A HIGH-growth software company headquartered in Belfast has become the first business to benefit from technology and investment as part of the strategic partnership between First Derivatives and the Business Growth Fund (BGF).
AuditComply will use the new funding from BGF and existing investors Clarendon/CoFundNI together with First Derivatives’ Kx technology to accelerate its growth.
Founded by tech entrepreneur Kevin Donaghy, AuditComply provides enterprise risk management software across the engineering, manufacturing, food and logistics industries.
Its customers include Autoliv, UniTrunk and KDD. The company, which has grown rapidly since it was set up in 2014, operates in a market driven by mounting regulatory pressure related to enterprise risk management.
AuditComply will use First Derivatives’ Kx technology and expertise to develop new software modules that will provide powerful, real-time analytics for supply chain auditing.
The First Derivatives and BGF partnership combines access to BGF’s £2.5 billion balance sheet and network of board level executives with First Derivatives’ technology and support. Together, the mix of equity and technology has been designed to help high-potential and established companies scale up through unlocking new markets or disrupting existing ones.
Kevin Donaghy, chief executive of AuditComply, said: “As a high-tech start-up going through significant growth we are very excited to be working with BGF and First Derivatives to help grow the company and become a leader in enterprise risk management. With customers in healthcare, automotive, manufacturing and retail, we need the support of our partners to capitalise in this exciting market.”
In Northern Ireland, BGF has also invested in recycling company RiverRidge, family-owned house-builder Braidwater and coffee chain Bob & Berts.
Patrick Graham of BGF said: “We’re delighted to be making our fourth investment in Northern Ireland in two years, and our first investment into the growing software sector. AuditComply has experienced impressive growth in a short space of time, and there is a clear opportunity to capitalise on that momentum.
“We are also pleased that this is our first investment as part of our strategic partnership with First Derivatives, which extends BGF’s reach into earlier stage businesses. BGF’s network, and our connections to industry experts such as First Derivatives, are helping us to get even more capital to more companies in the UK & Ireland.”
Brian Conlon, chief executive of First Derivatives, said: “We are pleased that AuditComply has chosen Kx to support its exciting growth plans and help it scale in a rapidly growing market. Kx is a key enabler of disruption across multiple industries and is ideally suited as a platform to manage the most demanding analytics challenges.
"We are particularly pleased to have worked alongside BGF on this agreement and look forward to building on our strategic partnership through similar deals in the future.”
Part of the funding into AuditComply has been provided by CoFundNI, which is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.
Brian Cummings from Clarendon said: “This is not only a significant investment for a CoFundNI portfolio company, but also for Northern Ireland’s maturing venture capital market. We are delighted to co-invest with BGF and First Derivatives in their inaugural partnership investment.”