The automation of knowledge work is one of the fastest growing IT developments in the world, providing business with bespoke learning and problem-solving systems for their workforce.
At the heart of this new phenomenon is Norwich-based start-up, Rainbird,
created two years ago by digital entrepreneurs James Duez and Ben Taylor. The team are already working with financial services firms to help create a new bank and a leading university to bring international consistency to the treatment of Ebola.
Now Rainbird has become the first business to receive funding from New Anglia LEP’s equity investment fund. They will receive £650,000 from a broad investment syndicate, as part of Rainbird’s capital investment which have raised in excess of £1M.
New Anglia Capital is a co-investment fund with New Anglia LEP and Anglia Capital Group, who are based at Norwich Research Park. They bring angel investors together to kick-start new products and innovative ideas as well as supporting existing high growth companies.
Separately Anglia Capital Group and Angel financiers from across the region including Cambridge Capital Group have also invested in the company.
James Duez, co-founder of Rainbird, is an Angel investor himself. He says they had plenty of interest from financiers, but it was important to them to try and secure investment from local sources first.
“We are 90% funded by angel Investors and the majority of those are in the UK and predominantly East Anglia. Having local people investing in us provides tighter support and boosts the region’s economy,” said James Duez.
The recent funding round will mean the team, who are based at the digital innovation cluster White Space, can expand from their current 12 staff to over 20.
Earlier this year Rainbird successfully participated in the internationally renowned Techstars accelerator programme which helps cram two years of growth into an intense 13-week bootcamp.
Duez says that the automation of knowledge work through Artificial Intelligence is one of the most globally significant technologies of our time, expected to have an economic impact of between $5-7 trillion per annum by 2025.
“We help companies take the knowledge they have locked away in a few individuals and encode it in a cloud-based software platform that “learns” – enabling them to raise standards and improve efficiency. Examples include contact centre knowledge tools, risk and compliance management solutions and virtual advisors that can determine what products would delight any specific customer. We are even working at the heart of a new type of bank that put’s the customer first. This technology can solve problems that the world has not managed to crack yet.”
Chris Dashper, head of programmes, at New Anglia LEP said: “Rainbird exemplifies what we are trying to achieve with our £1m equity investment pot – an innovative tech company with exciting ambitions in the fast-growing world of artificial intelligence. They have already attracted plenty of interest from Angel investment and we are delighted that we can play a small part in their future growth plans.”
Managing Director of Anglia Capital Group, Struan McDougall said: ”This deal proves the power of collaboration and syndication with angels from Anglia Capital Group, Cambridge Capital Group, existing shareholders and the LEP co-investment fund, providing a large amount of growth capital to an exciting early stage business. As a network of angel investors our aim is to support the most promising businesses in the region like Rainbird.”
For more information on Anglia Capital Group please go to www.angliacapitalgroup.co.uk
Source – http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/news/cambridge-capital-group-and-anglia-capital-group-combine-to-5404/