Press: Blue Square investment featured in Newcastle Journal

Newcastle company Blue Square hit the news after the £500k investment led by TRICAPITAL.  Click to see a feature on Blue Square in Newcastle’s The Journal.

And here’s more about Blue Square’s training of 100 new smart meter apprentices at St Helen’s College.

Meet the Smart Meter Training Academy.

Exterity Video System a Winner at Paris Longchamp Hippodrome

Exterity’s video signage is bringing visitors right into the action at the iconic Paris Longchamp Hippodrome. The Edinburgh-based TRICAPITAL investee now has 150 digital displays across the horseracing venue, giving guests a more exciting and immersive experience at the races.

Here’s the detail from Exterity:

Exterity today announced that Hippodrome ParisLongchamp has deployed its solutions for IP video and digital signage across the 57-hectare horse racing facility to enable guests to enjoy a more immersive experience at the races.

Following a €140 million investment and 2 years of refurbishment, the newly renamed ParisLongchamp has regained its historic status and recognition as a modern, elegant and fashionable new Parisian destination. Yet, the horseracing venue, nestled in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, has decided to break with the classic codes of traditional racecourses and open up its grounds to the general public. A new 160-metre-long grandstand, topped with a glass building that plays with transparency and perspectives; guests gain a breathtaking view, taking in the course, the parade ring and the stables.

Integral to this new image, ParisLongchamp deployed an Exterity IP video system that incorporates 500 screens, providing both video and digital signage for race fans, and in support of the wide range of corporate events hosted across the 55,000 sq. metres of public enclosures. The Exterity system offers high-resolution live and recorded video plus signage across twenty different spaces, which are modular and fully equipped to welcome between 500 and 60,000 people, creating a veritable conference centre.

“Horseracing is no longer a specialist interest, and we needed a system that guaranteed a tailored experience for professionals and first timers plus our corporate hospitality clients,” said Thierry Migeon, Technical Manager at France Galop, the governing body of flat and steeplechase horse racing in France. “Today, we offer our own internally produced content, dedicated channels for professionals, betting information for speculators, and content live-streamed from rooms that are normally not accessible to the general public, such as the jockey weighing room and the stables. This unusual experience enables us to transform the perception of a day at the races, and we are already identifying new ways to expand on the Exterity system for guests during the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.”

Installed by system integrator Manganelli Technology, the Exterity system includes a full end-to-end IP video installation spanning 500 screens and offering a range of specialist TV channels, including At the Races, Equidia Pro and Racing UK, alongside the digital terrestrial television (TNT) service and encrypted channels, such as BeIn Sport and Canal Plus Sport. To enable the distribution of premium, encrypted channels in specific areas, the system is also fitted with content protection solutions, including Conditional Access by Conax and Viaccess Orca, as well as Samsung LYNKTM DRM.

Exterity ArtioSign digital signage enables France Galop to deliver information, merchandising and pricing via 150 TV displays across the hospitality suites, public spaces and on-site refreshment areas. The system also provides France Galop with the ability to deliver content to visitors’ mobile devices via a web app, including replays of the races.

“We originally worked with Exterity when we deployed the IP video system at Stade Pierre Mauroy for the UEFA Euro 2016, and they were an obvious choice for such a large-scale, international venue as the Hippodrome ParisLongchamp,” said Fabrice Leguay, Regional Director at Manganelli Technology. “ParisLongchamp is a very sophisticated venue with an extensive master control room that centrally manages internal, national and international TV signals to deliver personalised content to visitors across the venue. This type of installation means that we need to work with trusted, reliable, high-calibre IP video products, which is why we chose Exterity. Being able to combine the wide array of TV channels with built-in digital signage and content protection licenses for international premium TV channels also made a huge difference, and enabled us to deploy the system in record timeframes without compromising on anything.”

“ParisLongchamp is an iconic venue, not only for horseracing fans, but also for international visitors to Paris, and we are proud to play an active part in this new, tech-savvy venue,” said said Myriam Calaber, Europe & Mediterranean Sales Director at Exterity. “With over 500 screens and between 50 and 60 channels playing at all times, it is an incredible feat of video and digital signage, and showcases a unique blend of interactive solutions for guest engagement.”

Exterity’s IP video and digital signage systems are in use at a number of stadiums and venues around the world, including 4 out of 10 stadiums that hosted the 2016 UEFA Euros, including Stade Pierre Mauroy and the Stade Vélodrome, as well as Matmut Stadium de Gerland and Stade Océane (France); Celtic Park Stadium, Emirates Arena, Lord’s Cricket Ground, The Open golf championship, Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Goodwood, Ulster Rugby stadium and Sandown Park (UK); The Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (استاد هزاع بن زايد‎‎) and King Abdullah Sports City (مدينة الملك عبدالله الرياضية) in the Middle East; PSV Eindhoven (The Netherlands); RDC Espanyol de Barcelona (Spain); Riverside Stables, Rosehill Racecourse and the Royal Randwick Racecourse (Australia); SV Sandhausen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany); and many more.
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ABOUT EXTERITY: Since 2001, Exterity has been designing, developing and manufacturing technically innovative products that deliver networked video and digital signage over IP to some of the leading organizations across the globe. Exterity solutions enable the distribution of HD quality TV and video over enterprise IP networks to an unlimited number of end points, supporting large volumes of content and receiving devices without compromising system performance or availability.
Highlights:
• Deployed in over 40 countries
• Robust, scalable IPTV and digital signage solutions for organisations of any size and across any sector
• Unique industry-leading features and market specific application
Headquartered in Scotland UK, we extend our global reach through our offices in New York, Dallas, London, Paris, Sydney, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. Localised knowledge and expertise is enhanced through the Exterity StreamForce program of credible, technically innovative partners, plus an extensive network of in-country resellers and distributors.

Released: Edinburgh, Scotland/Reims, France – 7 June 2018

Findra in Scotland on Sunday

tricapital-findra-press-scotland-on-sundayFINDRA in Scotland on Sunday! News of the Borders-based sports clothing company’s new shop in Edinburgh, and growth plans after £250k investment by members of TRICAPITAL and other investment syndicates.

Wishing FINDRA and the team well on their plans for the Edinburgh shop and beyond.

Click right to read the Scotland on Sunday article [2MB file] or pick it up here: FINDRA TRICAPITAL article

Video: Exterity Avedia and 4k Media player at NEC

Fiona Bayle from TRICAPITAL investee Exterity showcases the new Avedia and 4K media players at NEC.

Find out more about Avedia media players on the Exterity website.

Interested in investing in high-growth tech companies? Here’s our introduction for business angels and a look at the TRICAPITAL portfolio of companies that members have invested in.

Want to find out more? Get in touch!

Click to play the video:

 

TRICAPITAL leads £500,000 investment in Blue Square smart meter company

blue-square utilities smart meter tricapital TRICAPITAL has led a £500,000 investment in Newcastle smart meter specialists Blue Square Utilities. The dual fuel smart meter installers are the newest addition to TRICAPITAL’s portfolio of 25 companies in sectors ranging from software, biomedical and engineering to textiles.

Blue Square Utilities currently employs 65 smart meter engineers working across the North of England on three utility contracts.

The company’s planned growth over the next two years is in line with the UK Government’s ‘Smart Meter Rollout’. Blue Square will be expanding its installs across the UK, subsequently building a workforce of over 300 engineers, including 100 apprenticeships.

The ‘Smart Meter Rollout’ is a nation-wide initiative to install approximately 53 million smart meters in over 30 million residential and commercial premises across the UK by the end of 2020. The rollout is part of the UK Government’s campaign to improve the management of energy across Scotland, England and Wales.

blue-square utilities tricapitalTim Cantle-Jones, CEO of Blue Square Utilities, said: “With the support of investors, we have been able to secure contracts and recruit a skilled workforce, with a view to achieving sustained profitable growth. The smart meter roll out represents a huge opportunity for a business such as ours to become established as a key national player in the energy infrastructure sector.”

Jamie Andrew, Chairman of TRICAPITAL Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have led this investment round to provide the funding to underpin Blue Square’s growth ambitions. We have been impressed with Tim Cantle-Jones’s vision for the company and the benefits the company brings to the wider community through its smart meter installation service. We wish Tim and his team every success in executing his growth plan.”

Moray Martin, Chairman of Blue Square Utilities and TRICAPITAL Director, said: “Importantly, Blue Square Utilities is creating new jobs, and a lot of them. A number of significant long term contracts have already been completed, providing the company with secure long term recurring revenue, immediate profitability and a healthy cash flow position – all in line with the promises we made to our investors. The company is surrounded by opportunities and we are already considering how we may be able to accelerate growth to accommodate them.”

About Blue Square Utilities

Blue Square Utilities is an independent smart meter installation business servicing small-medium sized energy suppliers throughout the UK. Its scope extends to the installation and maintenance of legacy and commercial metering services.

The team has extensive experience in the smart metering rollout, offering an end-to-end dual fuel Smart Meter Installation Solution.

Blue Square engineers are fully qualified dual fuel smart meter installers registered with Energy & Utility Skills.

For more information on the UK Government’s Smart Meter Rollout, visit: https://www.smartenergygb.org/en/smart-future/about-the-rollout

Visit the Blue Square Utilities website.

Image with kind permission from Blue Square Utilities: Catherine Armstrong (Company Secretary), Moray Martin (Chair), Tim Cantle-Jones (CEO), Neil Kirkby (Operations Director).

TRICAPITAL Monitoring Group FAQ

Much of TRICAPITAL’s work goes on behind the scenes, and members’ contributions, expertise, information and networks play a vital part. So, we thought it was time to get the inside scoop on the TRICAPITAL Monitoring Group, headed up by board member Ian Burton:

What is the Monitoring Group?

It’s a group of a dozen or so member experts who monitor portfolio companies, check board and company papers, and report back, highlighting any issues. The aim is to keep TRICAPITAL informed of companies’ progress, so that we can follow up on any concerns.

What does the Monitoring Group do?

With companies where the TRICAPITAL investor agreement offers monitoring rights or where TRICAPITAL members have a large share of the investment, monitors monitor the performance of the company using company-supplied data. With companies with no monitoring rights, the group monitors using a variety of methods.

A TRICAPITAL monitor may have limited rights due to an often small stake in the business. However, where the stake is larger, the monitor takes on the role of a board observer, attending and engaging at board meetings.

In some cases, TRICAPITAL members may take on NXD roles. The NXD role is not a monitoring role –  the monitoring role is given to an appointed TRICAPITAL member, to give the monitoring group an unbiased opinion on the business.

With others, the monitor monitors key financials and board papers, and reports back to the head of the Monitoring Group (currently Ian Burton). This feeds into a quarterly official ‘traffic light’ report to the TRICAPITAL board which flags up issues and progress. But if issues or questions crop up between those reports, we act right away. It’s vital to keep the flow of information going between TRICAPITAL and the portfolio companies.

What sort of action?

It depends on the company and, to a degree, the level of TRICAPITAL investment. That aside, our expertise is valued by our portfolio companies at all investment levels, and we punch above our weight in terms of our contribution. Often, it’s just a case of clarifying points or making suggestions.

When a company is showing signs of failing and where TRICAPITAL members have a small stake in a business, we will challenge larger investors to hold the company to account.

If the TRICAPITAL members hold a significant stake, the head of the Monitoring Group will recommend a certain course of action and, with the approval of the TRICAPITAL board, Ian Burton will most likely engage more directly with the chairman and board of that business.

What information do members get?

Members get a monthly report from TRICAPITAL Investment Manager Kathy Kinder, which gives a general overview of companies’ activity. This report is posted on ProSeeder, our online investment management software. The detailed traffic light reports on our 26 invested companies are reviewed by the board, and a particular traffic light report for any company can be accessed on request by members who have a current holding in that company.

Can I find out more?

Yes! Ian Burton is giving a presentation on the work of the Monitoring Group to the next TRICAPITAL members’ meeting on 5th June. Please come along – Ian will look forward to answering your questions.

Video: Borders Young Enterprise Scotland Final

TRICAPITAL were proud to sponsor the Borders Young Enterprise Scotland Final, where the overall winners’ trophy was taken by Initial Designs from Kelso High School.

For a taste the exciting final in St Boswells, see this film by Ronald Yule of Ronald Yule Media – himself a young Borders entrepreneur building a business as a TV cameraman and videographer.

Look out also for TRICAPITAL director Paul Yuskaitis, who was one of the judges, and read the full report on Borders Young Enterprise Scotland.

To watch the video, click below:

TRICAPITAL Exit Group

TRICAPITAL has set up a dedicated Exit Group, initially made up of board members. Chair Jamie Andrew explains what’s involved:

“The board has formed an Exit Group within TRICAPITAL to focus on ways that TRICAPITAL can impact and add value in a number of exit areas. These are:

Firstly, we need to be confident that each our invested companies are building acquirer value, and if not, why not.

Secondly, we want to identify key trigger points at which shareholder value could be realised within a particular company, and then discuss these with the company i.e. at Series A funding rounds, when new large-scale investors come on board, etc.

Thirdly, we also need to find a way to hold companies to account when they fail to deliver shareholder value in the promised timescales. For example, should we, along with any co-invested partners, encourage change within the management team, or should we consider an early sale?

Fourthly, by identifying what actions  shareholders can take, or should take, when failing companies come back for further funding. This could mean revisions to executive salaries, options schemes, etc.”

If any members would like to discuss this further, please contact Jamie Andrew.

MGB Biopharma awarded £2.78 million for clinical trials

MGB Biopharma, one of TRICAPITAL’s investee companies, has been awarded a prestigious £2.78 million grant to take forward clinical trials of a treatment discovered at the University of Strathclyde.

The biopharmaceutical company has received the funding from UK Innovate, the UK’s innovation agency, under its Biomedical Catalyst programme.

The grant will help fund a Phase IIa trial of the oral formulation of MGB Biopharma’s lead investigational drug candidate, MGB-BP-3, for the treatment of the Clostridium difficile infection. Approximately 30 patients are expected to be enrolled into the multi-centre trial to determine the safety, tolerability, dosing schedule and efficacy of ascending doses of the treatment.

TRICAPITAL chair, Jamie Andrew, said: “We are delighted that our investee MGB Biopharma has been awarded this funding to develop MGB-BP-3 to the next stage of clinical trials, when it will meet patients for the first time. It’s a considerable achievement, and a major step on the way to market.”

Professor Colin Suckling, MGB technology inventor at the University of Strathclyde, said: “We are extremely pleased that MGB Biopharma has received this grant funding to progress MBG-BP-3. It is a significant achievement for a drug designed and initially developed in an academic lab to reach Phase IIa clinical trials. MGB-BP-3 is based on our DNA minor groove binder technology platform that was licenced to MGB Biopharma. We are optimistic that this novel antimicrobial will play an important role in the treatment of Clostridium difficile.”

Dr Miroslav Ravic, CEO of MGB Biopharma, said: “We are delighted that MGB Biopharma has been chosen as one of the recipients of this prestigious award from Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst programme. The oral formulation of MGB-BP-3 has shown promising efficacy and good safety and tolerability profiles in pre-clinical testing, and in our Phase I trial. The funding provided by this grant from Innovate UK, together with the additional support of our investors, will allow us to initiate this patient trial by the summer of 2018.

“Despite a renewed interest in developing new antimicrobials, there is still a clear need for truly novel and differentiated products to tackle the growing concern of antimicrobial resistance. We believe that MGB-BP-3’s novel mechanism could, for the first time in over a decade, provide a meaningful breakthrough in the development of antimicrobials for hospital-acquired infections in particular.”

Anti-infectives based on the minor groove binder technology have the potential to deliver significant advantages over current approaches including broad, bactericidal activity against multi-resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens.

In addition to the oral formulation of lead candidate MGB-BP-3, MGB Biopharma is developing an intravenous formulation targeting a range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative infections commonly acquired in hospitals.

See Strathclyde University news release

See Open Access Government report:

TRICAPITAL Chairman’s report to AGM 2018

A SUMMARY OF 2017 INVESTMENT ACTIVITY

In 2017, TRICAPITAL members contributed £1.33m. This was made up of £194k to new businesses, and £1.14m in follow-on funding. This, taken together with contributions from SIB and other investment partners, provided some £8.5m for our investee companies – a substantial sum, and well above the £4m total achieved in 2016.

Over the years since 2004, TRICAPITAL members have contributed some £12.7m out of total investment deals of £79m in support of the businesses in which our members have an interest.

2017 FINANCIAL RESULTS

When we drew up our original budget for 2017, we anticipated making a small operating deficit and although income exceeded expectation, that has come to pass. The balance sheet remains robust, with reserves providing an ample buffer against any foreseeable short-term downturn.

TRICAPITAL ADMINISTRATION

Our thanks go to Andy Purves, Susan Arnold, and other staff at Douglas Home & Co for the administrative support throughout the year.

Thanks also to Kathy Kinder for her considerable input, working away in the background very hard, sometimes on her own and at other times with other syndicates, to fulfil her role as Investment Manager during 2017 to make these investments all happen.

TRICAPITAL INITIATIVES UNDERWAY OR COMPLETED

There were a number of new initiatives underway or completed in 2017. These included the formation of a New Investment Panel, the ongoing work on the introduction of the ProSeeder deal platform, the publication of the first Portfolio Review document, and our response to the questions raised by HM Treasury paper on Patient Capital.

My thanks go to Douglas Needham who, as always, has been an excellent Vice-Chairman. Douglas’ leadership of the New Investment Panel has been pivotal in the panel becoming a worthwhile innovation.

The introduction of the ProSeeder deal management and investment software is continuing, albeit not as quickly as anticipated. The implementation of the ProSeeder platform will ease our administration functions, should provide members with more transparency and access to information, and will be an important step in fulfilling our GDPR commitments. All TRICAPITAL members need to be signed up on the platform by the end of May this year, which is when TRICAPITAL must be GDPR compliant. My thanks go to Paul Yuskaitis, who is leading the implementation of this important project, which will bring savings to TRICAPITAL in a number of areas.

The Portfolio Review document, after much hard work and effort, was published for the first time in December 2017, in response to members’ request for more information, and a clearer overview of TRICAPITAL’s investments. It was a long process putting the document together, and thanks go to Julian Livingston, Andy and Kathy for all their help.

My thanks also go to Julian for all his help and guidance in pulling together TRICAPITAL’ s substantial response to the questions raised in HM Treasury’s paper on Patient Capital, which was submitted in November 2017.

MONITORING & EXITS

Thank you to Ian Burton for his leadership of the monitoring group, through which we aim to continue to bring transparency and more information to the members, with respect to the performances of the invested companies.

Unfortunately, that elusive “all-star” exit continued to elude us, as there were no significant positive exit events in 2017. However, there was, following Sphynx Medical’s exit in 2015, a modest additional sum paid to investors in Sphynx Medical, and welcome as this was, it is regrettable that no additional positive exits were achieved during the year. Regrettably, one company, Tentel, failed.

PUBLIC RELATIONS/COMMUNICATIONS

Julia Wailes-Fairbairn decided to step down from her marketing role, on account of other work commitments in 2017. To fill the gap, I am delighted to welcome Jules Horne from Texthouse into this role. Jules has a background in journalism with the BBC and Swiss Radio International, and translation with the German Foreign Office. Her company, Texthouse, was launched in 1999, and provides marketing copy, SEO website content and other marketing activities. Welcome, Jules.

TRICAPITAL MEMBERSHIP

We had well over 40 members in 2017. However, we expect this number to drop to just over 40 in 2018, as a small number of members have decided not to renew their membership, for a variety of reasons.

THE BOARD

It is with pleasure that we welcome Moray Martin to the Board as of 1st Jan 2018. Moray comes from a reinsurance background having spent 17 years in the far east in a variety of leadership roles with AXA, Allianz and Lloyds of London. Moray has much to contribute, and is already adding value and having an impact in a number of areas. Welcome Moray.

INVESTMENT OUTLOOK

We expect 2018 to be another busy year in terms of investment – and while the emphasis will continue to be on follow-on funding we shall be looking for attractive new deals to maintain the option for members to support those as well as their existing investments.

We are currently aware that there will be at least 7 (and possibly 8) follow on investment requirements in the first six months!

LOOKING AHEAD

The Board held a strategy meeting in January of this year and agreed the priorities for 2018. These being: new member recruitment, the completion of the ProSeeder roll out, meeting the GDPR compliance requirements, and the appointment of a marketing resource.

Looking further ahead, the Board recognise another very important priority is to find a way to proactively encourage investee companies to build acquirer value and move towards exit, thereby returning shareholder value. It is accepted that there is a strong desire within the membership that we be more proactive in this area and to that end, the board is exploring the formation of an exit group within TRICAPITAL that can impact and add value i.e.

• what actions can we take, or do we take, when failing companies come back to us for money i.e. executive salary revisions, options scheme revisions etc

• How to hold companies to account when they fail to deliver shareholder value.

Finally, thank you, to you the members for all your support in 2017 and to our co-investment partners (Scottish Enterprise, Archangel, LSIP etc) for all their support. Our thanks also to LINC Scotland for their ongoing and invaluable financial support.