the also correspond to their personal circumstances.
Borthwick added: “Following the success of the pre-seed financing, we are now looking for an investment of £ 500,000 for a 10% stake in the company. This will support the continued growth of VU Compare by supporting our marketing strategy, which includes elements of PR, affiliate marking, paid social and search / SEO, as well as helping to improve and refine the platform itself. “
Shoe brand LANX has announced an agreement with Premiership rugby team Sale Sharks that provides club players and staff with handcrafted brogues and trainers.
LANX, which was founded in 2018 and is based in Whalley, Lancashire, shipped more than 100 pairs of exclusive, bespoke Sale Sharks shoes to Sale’s Carrington Training Complex earlier this week. International stars such as Tom Curry, Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager will receive a pair of brown Heywood brogues – specially made for the 2021/22 season – with an embossed Sharks logo to celebrate the relationship.
The deal means LANX and Sale will be working together for a fourth season in a row, but this year LANX will also support the Sale Sharks women’s team, which is just ending its first season in the Premier 15s – the top division of rugby union in England Has. After LANX’s very first women’s collection was launched earlier this year, Sale Sharks Women’s Performance Lead and England World Champion Katy Daley-McLean was one of the first players to try on the new sneakers, which also feature a shark fin emblem.
LANX specializes in business casual shoes for men and women made from the finest leather and British textiles. The brand also sells private label t-shirts, socks, and other items. Founder Marco Vaghetti said, “We are very proud of our ongoing association with a brand like Sale Sharks. Our roots and heritage are very much in the north of England, and as a big rugby fan, Sale is a club that fits in well with the ethos and values of the LANX brand. “
Sid Sutton, CEO of Sale Sharks, said, “I’m a huge fan of the LANX brand and we’re excited to partner with them as a club for the fourth season in a row.”
Burnley’s video wall technology experts, Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS), saw demand for strategic government and blue light control room installations rise as the UK tightened security and public protection.
UVS has completed 25 control room video wall projects for a variety of administrative buildings, headquarters and prisons in the past 12 months. Work ranged from upgrades to installing completely new systems, with security projects now accounting for 64% of UVS ‘business, up from 46% two years ago.
Managing Director Steve Murphy said, “The move away from Covid lockdowns along with the various security threats the country is facing has resulted in a large number of public sector organizations reviewing and either updating or ruling the surveillance systems they have put in place for completely new installations.
“This will obviously help protect both the people and the main infrastructure and buildings in the country – the public.”
During this time alone, UVS delivered more than 500 channels of HD resolution IP decoding for multiple data sources, including workstations, collaboration inputs and IP video, encoded and distributed for use on the network in a large multi-lucidity video wall controller installation were in several rooms at the site.
Tactical Solutions, a sales force marketing agency that works with some of the UK’s largest brands in the FMCG sector, has grown to be a carbon neutral company. It has been subjected to a Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF) audit by ClimatePartner, which includes the calculation of emissions from sources such as energy and heating, business travel, office supplies and everything else that is part of daily business practice.
In partnership with ClimatePartner, the Chester-based company has joined more than 4,000 companies worldwide who are committed to eliminating or offsetting corporate carbon emissions. The final CCF calculation shows where CO2 emissions within business practices can be improved or completely eliminated through positive changes.
Audits take place annually to monitor business progress and identify additional potential for improvement. Tactical Solutions will offset 809,000 kg of its CO2 emissions – the equivalent of the annual CO2 footprint of 114 people – by investing in recognized climate protection projects in the southern hemisphere that also promote sustainable development and economic progress.
General Manager Cathy Evans said, “Maintaining the sustainability of our planet is a common goal for each of us, regardless of your overall business goals. We know that our colleagues and the customers we work with are equally passionate about making the world a better place. “
B Corp accreditation has also been applied for for Tactical Solutions and hopes to be recognized with this award in 2022. B Corp certification is held by more than 3,720 companies in around 150 different industries worldwide.
A lead generator for a Manchester-based law firm has secured undisclosed funding to support the company’s growth and strengthen its market position both organically and through acquisitions. mmadigital says it already captures more online leads than any other vendor in the UK legal market and has more than 70 law firms.
Launched in 2016, mmadigital uses proprietary technology to identify and qualify high quality personal injury and clinical negligence leads for a group of UK law firms. Leads are generated through the in-house consumer brands The Medical Negligence Experts and The Compensation Experts. The investment was led by Rockpool Investments, based in London. Rockpool provides equity and debt financing to UK SMB companies and has invested more than £ half a billion in the UK private equity market since its inception. This investment marks the first foray into the legal services market.
Mmadigital CEO and Founder Dez Derry said, “This Rockpool investment marks another stage in our ambitious growth plans. Internet research for the most common consumer demands will continue to increase and we are currently collecting more online leads than any other provider in this area due to our in-house technology solutions and highly qualified employees. We are actively looking for acquisition opportunities and this investment will allow us to capitalize on these businesses as they hit the market. “
Guy Ellis, Partner at Rockpool, said, “mmadigital is an exciting opportunity for our investors to support a fast growing lead generation business with a clear growth strategy and market leading technology. We are very excited to be working with Dez and the rest of the executive team to support the company in its next phase of growth. “
mmadigital was advised by Frazer Hall, Knights and Crowe UK. Rockpool was advised by Taylor Wessing, HMT, CIL, onefourzero, Catalysis Advisory and Claritas Tax. The transaction is subject to FCA approval.