BGF invests £8.5m in tech for social care business

Chris Nixon and Tom Horton, BGF; Jim Cockburn, MJN founder and CEO; and Richard Dooner, CEO of Antser.
X The Business Desk

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Birmingham-headquartered Antser, the innovator in social care, has announced an £8.5m investment from growth capital investor, BGF.

Antser works with the social care, health, and education sectors, in partnership with local authority and independent providers. The investment will allow the company to continue to scale its business within the children’s social care sector, as well as increase its reach across adult social care and the adjacent markets. Antser employs 150 people across four UK offices.

With a presence across all 152 Local Authorities in England, as well as a host of public sector bodies and independent care providers, Antser is the largest provider of expert witness services to the children’s social care sector alongside services ranging from direct work with children and core compliance to transformation, training and technology. This includes its virtual reality (VR) programme designed for those who interact with and support the most vulnerable members of society. Using its industry leading subject matter experts, Antser develops services and insight that address some of the most urgent challenges in the country’s care sector to deliver better outcomes for all.

Richard Dooner, CEO of Antser said: “We started the business with a belief we could use technology and innovation to achieve positive change across the health, education and social care sectors. We’re already partnering with hundreds of providers and have an ambition to continue to expand and support transformation across the sector.

“BGF understood our business and more importantly really believed in our mission and culture. We were impressed with the team’s track record of scaling similar businesses to ours and really look forward to working together to achieve our ambitions.”

Antser was founded by Jim Cockburn and Ayyab Cockburn and remains a member of their network of companies, the Martin James Network (MJN).

The pair said: “We are genuinely delighted that Antser has secured this investment, and excited that it will enable further innovation for the benefit of those working in and being supported by health, education and social care services across the UK.”

Chris Nixon, investor at BGF, said: “Antser is a fantastic Midlands business making a hugely positive impact – achieving better outcomes for its partners and those in their care.

“The combination of the team’s experience and their innovative use of emerging technologies has ensured Antser has stayed at the forefront of the children’s care sector and has quickly grown into other important areas of safeguarding, policy, data insight and support across the wider care sector.

“We’re delighted to be backing such a capable and ambitious management team to accelerate growth and allow Antser to support even more organisations, develop new products and drive acquisitions.”

The deal was completed by Chris Nixon, Elena Kovalikhina and Tom Horton of BGF. Horton has joined the board as BGF director. Andrew Pickup also joins the board as a non-exec, bringing with him significant experience in the children’s social care sector.

The advisors to the transaction were Mills & Reeve (legal) and PwC (tax) for the company, and Shoosmiths (legal) and BDO (tax) for BGF.