A specialist North East ‘software as a service’ firm is programming its own ambitious expansion plans after securing a six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund. Mesma offers a comprehensive quality assurance platform that is used by educational institutions, employment support providers and regulatory and accreditation bodies to simplify their QA processes and deliver management information that has a tangible impact on the ways in which they work.
Having grown organically to this point, Mesma is now looking to increase its turnover to around £2m over the next four years and to expand its customer base so that its software is being used by organisations with more two million end users between them. The Mesma management team worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the £150,000 investment, backed by the government’s Recovery Loan Scheme, which is being used to enhance its business development, sales and software engineering capacity.
Three new roles are expected to be created this year as the business grows, with providing opportunities for local apprentices being high on Mesma’s priority list as part of wanting to train staff to its own standards. Well-known North East business advisor Neville Bearpark has also recently joined the firm as a strategic financial advisor.
Mesma was founded ten years ago by directors Louise Doyle and Carole Loader and initially focused more on consultancy work than software development, with the scalability of the software side of the business leading to it becoming the predominant part over the last three years.
Alongside its commercial operations, Mesma has a longstanding community commitment, with members of its team acting as voluntary board members for schools, colleges and awarding organisations, as well as acting as advocates for developing links between education, employment support and business.
Louise Doyle says: “Having access to detailed management data is absolutely essential for our customers if they’re going to be confident that they’re providing the best possible service and support to theirs. “Our bespoke system is delivering the level of insight that they need and the success we’ve enjoyed so far now provides a strong platform on which we can build quickly. “Taking our annual turnover past the two million pound mark by the middle of the decade is an ambitious target, but we’re confident we have the product, sector knowledge and resources we need to get there.
“Training up our own team and providing more local apprenticeship opportunities is an important part of our future development plans and ties in with our long-term goal of contributing to our community through the work that we do.
“The NEL team has a very honest, straightforward way of working and quickly grasped the ways in which we were looking to grow with their investment support.”
It’s the second time that Mesma has worked with NEL, with the business securing a £100,000 investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund in 2020. Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Mesma has achieved a strong position in a niche market where demand for their services is only going to build and it’s exciting to be with them at the start of the next stage of their growth journey.”
The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk
or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.