A Manchester tech start-up has found it easier to find funding in AFRICA than the North West.
Cesar Pereira said he has secured £420,000 in recent years to develop leading product innovation information platform Gama, which he founded in 2013.
However the CEO, who is looking to raise a further £1 million, has not secured any funding from within the UK.
“Many people told me I was going to fail by being based here and not in London,” he told a packed audience at ‘The future of Manchester’s digital tech scene’, an event held by BusinessCloud jointly with Business Growth Hub.
“The challenge is funding: we raised £420,000 in the last few years from Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Angola – but not here [in the UK].
“The next big challenge is to open a new round in the next three months, raising £1m.”
Gama, a global platform specialising in product innovation and international trade, now has a presence in 46 countries.
“There are 50,000 new products launched globally every month – food, drink, personal care, household and pet care – and 40,000 of them fail,” he continued.
“Millions of pounds are wasted by the likes of Unilever, Nestle – but also by small companies such as an olive oil producer from Italy.
“Gama helps companies – brand, product and marketing managers – understand the trends of who is launching what and where.”
Pereira, who moved to the UK from Portugal in 2000, studied business at undergraduate and Masters degree level at Manchester Metropolitan University before more than a decade working in business information.
“Portugal is becoming a top destination in Europe for tech companies because of the vibrant ecosystem which is in place – but many of them are moving into the UK to expand and internationalise,” he said.
“We signed a partnership with one of them yesterday (Thursday 26th January), Facestore. It developed the first eCommerce platform which connects directly to Facebook.
“Any company can use it to open an online store and sell products or services directly on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.”
The audience also heard why the entrepreneur behind road safety app K-Safe is moving the start-up to Liverpool’s Sensor City technology centre.