What is MEIF and where do Midven come in?
It has been over a year since the launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), a funding scheme started to showcase the Midlands’ potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise. The MEIF provides over £250m to invest in small and medium sized businesses to help them advance, with the hopes that the commercially focused finance will transform the financial landscape in the Midlands.
Since the MEIF’s inception, £50m has been invested into over 150 firms. Midven were appointed to manage a £35m equity portion of the fund into companies with high growth potential, with up to £2m of MEIF funding available to each business.
So far, we have significantly invested in eight companies in the West Midlands, utilising the MEIF fund available, as well as offering strategic advice and guidance. This enabled the businesses to grow, develop and reach their true potential in their own individual way, whether it was through the hiring of new staff, technological advancements or increasing their marketing reach. Below is a timeline of investments that we have made since the start of the scheme.
Geospatial Insight, a satellite, aerial and drone imagery specialist, was one of the first MEIF investments. They used the funding to further develop their visual intelligence technology, aiding them in extending their leading position in being able to deliver business intelligence and analysis. The scheme has enabled them to meet their ambitious growth targets, which is beneficial for both the Midlands and the UK economy as a whole.
In September, we invested in eTravelSafety, a provider of powerful mobile-ready software to enhance business travel safety. The equity investment allowed them to accelerate their product development, broaden their sales team and increase their marketing reach.
We made two investments this month, starting with Assembled Electronics Solutions (AES), a company that focuses on providing outsourced electronic design and development services across a wide range of industries. The investment facilitated the recruitment of additional technical and sales staff, acceleration of their product development, and allowed them to strengthen their sales process and expand their marketing activities. This is another great example of why the MEIF was established; with job creation and advanced marketing processes helping to implement economic growth.
The second investment of the month was CFP Composites, a manufacturer of revolutionary ultra-lightweight and cost efficient heat resistant materials used to replace heavy metal parts in a wide range of applications. But what did they use the funding for? It abetted them to bring their next-generation carbon fibre panels to market, giving them access to valuable market opportunities, and giving them the platform to showcase British products on an international stage.
Unique IQ, an innovative software provider serving the health, social care and cleaning sectors. The investment enabled them to expand their team and progress their technology development whilst maintaining its existing high levels of customer service.
We began 2019 investing in Sign Solutions, specialists in providing high-quality communication support services for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in both the public and the private sector received a significant investment. Working with Midven, they have been able to develop and increase awareness of their British Sign Language video interpreting service – InterpretersLive. They also further advanced their digital applications to ensure more public and private sector organisations are accessible to people who use BSL as their first or preferred language.
The second investment of the year was Natural HR, a firm responsible for delivering cloud-based HR software. They used the funding to not only create ten new jobs over the next three years, but to also develop additional product lines for both their existing and new clients.
Which brings us to our most recent MEIF investment – HALO X-Ray Technologies. They are a company which own patented next-generation x-ray technology, based on groundbreaking research. The funding will allow HALO to create 20 engineering and software development jobs over the next three years and will be focusing on the commercial exploitation of their technology by developing new systems with a now reduced time to market, thanks to the financing in place.
More investments coming soon…
As we invest in future companies, we aim to continue playing a significant part in hitting MEIF milestones, and aiming to transform the financial landscape for small businesses in the Midlands, helping the region achieve economic growth.