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Bedford-based regulatory risk management and video engagement platform receives £749,000 financial boost from MEIF

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Nottingham, 12 May 2021: Money Alive, a regulatory technology business based in Bedford, is set for further growth following a £749,000 financial investment from Foresight Group (“Foresight”) using equity finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”) as part of a £1 million funding round together with a number of private investors.

Founded by CEO Andy Kirby, Money Alive launched its first commercial product in 2018. Its proprietary video engagement platform is licensed to financial advisers, product providers and employee benefit consultants to provide their clients, policy holders and members with engaging, accredited and impartial information using Money Alive’s interactive video experiences.

The firm developed its proposition in response to a growing call from financial regulators that consumers receive good quality, impartial information to enable them to make better financial decisions. Topics the firm covers via its video content include final salary pension transfers, pension freedoms, drawdown reviews and coming shortly, equity release.

Since launch, there have been over 200,000 videos played on the company’s platform. In a recent survey of over 5,000 viewers, 98% said they valued being given access to Money Alive and over 94% said it put them in a better informed position. Money Alive has a growing list of clients including Mazars, LV=, Tilney Smith & Williamson and The Openwork Partnership.

The current funding round will support the further development of Money Alive’s platform, providing integrated, end-to-end solutions for the workplace market as well as for the large financial advice networks. The company is also planning to create eight new jobs across sales, content and marketing to fuel the growth of the business.

Commenting on the investment, Andy Kirby, CEO of Money Alive, said: “Money Alive has a huge opportunity to reshape financial engagement and education on the back of greater adoption of technology. It is fantastic to be supported by Foresight, through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This investment expertise will enable us to add to our high calibre team, develop workplace solutions and enhance our offering to advisers. In turn this will support our founding vision of achieving better financial outcomes for more people through fair, open and transparent communication.”

Jordan Lavender, Investment Manager at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to be able to support Money Alive on the next phase of its growth journey. Since meeting management, we have been impressed by the expertise and commitment of the team to create engaging content to help individuals be more financially aware. The company is well poised for growth over the coming years, utilising our investment through the MEIF, and we look forward to supporting the management team to realise the company’s ambitions.”

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “By leading this funding round, both the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Foresight are enabling Money Alive to continue building its platform. This demonstrates the MEIF’s commitment to driving innovation in the Midlands and supporting businesses to maximise new growth opportunities arising post-pandemic.”

Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager, commented: “We’re delighted to see this Bedford based business secure further investment through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. With virtual meetings, events and engagements increasing dramatically over the past year, it’s fantastic to see Money Alive utilising this opportunity to not only further develop the business, but to create more jobs locally.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

ENDS

Advisers to Money Alive
Legal Advice: Shakespeare Martineau


Advisers to Foresight
Financial DD : Fortus
Legal Advice : EMW Law
Cybersecurity : KryptoKloud

For more information contact:
Theresa Frappell: tfrappell@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)7773 062693
Lucy Sherwood: lsherwood@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3763 6977

Notes to Editors

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”)
Foresight is a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager listed on the London Stock Exchange, which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.

Foresight has more than £7 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising over 30 investment professionals, manages over £670 million in a portfolio of more than 110 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.

Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year. In 2017, Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.

Foresight’s largest office is in London with regional UK offices in Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Edinburgh and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Luxembourg.
foresightgroup.eu


About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.

The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The programme will continue to spend to the end of 2023.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the newly launched North East Fund. For further information visit www.eib.org

The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations in or planning to open material operations in the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at https://thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk


About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank’s core programmes support nearly £8bn[1] of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses[2]. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has also launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering almost £73bn of finance to around 1.6m businesses.

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.

British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk.


[1] Figures as at end of June 2020
[2] Figures as at 28 January 2021