Intechnica, the Manchester-based technology business, has closed a £2.85m funding round led by investment group Mercia.
The lead investment of £2m came from NPIF-Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
An additional £750,000 was invested by Mercia Technologies, and £100,000 by existing private investors as part of the funding round.
The funding will help the company lead the fight against cyber bots by growing its cyber security division, Netacea, in the UK, North America and other international markets, and expand Intechnica’s consultancy services.
Founded in 2006 by Jeremy Gidlow and Andy Still, Intechnica now employs around 80 staff in its two business divisions.
Intechnica offers services including digital transformation, technical due diligence for investors or corporate finance advisers, and a new Data Science as a Service (DSaaS) offering, while Netacea protects companies from automated bot threats, such as account takeover, using machine learning to prioritise genuine human traffic.
Clients include major retailers such as Hobbs, Ted Baker, Ao.com, Cath Kidston and Nisa. Mercia first invested in Intechnica in 2014.
Will Clark, of Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Following previous funding rounds from Mercia, Intechnica is now well-positioned for growth.
“This latest round will support further development of its consultancy work and the launch of its new DSaaS line of business, offering market-leading expertise in this emerging field.”
Alistair Forbes, of Mercia Technologies, added: “As cyberattacks become automated, companies face a growing threat from robotic traffic attacking their websites, taking over their customers’ accounts and stealing data for fraudulent use.
“Netacea represents the next generation of protection, using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques to combat these increasingly prevalent and rapidly evolving threats.
“We believe that Netacea and the team behind it will deliver outstanding success for the business.”
Intechnica chief executive, Jeremy Gidlow, said: “Having the financial support and expertise of our investors will help us execute our vision even more rapidly and broadly, and with the benefit of their experience and perspective of high growth technology businesses.
“We are hugely excited about the journey ahead as we gain momentum and focus on our plans for growth.”
Deborah McGargle provided legal advice to the company on the investment, while Caroline Walker at CMS advised Mercia.