£1.4m investment for firm transforming public sector IT

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A Manchester company which helps public sector bodies to achieve digital transformation has secured a £1.4 million investment, including £750,000 from NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund; £500,000 from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and £150,000 from internal management.

Shaping Cloud enables the NHS, local authorities and other government departments to adopt cloud technology to deliver their digital transformation strategies. The company’s focus for growth is now on its software business and SPINR product, which provides a platform upon which new digital services and streamlined processes can be built. The benefits for public sector bodies is that it provides the ability to easily transact and share data without incurring the capital cost of replacing existing systems.

Established in 2010 by Carlos Oliveira, Shaping Cloud currently employs 18 people and serves clients including NHS Digital, Lancashire and Oxfordshire County Councils, Manchester City Council, the Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham, Homes England, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and the Northern Care Alliance.

The funding will allow the company to continue to innovate and develop its cloud products and step up its sales and marketing activity. It is expected to create over a further 12 jobs in the coming months.

Carlos Oliveira, CEO, Shaping Cloud, said: “Our ambition as a company is to be part of making digital transformation within the public sector a reality. With ambitious targets set out in the government’s transformation strategy and health and social care integration agenda, our experience and products, we believe, make us well placed to support these objectives and transform the digital services delivered by public sector bodies. This investment will therefore enable us to continually develop and promote our SPINR product so our customers can benefit from not only service improvements but cost, operational and efficiency advantages as well.

“The additional support will also allow us to invest in and grow the team and become part of the growing number of innovative businesses based in Manchester and driving change.”

Will Clark, Fund Principal at Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Public sector organisations face the challenge of trying to build digital services while running many of their core functions on legacy systems. Shaping Cloud helps them to deliver a modern front end solution whilst also increasing efficiency and reducing costs. This additional funding will allow the company to further develop its products and take advantage of the growing market demand.”

Grant Peggie Director at British Business Bank, said: “Shaping Cloud is a fantastic business that is supporting public sector organisations, whose digital transformation strategies are often stymied by old technology, adopt and take advantage of cloud based solutions. The business is in great shape, and this funding will only help it grow even further as it looks to bolster its headcount and develop new products.”

Shaping Cloud was advised by Rupert Wingate Saul of FWS Advisory who was instrumental in ensuring the right investment support was achieved.

Rupert Wingate Saul, of FWS Advisory, said: “Shaping Cloud is clearly an ambitious company. This investment will enable it to work with public sector bodies to help them deliver the more citizen-centric services that an increasingly digitally literate population is now demanding. Shaping Cloud is one of the leaders in a new generation of companies which will cement Manchester’s place as a major technology hub over the coming years.”

Jan Winstanley of Kuits provided legal advice to Shaping Cloud whilst the Fund was advised by Melanie Yeomans of Manchester-based Ward Hadaway.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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