Mobile Commerce company raises £475,000 investment

09 Feb 2012

A digital company which offers an accessible and cost-effective means for small businesses to create their own mobile websites or transactional mobile apps has secured a £475k investment to help its expansion – £350,000 from the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, managed by IP Group plc, and £125,000 from a group of private angel investors.

MymCart gives small businesses the ability to create a mobile-optimised branded website at an affordable price, and also offers a means for companies to accept payment from customers for goods or services via a mobile phone. Using its website, www.mymcart.com, a mobile app can be created in minutes.

The business, created by digital entrepreneur Mark Kuhillow – who previously founded nationally-known affiliate management agency R.O.EYE – lowers costly entry barriers to mobile website optimisation and mobile commerce for any kind of business in the UK.

MymCart, based in Manchester, will be opening a base in the North East in the near future as part of its expansion programme.

Mark Kuhillow, managing director of MymCart, said his company offers a means for small businesses to create a mobile commerce facility at a fraction of the time and price of building a solution from scratch.

“It’s making m-commerce simple and accessible to any business already trading online but wanting to open up a new revenue stream,” he said.

“We’re bringing affordable mobile commerce to the masses that can't necessarily afford to pay large sums for a mobile optimised website or buy an expensive off-the-shelf solution. Our core market is small retailers and businesses that want to give their customers the convenience of mobile browsing and shopping.”

“For them, we believe the MymCart proposition is compelling.”

The company is backed by several high-profile digital and retail figures, including Chairman Philip Hunt, former CEO of Wheel, one of the UK’s largest digital agencies which sold to LBi in 2005, and Peter Robinson, who headed Marksandspencer.com from launch in 1999 to 2007 and was Multi-channel Director at Selfridges. Ross Sleight, co-founder of Virgin Games, and Richard Gregory, chief operating officer of search marketing agency Latitude also sit on the advisory board.

A further £500k investment has been earmarked for MymCart by the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, subject to it meeting initial business targets.

Ian Wilson, investment manager at IP Group plc, said: “MymCart has addressed the major cost issue faced by many small businesses in being able to offer mobile commerce, and has come up with a cost-effective solution. The fact it is endorsed by so many leading figures in the digital sector is testament to the strength of the business and its product.

“We are pleased to be able to support MymCart in its growth, and look forward to welcoming them to the North East.”

For more information on the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, please visit: www.thenortheasttechnologyfund.com.

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For more information, please contact:

The North East Technology Fund www.thenortheasttechnologyfund.com
Sarah Hall, Sarah Hall Consulting Tel: +44 (0) 7702 162704
Ian Wilson, Investment Manager, IP Group plc Tel: +44 (0) 845 519 4112

Notes for editors

About IP Group

IP Group is a leading UK intellectual property ("IP") commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.

The Company's portfolio comprises holdings in over 60 companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, the DNA sequencing development company, Revolymer, best known for its removable chewing gum and Xeros, which has received many accolades for its revolutionary clothes washing techniques with a much reduced requirement for water.

The portfolio includes early stage to mature businesses and has exposure to five main sectors – Energy & Renewables, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Pharma & Biotech, IT & Communications and Chemicals & Materials. To date, thirteen of the portfolio companies IP Group has backed have listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and one on PLUS Markets.

Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AIM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006. The Group now has long-term partnerships with twelve core universities including those under its commercialisation agreement with Fusion IP plc.

For more information, please visit our website at www.ipgroupplc.com.

About The North East Technology Fund

The North East Technology Fund is a £25m venture capital fund dedicated to investing in technology businesses with outstanding potential which are based in, or are willing to relocate to, the North East of England. The Fund is managed by IP Group plc and is backed by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Funds. It is able to co-invest with other institutional, private or corporate investors and at all stages of the business cycle from early stage to mature businesses. Its investment range is from £50,000 to £1.25m.

For more information, please visit www.thenortheasttechnologyfund.com.

About MymCart

MymCart (www.mymcart.com) gives any small company wishing to create a mobile-optimised website or allow their customers to pay for goods or services via a mobile phone the ability to build their own affordable, branded mobile site or transactional store within minutes. It removes costly entry barriers to mobile website optimisation and mobile commerce for any kind of business in the UK. Users log in to the MymCart website to create their mobile web app which is compatible with all types of smartphones. Costs start at £30 set-up plus £35 monthly fee.

About Finance for Business North East

Finance for Business North East is a £125m publicly-backed venture capital fund. It will support up to 850 small and medium-sized companies in North East England over the next five years, with the aim of creating more than 5,000 jobs.

The European Investment Bank is committing £62.5m into the fund with £44.25m coming from the European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013. North East Finance, based in Newcastle, manages the fund on a day-to-day basis.

Finance for Business North East is part of the Government’s Solutions for Business portfolio of publicly funded help to companies to start, grow and succeed. Solutions for Business makes it easier for companies to get the advice and assistance that they need. More information on Solutions for Business can be found at www.businesslink.gov.uk/solutions.

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