Billionaire property developer Nick Candy has invested a significant seven figure sum into the tech business headed up by entrepreneur Luke Massie.
Candy Ventures –Candy’s private investment fund – has made an undisclosed investment in Vibe Group Holdings – the company behind transparent ticket resale platform, Vibe Tickets and peer-to-peer mobile payment platform, VibePay.
The investment gives Candy Ventures a 23 per cent equity stake in Vibe Group Holdings, joining existing investors Scott Fletcher and AIM-listed Vela Technologies. Vibe’s founder and CEO Massie, 26, remains the majority shareholder in the group business.
Candy, who is married to Australian singer and actress Holly Valance, said he was attracted to Vibe’s “game-changing products”.
He said: “I recognise a lot of entrepreneurial qualities in Luke that I know are crucial for a tech start-up to achieve great things. He has identified real demand from consumers and developed some game-changing products. Candy Ventures is excited for the potential of this investment.”
The investment from Candy Ventures will support Massie’s new offering, VibePay – a mobile payment infrastructure built on open banking, that is set to disrupt the payments industry with several products on the roadmap. The first product to market will be a consumer offering, allowing people to socially plan and pay in groups.
The investment will also continue to scale the Vibe Tickets business; a transparent ticket resale platform and fan-driven community. Vibe Tickets users will be the first to benefit from VibePay Marketplace, allowing people to pay for their tickets directly through their bank account and split the cost with their friends.
Massie said the investment would take Vibe Group to the next level. He explained: “This is a significant milestone for the Vibe Group. To have the backing from Nick Candy and his experienced team at Candy Ventures, as well as the continued support from Scott and Vela, is a huge endorsement for the brand.
“We are gathering momentum at an incredible pace and making major progress in product development. We always put the consumer first and build products that add value to their everyday lives.”
Candy’s investment is a huge coup for Vibe Group, which employs 30 people and has offices in Lancaster and London.
It’s also a huge boost for Massie, who bought Vibe Tickets out of administration last year after a bruising disagreement with a previous investor.
After buying Vibe Tickets out of administration Massie formed a new holding firm called Vibe Group Holdings Limited, which consists of Vibe Tickets Limited and Vibe Pay Limited.
At the time the young entrepreneur took the unusual step of offering his original crowd investors shares in the new company – Vibe Tickets Limited – proportionate to their original investment in TheVibe Ltd from his own personal equity.