Business growth fund clocks up 50th investment milestone

The Finance for Business North East Angel Fund has reached a major milestone with the completion of its 50th investment

50 not out - (from left) Richard Butts of Ward Hadaway, Giordano Ferdinandi of Clockwork Chilli and Michael Dickens of Rivers Capital Partners
50 not out - (from left) Richard Butts of Ward Hadaway, Giordano Ferdinandi of Clockwork Chilli and Michael Dickens of Rivers Capital Partners

A business growth fund has reached a major milestone with the completion of its 50th investment.

The Finance for Business North East Angel Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in games technology start-up company Clockwork Chilli. The Newcastle-based firm will use the cash to hire more staff to grow the business and boost revenues.

Founded in 2012, Clockwork develops html5-based technology which is used to create a wide range of games and applications. It has created a games engine, WADE, which is already being used by more than 600 developers to make interactive games on a range of different platforms.

WADE is available free of charge to developers, although they have to pay a fee for premium features. Clockwork Chilli is using the system to create its own games aimed at social media users and available for free, supported by advertising and opportunities for in-game purchases. The company also recently launched an online store selling other gaming products to consumers.

Giordano Ferdinandi, managing director of Clockwork Chilli, said: “There has been an explosion in the popularity of online gaming in recent years and modern web technologies and standards are making it possible for interactive games to be developed across a wide range of different platforms.

“Our WADE system is already used by over 600 developers and as the popularity of the technology continues to increase, so do the opportunities to create a range of revenue streams from it.

“We think there is a huge market for games which lie between simple games like Flappy Bird and more complex high-end games like Assassin’s Creed and WADE is ideally placed to exploit that market.

“This investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund will make a big difference in our ability to grow the business and is also a valuable endorsement of our vision for Clockwork Chilli’s development.”

The Angel Fund is managed by Rivers Capital Partners and is one of seven funds that make up the £125m Finance for Business North East programme, which is managed by North East Finance.

Michael Dickens, investment manager at Rivers Capital Partners, said: “In many respects, Clockwork Chilli typifies the kind of company which the fund was established to help – an ambitious, forward-thinking young business looking for early-stage funding to help it develop and grow.

“Giordano and the team at Clockwork Chilli have developed a product which is already highly popular in a market that is experiencing exponential growth so hopefully this investment will enable them to take things further.”

Richard Butts, corporate partner at law firm Ward Hadaway, provided legal advice to Rivers Capital Partners on the investment in Clockwork.

He said: “It is very pleasing to have assisted Rivers Capital Partners on this, the 50th investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund.

“Having advised on many of the previous investments from the fund, we were able to use that experience to ensure that the investment in Clockwork Chilli progressed smoothly.”

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