Three more entrepreneurial businesses receive funding boost from SLF

CST Global, Deep Casing Tools and VisionWare all successfully secure Scottish Loan Fund backing

The Scottish Loan Fund (SLF), which is managed by Maven, has invested in three more growth-focused businesses. In the two years since launch the SLF has now committed over £28 million of funds in 11 ScottishSMEs. Set up to address the market need for finance, funding from the SLF continues to help companies in Scotland to achieve their business plans and facilitate the next stage of their growth aspirations.

Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global (CST) received £1.7 million of funding to acquire new equipment which will enable it to bring more parts of the production process in-house, rather than outsourcing, and will allow CST to expand its product base. The Hamilton based business provides semiconductor foundry and custom services, specialising in the design, development and manufacture of discrete and integrated III-V opto-electronic devices. The demand for semiconductors has seen rapid growth, fuelled in part by the increasing demand for feature rich handsets and smartphones in the communications sector.

Aberdeen-based Deep Casing Tools (Deep Casing) has developed an innovative range of tools for use in the oil and gas industry to enable casing and completions to be landed first time at target depth within an oil or gas well. Deep Casing’s unique drill-through technology provides significant time and cost savings when compared to conventional methods. The outlook for the business is extremely positive as the market continues to shift focus towards both unconventional shale assets and drilling in more complex deeper water. The £2.1 million funding from the SLF will provide working capital headroom for the business to exploit this market opportunity as well as helping to grow Deep Casing’s operations in the Middle East and US.

Another successful Scottish business to call on the support of the SLF is VisionWare, a software company based in Glasgow. VisionWare has developed its own specialised master data management (MDM) software called ‘MultiVue’. The technology allows organisations to integrate remote data sources and actively manage the output to create a single, reliable view of their customers. Having a single source of data enables on-going data quality improvements and ultimately savings on costs. The MDM market continues to grow consistently each year and with budget cuts ongoing across the public sector, there is a driver to invest in making sustainable and measureable changes. The £1 million of SLF funding, alongside additional funding from the Bank of Scotland, will be used to increase sales and consultancy personnel in both the UK and US as the business looks to exploit new opportunities.

Julie Glenny, Investment Director at Maven Capital Partners, said: “These three investments help to demonstrate just how flexible Scottish Loan Fund finance can be in helping ambitious SMEs. While these companies operate in different sectors, we have worked closely with each of the management teams to tailor a solution that fits with their business needs and ultimately their strategic objectives.

CST, Deep Casing and Visionware fit the SLF mould perfectly. They have proven to be innovative and most importantly have clearly defined strategies in place to grow the businesses. We are pleased that the SLF will play a key part in helping these companies fulfil their potential and continue to be encouraged by the high calibre of introductions we are seeing from across Scotland.”

Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “This announcement shows how important the Scottish Loan Fund is in driving Scotland’s businesses and economy. Without its support, these three businesses could have missed their chance to develop and grow. Now they have the finance to keep expanding and exploring new options. That’s the kind of service Scotland’s SMEs need.”

Neil Martin, CEO of CST, said “We are delighted to be working with the team at Maven having successfully completed this funding at what is a crucial time in the company’s evolution. The flexible funding package will allow us to begin providing a core technology in-house, thereby securing the supply chain, whilst providing an IP platform for next generation devices that our customers will need. The structure and timing of the SLF deal further complements our long term investor strategy as we develop our offering to top-tier, international customers.”

Lance Davis, CEO of Deep Casing Tools, said: “This funding announcement is very important, not only providing the working capital to invest in inventory and people, it also marks the confirmation of the company moving from early stage to commercial growth.”

Gordon Cooper, CEO at VisionWare, said: “Throughout the process I was encouraged by the professionalism and commercial focus the team at Maven had on completing the transaction. At all times we worked to a mutual set of objectives that enables VisionWare to execute against our plan into new sectors and continue with our success to-date. I have every confidence that our relationship with Maven and the support of the SLF will enable VisionWare to meet our aspirations for growth over the next three years.”

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