First Derivatives, in partnership with BGF, launches ‘Funding for Growth’ Programme
The Partnership will identify, support and grow entrepreneurial companies to develop services standardised on FD’s world-leading Kx technology.
First Derivatives plc (FD) has agreed a partnership with BGF, the UK’s leading investor in small and mid-sized companies. The partnership, aimed at developing companies, will combine access to FD’s technology and support with access to BGF’s extensive balance sheet and advisor network. The aim is to turn bright ideas into disruptive companies in some of the most exciting sectors of the economy.
Over the course of the last year FD has received increasing numbers of requests from established, start-up and scale up firms interested in understanding how Kx – FD’s ultra-high performance technology platform for the processing of real-time, streaming and historical data – could help them solve problems, build a business or even unlock entirely new markets. These companies, working in areas as diverse as smart meters, personalised medicine and the interpretation of satellite data, have helped underscore the relevance of Kx to markets far removed from the financial services arena, where Kx has established a market-leading position.
In financial services, FD’s Kx technology, which analyses vast amounts of data and provides real-time insight to those analysing that data, has delivered orders-of-magnitude improvements across the capital markets and counts 19 of the top 20 global investment banks as customers. Recognising the potential for Kx to disrupt markets beyond financial services, FD has already made moves to apply the technology to companies in the digital marketing, retail analytics and utilities sectors. Now, as an extension of those efforts, the partnership with BGF will enable the Newry-headquartered firm to play a guiding role in some of Britain’s most innovative, exciting technology growth businesses: advising and assisting those firms as they adopt Kx technology to achieve their ambitions.
Under the terms of the partnership, FD will provide successful applicant companies with resources and operational expertise to support their product innovation and development, while BGF will open up access to its £2.5bn balance sheet and heavy weight advisor and support network. The partnership will further extend BGF’s reach into earlier stage businesses, following the launch of BGF Ventures in 2015.
FD and BGF will work together to assess opportunities and support the growth of investee companies. Founded by Brian Conlon in 1996, FD has become one of Europe’s most prominent tech success stories, and one of the most successful companies on AIM since the launch of the market. BGF provided £387m in funding to UK smaller and mid-sized companies in 2016, up from £257m the previous year, making the last 12 months its most successful to date.
Expressions of Interest
Taking a proven technology that has successfully disrupted one market and developing this for other markets is innovation in its truest sense.
FD is a fantastic story of entrepreneurial success. The aim of this partnership is to create a multiplier effect around the Kx technology and support the growth of more businesses by providing access to knowledge, people and funding in a commercially sustainable way.
Stephen Welton, founding CEO of BGF
We have long since recognised the power and scalability of Kx. Having transformed areas of the financial markets, we are genuinely excited about working with entrepreneurs, creatives, scientists and technologists in other fields to push the technology into new areas.
This is our first strategic partnership with an investment company. We wanted a patient partner that could provide long-term funding so that earlier stage innovations have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We share BGF’s passion for supporting the growth of British businesses, and are delighted to be working with them.
Brian Conlon, founder and CEO of FD