Globalisation on pause? How scaleups can navigate today's uncertainty9:30 am - 10:30 am
Software to help financial firms manage their cash, collateral and liquidity
When Neville Roberts co-founded his enterprise software company, Planixs, he had no idea it would go on to help the world’s largest financial institutions operate. As the former CIO of Best Buy, he recognised the latent potential of real-time analytics early on and was eager to apply the technique to new industries.
“Retail was moving into real time, so I started looking at these new technologies,” explains Neville, who started Planixs with Stuart Houghton in 2011 using personal funds. “But our first solution – which is still in use – helped companies optimise their resource base, it wasn’t for finance.”
Regulations passed after the global financial crisis require banks to know exactly what risks they are exposed to.
Representing BGF on the Planixs board is Spencer Woods, formerly an investment manager at Wheatsheaf Group.BGF Talent Network
Small fish in a big pond
After two years of operating, Neville met with a banker and discovered how the financial crisis of 2008 occurred, in part, due to banks not having a real-time view of their liquidity. As a result, industry regulations now required financial institutions to know exactly what their liquidity was across their entire asset base at any given time.
“After the meeting, we realised the platform we’d built was a very good match to build a solution to meet these requirements – it was very exciting.”
But entering the sector proved tougher than expected. “It’s very competitive and hard to be a small player in a big pond with some very big players. Plus, the market was slow to react to the regulations, so everything took longer than we anticipated.”
Despite the competition, Planixs secured its first financial services client, Barclays, in 2014. Armed with a major client, and with the market finally responding to the regulations, Planixs’ sales pipeline started growing.
BGF's investment enabled Planixs to...
Expand its product suite.
Invest in a global sales and marketing team.
Bolster its head office in the centre of Manchester.
“It was time to invest,” recalls Neville. “If we wanted to maintain our position, we needed to raise money to complete the rest of the product suite quickly and grow a global sales and marketing team.”
After looking at 20 investment opportunities, Planixs selected BGF and secured an initial £3.5 million minority equity investment in February 2019. “We chose BGF because they met all our criteria, which included being a hands-off investor,” recalls Neville. “They said right from the start that they would let us run the business – and they have.”
Representing BGF on the board is former food and agriculture investor, Spencer Woods. “Spencer really understands how companies can use investment to grow – and that’s been very useful so far,” says Neville.
We chose BGF because they met all our criteria, which included being a hands-off investor. They said right from the start that they would let us run the business – and they have.
Neville Roberts, co-founder of Planixs
Minority equity investment made by BGF.
As for the future, Neville believes there are big things to come. “We want to continue to lead the market, dominate and win our fair share – which is all of it!”
An aerial spray to protect coastlines from oil spills
Agile Spray Response offers technology to manage and resolve oil spills at sea using an aerial spray delivered by large jet aircraft.
We’re ready. Are you?
Want to join some of the nation’s most ambitious and successful companies?
We’re always looking for the next brilliant business to back.