Tapping into university expertise helps secure record £1m seed investment for procurement tech scale-up business
A platform that simplifies the public sector tender process for businesses has secured a £1m seed investment from Fuel Ventures with the help of the DigitalCity accelerator programme.
Tender-as-a-service platform OPPORTUNI launched in March 2020 and its Co-founder Tim Ward credits the company’s rapid growth to tapping into the accelerator programme’s expertise, gaining feedback and guidance to realise the solution’s full potential.
The fledgeling business had paying customers on board within months of its launch and is now helping big-name brands including AECOM, SSE and Communicate Plc, as well as thousands of small businesses to secure multi-million-pound contracts with councils, NHS trusts and government departments nationwide.
The funding from Fuel Ventures is the biggest seed investment in Teesside in the last decade. It puts OPPORTUNI on track to become the first billion-dollar business in the Tees Valley.
The company will use the funding to help more small and medium-sized businesses to identify and win big contracts within the public sector, as well as building on its international growth plans for the next 18 months.
Scaling quickly, OPPORTUNI has already created several new job opportunities and has plans to employ 45 new team members by the end of the year, adding to the existing staff across working across the world.
Co-founder, Tim Ward, said: "When starting out we knew our solution had a lot of potential, but we didn't know how to achieve that potential.
“The DigitalCity accelerator programme helped us to gain feedback and guidance as we made key decisions and started scaling the business. I am always keen to learn from others and this was a great way of getting advice and guidance in a structured, consistent way.”
OPPORTUNI links organisations to suitable contract opportunities, and via its global network of experienced professional bid writers, the company is making public sector procurement more accessible for small to medium-sized businesses across the UK and globally.
Emily Bentley, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Communicate Plc, said: "When introduced to the concept, we knew that OPPORTUNI had the solution we'd been looking for since tendering began.
“We’ve watched OPPORTUNI grow from concept to operational and it has been a revelation for the way we search for opportunities, as those that are relevant now come directly to us.
“The team are friendly and personable, and understand our requirements. As well as the team, OPPORTUNI has its own machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) smart algorithms – like a helping hand in itself – so we know as we continue to work with them, that what it brings to us will be the perfect, tailored opportunities.”
- If you have an innovative idea, working with an accelerator programme, such as the Teesside University-led DigitalCity, can help you access expertise and funding to take your ideas further.
- Securing the right funding for your business can allow you to accelerate your growth plans, creating jobs and international opportunities quicker than you could otherwise.
- Try searching for schemes that offer advice and guidance on the GOV.UK website – you can further filter by region, stage, employee numbers and sector.
- Want to find some funding for your business? Use the Swoop funding finder tool to get tailored recommendations.
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It is open to Northern Powerhouse and Scotland-based businesses of all sizes and from all sectors, but we are particularly interested in businesses operating within bio-science, health tech, clean energy, decarbonisation, circular economy, data and digitisation, space and satellite, tech, AI and advanced manufacturing.
For more info visit www.gofurtherindex.co.uk.