- Technology breaking down the barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship
- Unlocks innovation by providing a safe digital space for early-stage ideas to be captured, tested and shared
- Technology brings industry and education together to ‘crowdsource’ ideas to organisational challenges
- Experienced business angels including Ashley Cooper led the investment, alongside the Development Bank of Wales
Cardiff-based Simply Do Ideas, the education technology firm that helps people build and test their ideas, has raised £550,000 in its latest funding round. The money was secured from angel investors led by the company’s Chairman, Ashley Cooper, alongside the Development Bank of Wales.
Simply Do Ideas was founded by Lee Sharma in 2015 after seeing the frustrations that start-ups and existing organisations faced in taking a raw idea through to execution. The company has since developed cloud-based, B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) and BPaaS (Business Process as a Service) platforms. Their products have been featured as best practice by the likes of the Huffington Post, Forbes and Business Insider.
The company was last year chosen as one of Innovation Point’s “Digital Dozen”. These are twelve of Wales’ brightest tech start-ups which are on track to deliver a combined turnover of over £100 million a year by 2020. It has also been part of the NatWest-funded Entrepreneurial Spark programme and Welsh Government’s Accelerated Growth Programme.
Lee Sharma said: “We are now in a world where it is crucial to have a creative and innovative mindset. Our technology is unlocking the entrepreneurial behaviours of individuals, organisations and communities by digitally bringing people together. This opens up access to previously untapped resources, ideas and solutions while seamlessly bridging the gap between industry and academia.
“With the support of these funds and the fantastic investor group behind us, we will continue to grow our market share and cement our position between industry and academia. Our plan is to become the de facto choice for organisations looking for a simpler way to support early-stage innovation.”
Alongside lead angel Ashley Cooper – who also participated in the company’s seed funding round in 2015 - investors in the latest round include: his Catalyst Growth Partners co-founder Philip Roberts; energy-saving entrepreneurs Andrew Diplock and Gruff Dodd; industrial technology entrepreneur and founder of Sunnybarn Investments, Phil Buck; and Paul Teather of Pragmatica, experts in Digital Transformation. Paul Teather is appointed to the Board as Investor Director.
Ashley Cooper said: “Innovation and entrepreneurship are fundamental to the success of any economy. Being able to capture ideas in a cross-stakeholder collaborative fashion and then to “crowdsource” the solution allows businesses to grow at an increased rate. The Simply Do Ideas product is a brilliant tool to stimulate and manage this innovation activity.
“We brought together a group of “been there, seen it, done it” Angel investors who have all generated success by capturing and growing innovative ideas. This group are the epitome of “Smart Capital” bringing expertise and funding to stimulate business growth. We look forward to helping Simply Do Ideas to grow at pace.”
Commenting on the latest fundraising, Carmine Circelli, who led the investment for the Development Bank of Wales, said: “We are pleased to support Simply Do Ideas in what is set to be rapid growth. Capturing innovation is key to any growing business and we look forward to the impact Simply Do Ideas can have on the growth of businesses in Wales, the UK and internationally. The investor group in Simply Do Ideas has significant shared experience which will be of huge benefit.”
Simply Do Ideas also listed the investment opportunity on the newly launched Angels Invest Wales online investment platform which facilitated additional angel investor introductions, helping the business raise more funds. Steve Holt, Director of Angels Invest Wales added: “Angels Invest Wales is pleased to have played a role in connecting some of the angel investors in this funding round. It is a key focus of ours to bring together and develop angel groups and syndicates to be able to back more of the excellent start-up and growth businesses in Wales.”
To date, Simply Do Ideas has worked with over 80 organisations including high-profile clients from education, financial services, charities and government. It expects to revolutionise how education works together with both corporate and public sector organisations for economic and social impact.