It develops phones for customers for £40 upwards, with the cheap devices designed to act as a back-up or emergency phone for everyday mobile users, or alternatively an entry-level device for children or the elderly.
The outfit invested alongside London Business Angels, Renaissance Capital Partners and mobile industry executive Nigel Litchfield, who has now joined the board of OwnFone as a result.
As the £250,000 support from Angel CoFund marks its 50th investment, funding from the company has now topped £22m since its launch in November 2011. Its focus is on SMEs from most sectors, providing investments between £100,000 and £1m at all stages of development.
Tim Mills, investment director at the Angel CoFund, said: “When launching in 2011 the aim of the Angel CoFund was to back promising British businesses and to support the UK’s angel investor community.
“Today’s announcement is a milestone for us – we have now invested over £22m into 50 British businesses, and facilitated more than £90m from angels and others. We’re also setting aside a similar amount to support those same companies as they grow. OwnFone is the perfect example of businesses we look to back: innovative, ambitious and seeking to deliver something of real value to its customers.”
Here’s a look at six of the other companies that have received capital from the CoFund:
The UK mobile-only events service launched in 2012, providing Londoners the power to book tickets for city concerts, drinking sessions, food experiences and so on in just two taps on their smartphone. The company has since launched in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Edinburgh, helping local navigate and access events in the cities, while Pharrell Williams and Ashton Kutcher are among the high-profile advisers and investors on the board.
An analytics business designed to support crowd management at large events, such as the London 2012 Olympics, with video surveillance. The technology provides insights on how audiences are behaving and moving at events for sectors including media, security, retail, transport and more, which in turn allows the operations to deploy extra staff accordingly, whether that’s to enhance the safety or enjoyment of guests.
A Bristol University spin-out, Micrima has produced radiowave radar technology that can be applied for the diagnosis of breast cancer. The solution is designed to facilitate medical imaging and has an ambition to “enable breast screening to become safer, more convenient, more accessible, more desired by the female population and more economically viable.”
Named one of the UK’s most disruptive businesses in our Everline Future 50 of 2014, Gousto was launched to combine the founders’ mutual passions of food and business, providing customers with recipes and measured portions of ingredients to let them channel their inner Gordon Ramsay. In December 2013, the company had delivered 26,000 meals, prompting a 2014 revenue target of between £5m and £10m, and growth to £50m to £100m in the next four years – quite the turnaround after a Dragons’ Den pitch that saw the duo leave empty-handed.
This interactive and TV learning app for preschoolers launched at the beginning of the year, and in addition to securing funding from professional investors, TV presenter and mother Davina McCall joined the list of backers in May. She said: “As both an investor and a mum, I’m so excited about the potential in Hopster. As a parent, you’re always concerned about screen time. You want apps that are fun but also educational and the people behind Hopster seem to have found the sweet spot in getting that balance just right.”
Health and fitness-centric startup UpMySport helps personal trainers generate business by pairing them with consumers who are looking to get into shape, allowing both parties to build connections based on specialities and goals. After launching in April 2013, the platform includes more than 700 instructors proficient in hundreds of activities across over 25 sports in both the UK and France.
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