Business

Tribe Technology closes series A funding round

Investors Enda Ivanoff and Bertie Notley (standing) with Clarendon's Stuart Gaffikin (centre); and Tribe Technology's Michael Morrow (left) and Eric Hampel (right), at the group's Mallusk base.

AN Australian mine engineering company set up by a Co Down native has secured fresh funding for its new Co Antrim base.

Tribe Technology unveiled its new Invest NI-backed manufacturing operation at Mallusk in September 2021.

The company, headed by Crossgar native Charlie King, announced the facility would develop the world’s first completely unmanned reverse circulation (RC) drill rig.

After securing a £984,000 offer from Invest NI toward the creation of 82 jobs in Mallusk, Tribe Technology has now closed a substantial series A funding round.

The value of the funding round has not been disclosed, however series A funding normally starts at seven figures.

The funding round involves private investors from Northern Ireland and Australia, which has been match funded by Co-Fund NI.

Managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, Co-Fund NI offers growth capital to early stage, high growth potential small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

It typically provides co-investment in deals valued between £150,000 and £2m.

Around a third of the support is provided by Invest NI.

Tribe Tech said the funding round will be used to support production of its first RC drill rigs. The group said the rigs have already attracted a multi-million-dollar order book. The funding will also help develop new products.

Charlie King said: “This funding round is a great endorsement of Tribe Tech’s business and will help us to further enhance our production capabilities and deliver the significant pipeline of orders we have already secured, but also to expand our footprint.

“Automation is one of the toughest challenges facing several key industries and we believe we have the expertise to find some of the solutions,” said the managing director.

“It is incredibly exciting and humbling to have investors of this calibre, some of the smartest people in the industry, see the wider potential of our automation technology and get behind us with their own money.

“Clarendon Fund Managers have been very supportive through the process and we’re delighted that Co-Fund NI has matched the private investment.”

Stuart Gaffikin, investment manager at Clarendon Fund Managers, added: “Tribe Technology Group has expanded rapidly in a short space of time as a result of high demand for its innovative products, which use artificial intelligence and automation to increase safety and productivity in the mining sector.

“We’re pleased to be able to support this investment in further product development through Co-Fund NI and look forward to seeing the company continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.”

Tribe Technology was advised throughout the fundraising process by Belfast-based advisory firm HNH Group.

Richard Moorehead from HNH said: “From my first meeting with Charlie and the team at Tribe, I was hugely impressed by the scale of the opportunity, the clarity of vision and their technical innovation. I was thrilled to be able to help them with closing this funding round and very much look forward to seeing the business continue on this exciting path.”

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