Tech firms enjoy £3.2m investment boost

Two Northern Ireland firms have benefitted from £3.2 million in fresh venture capital

NORTHERN Irish software companies Plotbox and Datactics has been boosted with a £3.2 million investment injection from Edinburgh-based venture capital firm Par Equity.

It partnered with Ironbridge Capital Partners on the £2m investment into Ballymena-based Plotbox, which provides software for cemetery management, enabling the user to run every aspect from mapping plots to maintaining records and deeds.

The investment will go towards improving product functionality and customer support as well as expanding the company's sales and marketing efforts.

And Datactics in Belfast received £1.2m as part of a partnership between Par Equity and Kernel. It provides software tools for large scale institutions to manage vast volumes of data, while ensuring they remain compliant with regulations. Most of its clients are in financial services but it is currently speaking to a number of arms of the UK government with intensive data requirements.

The companies represent a growing collective of technology firms benefitting from consistent support for start-ups from the private and public sector.

A study published last year by the Enterprise Research Centre showed that compared to the rest of the UK, a higher proportion of Northern Irish companies exceeded £1m turnover within three years.

Par Equity investment manager Graeme McKinstry said: “Northern Ireland is producing some high-quality opportunities for venture capital investment.

"The government and councils are investing billions in business infrastructure projects that will run until the 2030s, providing fertile ground for entrepreneurship. Its universities are some of the best in the UK for research and commercialisation of intellectual property, generating ideas and supplying quality graduates.

“Plotbox and Datactics are two of the best in class. Both firms have track records of strong sales growth and success in their core markets, and what's key for us is that they've demonstrated both the scalability of their businesses and their customers' appetite.”

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