Manchester-based cybersecurity business Netacea has changed CEO as part of a further £4.5 million investment from Mercia Asset Management PLC.

Co-founder Jeremy Gidlow, the former CEO, will transition to a non-executive role ‘where he will focus on the strategic development of the business by building key relationships and partnerships’. 

His fellow co-founder, Andy Still, remains as chief product officer.

Netacea started life as the cybersecurity arm of Intechnica Holdings, an IT consulting business backed by Mercia, and was spun off as a standalone company in 2022. Intechnica was sold to US-based Crosslake Technologies in January this year for £14.5m in a deal which provided an exit for Mercia and founders Gidlow and Still (pictured). All three retained a stake in Netacea. 

New CEO Mick Bradley started his career as a software engineer before moving into more commercial sales roles, most recently operating as chief revenue officer.

A new chair has also been appointed as part of the funding deal, which Mercia says will support Netacea’s commercial progress both in the UK and overseas as a provider of cybersecurity against bot attacks that target mobile, web and API applications. 

Incoming chair Pat Clarke, former executive chair at Phoebus Software and Hublsoft, also guided Orchard Information Systems through significant growth and a successful transition to MRI Software. He has extensive experience in the data storage and financial technology sectors, including roles at Tandberg Data and in various firms across the EMEA region.

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The funding comes from Mercia Asset Management PLC’s own cash and several of its funds under management including Northern VCTs and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. 

Mercia now holds a 34.2% stake in Netacea, with its managed funds holding a further 31.2%.

“Our support reaffirms Mercia’s belief in both Netacea’s technology and the growth potential within the cybersecurity market,” said Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management. 

“The appointment of Pat and Mick, whose experience includes delivering growth strategies in international markets, will further strengthen the management team.

“Together with the continued support of founders Jeremy and Andy, it makes the company well placed to establish itself as a key player in the global cybersecurity market.”

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