From growth accelerator to £2.5m and 300% growth

LivingLens has gone through four separate rounds of funding and raised £2.5m in total. The latest, a £1m investment from British Business Bank’s Angel Co Fund, resulted in 300% growth and an increased presence abroad, with 40% of its business now coming from the US alone.

LivingLens' business fact-file

Business LivingLens
Region North West
Sector Technology
Type of funding Venture Capital

Key Takeaways

The Challenge

Before this funding round, there were around five of us on the team. We were all doing a bit of everything. That funding allowed us to bring in people with domain expertise in different areas like sales.

The Finance

£1 million

The Outcome

We took a government-funded course called Growth Accelerator in 2013, based in London. London is the centre of the universe for equity finance. A specific module called Access to Finance educated us about what equity finance was, and where we could get it. We received £100,000 through a MadTech accelerator called Collider.

LivingLens' journey to finance

  • LivingLens' finance journey started out in 2013 when, armed with a prototype and small proofs of concept, it received £100,000 of seed funding through an accelerator.
  • Fast forward six years and LivingLens has been through three more rounds of funding, raising £2.5m as it's moved from Start-up to successful company.
  • In early 2017, LivingLens completed its most significant round of funding through The Angel CoFund, a delivery partner of the British Business Bank, raising just over £1m, which enabled it to bring more expertise in-house, and improve its offering in foreign markets.
  • LivingLens has grown by 300% as a result, and now nearly 40% of its business comes from the US.
  • The team has grown to 17 people [from five in 2015], and has open vacancies for half a dozen positions. That would have been impossible, according to LivingLens, without the people and institutions that believed in its product, its team and the market.

LivingLens' top tips

  • 1

    Don't think of finance as a one time thing

    As your business develops, so does your need for finance. Different types suit different businesses.

  • 2

    Don't expect a quick fix

    The more money you ask for, the longer it takes. It took six to nine months during each round.

  • 3

    Consider financial institutions to finance growth

    Financial institutions can be more hands-on, and can provide introductions to distribution partners and clients.

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The best bits about Venture Capital

  • We grew by 300% and now nearly 40% of our business comes from the US [after a £1m funding round]. That would have been impossible without these people and institutions believing in our product, team and market
  • They asked tougher questions and although that might seem scary, it focused our attention on how we run our business and added so much value
  • The funding we received allowed us to bring in people with domain expertise in different areas like sales

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