Digital and creative fund on track, says AXM

X The Business Desk

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INVESTMENT managers handling the digital media and creative part of the £170m North West Fund say it is on track after backing 13 companies.

AXM Venture Capital, which is running the £15m fund, has so far invested nearly £3m.

It can make equity investments of between £50,000 and £1.5m and must invest the money by the end of 2015. It is aiming to support about 44 businesses.

Investment director David Smith, pictured, said: “We’re doing well, we’ve hit our targets. The investments are still fairly small sums of money in growth businesses because this is genuine risk investment.”

Four of the 13 companies have received follow-on funding, with Azullo, aDavid Smith, AXM Lancaster-based web developer attracting three rounds of investment. Liverpool computer games publisher Ripstone has attracted secondary funding as have Daresbury-based Autology World and Manchester software developer Camiloo.

“We’re ahead of our targets and the pipeline is looking good,” said Mr Smith. “Enquiry levels are high and the portfolio’s performing well.”
AXM’S investment team for the North West Fund also includes Fred Mendelsohn, Joanne Evans, Rupert Wingate-Saul and Rajesh Sharma.

North West Fund 4 Digital and Creative investments (deal values given where disclosed)

June 2011            Manchester e-commerce software developer Camiloo
June 2011            Daresbury-based e-learning platform developer Autology World – £200,000
July 2011              Lancaster-based online advertising platform Azullo
December 2011    Liverpool computer games publisher Ripstone (Was Rebel Play)
December 2011    Liverpool web solutions firm Hammerkit (joint deal with EV) – £435,000
March 2012          Azullo (follow on)
March 2012          Camiloo (follow on) – £100,000
March 2012          Wigan-based online lifestyle magazine Female First (First Active Media) – £350,000
March 2012          Liverpool student guide publisher Survival Media
April 2012             Ripstone Limited (follow on)
April 2012             Autology World (follow on) – £200,000
April 2012             Liverpool computer games publisher Setgo
April 2012             Liverpool music publishing firm Sentric Music
June 2012             Liverpool payment processing software firm Adaptis
June 2012             Cheshire scientific, medical and technical publisher Texere
July 2012              Burnley-based nursery management software firm Connect Technology
August 2012          Warrington visual effects firm Carbon Digital
September 2012    Azullo (follow on – 3rd round)