Venture Capital allowed Spectral Edge to stop bootstrapping and start investing in the world-class talent it needed.

Spectral Edge builds embeddable technology that uses machine learning to improve imagery and videos on mass market devices, including smartphones.

Rhodri Thomas CEO at Spectral Edge
Rhodri Thomas, CEO
BusinessSpectral Edge
RegionEast Anglia
SectorInformation Technology
Type of fundingVenture Capital (VC)

Key Takeaways

The Challenge

Spectral Edge had been operating in bootstrapping mode and needed finance for vital working capital to enable it to expand its team.

The Ambition

Spectral Edge wanted to invest in world-class talent and move into a new facility to enable it to develop its products.

The Finance

£4m in Venture Capital.

The Outcome

The funding has helped Spectral Edge more than double the size of its team and make rapid progress in bringing products based on its Intellectual Property (IP) to life.

The journey to finance

  • Spectral Edge is a tech company that specialises in improving image and video for mass market devices.
  • It spun out of the University of East Anglia's Colour Lab in 2014 and after an initial period of bootstrapping, looked for Venture Capital in order to finance its growth.
  • Lead by a supportive chairman and investor team, Spectral Edge was able to close on its round in a little over two months and since then the company has grown at a rapid rate.
  • It's more than doubled its workforce, moved into new premises and brought its products to life.
  • And it doesn't look like things are slowing down for the Cambridge-based company either, with its tech team and products continuing to grow as it engages with key players in the industry.

"Although I've worked in leadership positions for start-ups for many years, this was my first time raising money personally. We raised a touch over £4m. With that money, we have been able to attract world-class talent and been able to move into an excellent new facility in Cambridge Science Park."

Rhodri Thomas CEO at Spectral Edge

Spectral Edge's Top Tips

  • 1

    Timing is everything. If your target market is ready, don't wait and don't be conservative. Raise what you can before someone else comes in unexpectedly. Carpe diem!

  • 2

    In Cambridge, we have a community of start-up CEOs who meet regularly. This is really helpful for sharing experiences and ideas, and of course contacts with VCs, Angels etc.

  • 3

    I had help from a third party in getting the pitch right and clarifying the message.

"Some of the VCs we spoke to decided against investing. Either the timing was wrong for them or the fit wasn't right for various reasons. This is something you have to live with when seeking VC investment. The key thing, I think, is getting a 'No' rapidly so you don't burn cycles on the wrong people."

Rhodri Thomas CEO at Spectral Edge

The best bits about Venture Capital

  • Our funders provide support and advice when asked.
  • We're trusted to run the company day-to-day.
  • Having regular board meetings and good communication lines with the key investors helps get that balance right.