AXM have supported 25 start-ups and young businesses in the digital sector in the North West since 2011. As well as looking for good returns, their EU funders are looking to support companies that create jobs in the North West. So they have been a good place to go for young companies looking for funding in the £50-250k range. However, as of September 2015, the fund is all but spent and only looking at later-stage projects (with a track record of sales). A successor fund should be launched in Q2 2017.

£25k – £2m

Business plan only, Product/Service ready to launch, Making early sales, Funding for growth.

NW Fund for Digital and Creative : £15m fully invested

“We are looking to build a diverse portfolio and are prepared to back companies from across the industry. This includes not just businesses with IPR or highly scalable platforms, for example, but also creative and digital agencies, marketing and advertising agencies and people-based businesses generally.”

To be eligible for this fund your business needs to be situated within the North West of England. Specifically, this is Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside or Cheshire. You must be classed as an ‘SME’ to be eligible – The definition of an SME, as outlined by the European Union is: ‘Up to 249 employees’, ‘Annual business turnover not exceeding €50m (euros)’, and ‘Balance sheet total not exceeding €43m (euros)’.

  • To progress an application through one of the Fund Managers you will need to provide an overview of your Business Plan.
  • If you require loan-only funding of £50,000 to £750,000 you may qualify for support via The North West fund for Loans Plus. Loan funding of £50,000 to £750,000 is available for innovative, viable, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) seeking debt finance, specifically those finding difficulty in obtaining debt finance from traditional sources.

An Investment Committee decision to invest leads to a formal offer to the potential investee company in the form of a Term Sheet.

Example companies

Ruler Analytics

Liverpool-based web analytics business, has raised a substantial sum of investment following backing from The North West Fund for Digital & Creative (Jan 2016)

Why they invested

The Ruler team has a strong track record of delivering value for their clients. When looking for investments we like to find solutions which will become part of their clients’ daily workflow. We believe the Ruler Analytics platform will achieve this goal.