Cornish digital platform secures CIOSIF investment
Cornish digital community engagement platform, GoCollaborate, has secured £120,000 equity investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), as part of a larger £240,000 funding round.
The round was led by the FSE Group, the appointed fund manager for CIOSIF, and includes a number of private angel investors, Falmouth University and Coastline Housing. The funding will be used to develop additional features to the application, obtain national presence and a growing market share and recruit an in-house team. It is expected that all new hires will be Cornwall-based.
GoCollaborate is an easy-to-use online platform which enables communities to directly impact the planning and development of their local area. The platform builds on traditional consultation methods by making the engagement process more effective, while saving time and resources.
It can be used for multiple different stages of a consultation process, from initial data-gathering to generating reports, and provides an easy overview of data so that findings and decisions to be fed back to communities.
GoCollaborate was piloted with a range of Cornwall based Parish Councils including Portreath, Carn Brea, St Keverne and Redruth. These initial engagements resulted in the councils receiving a high level of in-depth qualitative data and being in a better position to act on their communities’ wishes.
Neil Kirkland, Chief Executive Officer and Finance Director at GoCollaborate, commented: “Engaging with local communities can be extremely challenging for councils or property developers who are tight on time and low on resources. GoCollaborate was created to solve the problem of conversing with groups of people during the pandemic, but it has become much more than that. We originally designed the platform to consult on Neighbourhood Development Plans, but we now offer a variety of services which help locals have an impact on sustainable planning, improving community facilities, protecting the environment, enabling affordable housing and revitalising high streets, towns and villages. This funding will give us the ability to grow and develop at a great pace so that we can help even more people have a say in their community.”
Anna Staevska, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, added: “GoCollaborate is tackling a clear need which to date has not been addressed. The company has strong relationships with others in the housing and planning sectors which, combined with the excellent business model, makes it an impressive business. Listening to and acting on the views of local communities is key to sustainable development. We look forward to seeing more councils take advantage of this modern platform, leading to further contracts being established beyond the South West.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Ken Cooper, managing director from the British Business Bank, said: “CIOSIF is helping to grow a portfolio of businesses in Cornwall that are applying technology to tackle everyday issues. The fund’s equity stake has leveraged significant match funding from other investors and we look forward to seeing the company embark on its next phase of growth.”
John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “GoCollaborate has created an online platform that really empowers local communities by helping them engage in the planning process. And it’s great to see another spin-out business from Falmouth University’s Launchpad business incubation and accelerator programme securing the investment it needs to grow.”
CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2
Notes to editors:
PHOTOGRAPHY (left to right): Anna Staevska from The FSE Group, Katrina Sukstul, Mark Luxton and Neil Kirkland from GoCollaborate, and Lloyd Brina from the British Business Bank.
About the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF)
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses in Cornwall and Scilly. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and is operated by appointed fund manager, The FSE Group.
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is providing debt and equity finance, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the CIOS Local Enterprise Partnership and HMG grant funding.
The project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
About the British Business Bank:
The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
The British Business Bank programmes are supporting more than £7.0bn of finance to over 91,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2019).
As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:
• The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
• The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.
As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, none of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.
British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.