Top 10 tech startups keeping the beat strong in Liverpool
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Photo courtesy: VisitLiverpool.com

If The Beatles can dominate the world from Liverpool, so can other startups

When many people hear “Liverpool” they think “Beatles.” Those four musicians may never be beat as the most profitable and best loved startup of all time. But John, Paul, George, and Ringo didn’t begin in a vacuum. The “MerseyBeat” sound, influenced by American rhythm and blues and rock music, provided a fertile foundation for the Fab Four.

A port on the east side of the Mersey Estuary (hence MerseyBeat), Liverpool became official in 1207 thanks to King John. The 1800s filled Liverpool docks with a large volume of trade from around the world. After World War II, the Seaforth Doc reconstruction project became the largest such dock project in Britain.

The nearly half-million residents in Liverpool proper, and the over 2.25 million in the area, make up one of the largest economies in the UK. Regional government offices and three universities serve the area. Mix together a large population, businesses, higher education, and a port with contacts worldwide and you get musical and non-musical startups.

Biofortuna Ltd.

Photo courtesy: Biofortuna

Doctors need excellent diagnostic tests to help patients. One provider is Biofortuna Ltd., which manufactures genotyping product families for use in blood conditions and for transplantation. Their freeze-dried technology allows clients to store tests on the shelf rather than the refrigerator.

Founders Mike Bunce and David Charvill started development in 2008. By May 2010 two VC funds partnered to plop down $1.6 million. In January 2012 another venture partnership provided 1.3 million pounds, followed by 2.1 million pounds from another three (repeat) funders. Total so far sits just under $7 million.

Videregen

Photo courtesy: Videregen

Thanks to better medical care, people are living long enough to wear out some of their organs. Videregen has the goal of growing the first commercially available organ replacement parts. Right now they’re focused on the trachea and bowel, using the patient’s own stem cells to grow organs around a biological scaffold.

Spun out of Northwick Park Institute of Medical Research in London in 2011, founder and CEO Steve Bloor drew the attention of North West Fund for Biomedical and London Business Angels in October 2014 with a venture fund placement of almost $5 million.

EnXray

Photo courtesy: EnXray

Clean is usually better than dirty, but in the medical field clean is absolutely necessary. The trick is getting products germ-free in a quick and cost effective manner. That’s where EnXray shines, as the founders recycled their expertise in creating X-rays for pre-ionization of lasers to the medical field. X-rays zap germs.

Co-founders Sergey Mitko and Edward Cappabianca started the company in 2012. After development for several years, North West Fund for Biomedical provided a neat $1 million in Series B money. That same month, they also performed $2 million in debt financing. April 2017 saw acquisition of commercial launch capital of 2.3 million pounds from a loan agreement with Finance Birmingham and a 2016 equity funding round. Sounds like a clean stack of close to $6 million.

Sentric Music

Photo courtesy: Sentric Music

The Beatles made more money than they ever imagined. Sentric Music now tries to help other musicians sell and license their music as a publisher, music rights clearinghouse, royalty collection agency, and media licensing broker. If you hear it, maybe Sentric Music licensed or collects for it. Either way, the musicians collect some coin.

Founded by Chris Meehan in 2006, Sentric focused on technology and connections, a tactic rewarded by AMX Venture Capital in May 2012 with 275k pounds. Almost five years later, Business Growth Fund provided venture round of 3 million pounds. After the last chord clangs, over $4 million makes Sentric sound wonderful.

Albert Medical Devices

Photo courtesy: Albert Medical Devices

A variety of medical issues can require help with elimination, and Albert Medical Devices greatly improved the day-to-day life of patients with their Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System. An electric pump made the difference.

Inventor Trevor Wills founded the company in 2011 and started development after his father suffered a stroke. By November that year The North West Fund had placed 210k pounds. Series B money of 300k pounds arrived in April 2012. Two years later, 940k pounds in a Series C pounds from Angel CoFund and three partner pushed the total up close to $2.4 million.

ChargePoint Technology

Photo courtesy: ChargePoint

Making medicines requires precision and control. Another thing to consider is keeping employees safe from exposure, since many components are dangerous until made into finished drugs. One way to satisfy both these needs is use ChargePoint Technology innovative split butterfly valves and docking systems.

The valve was originally developed in 1996 in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. Fast forward 13 years and the company officially starts. In October 2013 Enterprise Ventures and The North West Fund join to provide seed funding of nearly $2.5 million.

Ripstone

Photo courtesy: Ripstone

Productivity may rule all, but sometimes you need a break and Ripstone‘s streaming games may provide the relief you crave. You can go classy (Pure Chess) or play cards (Pure Hold’em) or go a little weirder and play Extreme Exorcism. Or try some of the other games.

Independent from the opening day of February 2011, development by the group of Pixar ex-employees created quite an interesting slate of games. By December of that year, 650K in the first seed round put the investment at just over $1 million.

Document Direct

Photo courtesy: Document Direct

Lawyers and other professions with contracts and legal papers and discovery and on and on have one thing in common: way too much paper that must be produced, protected, verified, and remotely signed. Document Direct handles almost every step of this process, and has the endorsement of multiple legal societies and agencies.

2005 was early in the game for electronic document verification, but that’s when Martyn Best founded Document Direct. It took 10 years, but in March 2015 Enterprise Ventures and the North West Fund provided 400k pounds of seed money. In December that same year another 300k pounds came in a second seed round. That looks like just over $1 million of growth-enhancing venture funding.

Collabco

Photo courtesy: Collabco

A Microsoft Partner turned innovated software development company specializing in SharePoint and Dynamic CRM for the education, social housing, and commercial sectors, Collabco’s big product is called “myday.” Thanks to custom software, students can manage far more details than possible with just Microsoft products alone.

Founded in 2009, Collabco, as most developers, didn’t attract much investment attention for several years. In January 2015 an investor provided 250k pounds as seed money. A year, another seed round totaled 450k pounds. The North West Fund and Enterprise Ventures were the source of the over $1 million in funds to date.

Ph.Creative

Photo courtesy: Ph.Creative

Starting way back in 2004 as primarily a web design firm, Ph.Creative did what early marketing slash PR slash digital media firms did. Some says that’s not much, and Ph.Creative pivoted after a decade into mobile and app design, video production, inbound marketing, social media consulting, and all manner of modern digital tools to help businesses propel themselves into the world of modern marketing.

The North West Fund (a name we’ve seen multiple times) dropped 500k pounds of real money on their evolving digital marketing expertise. That total, over $750k, punctuated the pivot.

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James Gaskin

About James Gaskin


James writes books, articles, and jokes about technology, and consults for those who don't read his books and articles.

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