Marketing automation company Force24 has received a £350,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
Force24 is a UK-based, GDPR-compliant marketing automation software as a service (SaaS) company based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
The innovative Force24 marketing automation platform allows clients to effortlessly and quickly segment customer data and automate complex, personalised, cross-channel journeys to increase conversion rates and drive loyalty.
Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications, making them available to customers over the internet.
In recent years, the Force24 management team has successfully transitioned the business model away from project-based revenue, to annual recurring revenues (ARR) on the SaaS-based platform.
Force24, which was founded in 2010 by Managing Director Adam Oldfield, employs upwards of 50 people and turnover has grown by 45% in 2019. Force24 also boasts a 98.2% client retention rate, and 1 in 4 customers who see the savvy marketing automation platform in action, buy it.
Force24 plan to use the funding to accelerate growth by investing in additional sales staff, increasing marketing activity, developing the platform and acquisition of supporting products.
The investment, which was facilitated by FW Capital Investment Executives Steve Teasdale and Anne Blanden, will create seven jobs initially, with a further 31 positions envisioned for the future.
Nick Washbourne, Force24 Commercial Director, said: “Force24 has gained a strong foothold in the UK market and is in a great position to continue on our growth curve.
“A recent marketing survey revealed 50% of companies contacted were looking to implement a marketing automation platform, with 65% of Force24’s new clients switching from market leading competitors such as MailChimp or Pardot.
“We are grateful to FW Capital for their support. They were extremely knowledgeable and really understood our business, making them the ideal funding partner.”
Steve Teasdale, Investment Executive at FW Capital, said: “Force24 is an established business with a strong customer base and an experienced management team with a clear vision for growth and development.
“They have a team of passionate marketing experts with a range of skills including strategy, design and technical development. This expertise is reflected in the strong pipeline of future projects, which present a fantastic opportunity for growth.
“It is the right time for Force24 to accelerate its growth and we are delighted to have been able to provide the funding to allow the company to reach its potential.”
Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, NPIF provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m). It works alongside ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.
The Northern Powerhouse 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.