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Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, has invested £1.25m in Acunu, a data storage specialist, as part of a £3.6m funding round alongside existing investors, Eden Ventures, Pentech Ventures and Oxford Technology Management.
Acunu has developed a database infrastructure and analytics software package targeting the fast growing Big Data market. Big Data is the term for large volumes of data, including internet and social media generated data which can be difficult to store, extract and analyse information from.
Acunu forms fast databases on cheap commodity hardware, enabling customers to store Big Data and to access it in real-time, significantly cheaper and more effectively than competitors. Customers can also search these databases for useful information and analyse it instantly.
This is an active, early-stage market that many analysts expect to grow rapidly over the next two to five years. Acunu has gained some early customer traction in the Telecoms and manufacturing sectors.
The company was founded in 2009 by Tim Moreton, Chief Product Officer and Tom Wilkie, Vice-President of Engineering, based on a set of algorithms and open source code initially developed at Cambridge University Computer Lab.
Acunu will use the funds raised to further develop its product market positioning and build its sales team. The company recently hired a new CEO and President, Chris Gomersall, formerly Vice-President EMEA at ServiceNow and Polyserve, and previously CEO of Ipsoteck, to lead the next phase of growth of the business.
To date including this investment round Acunu has raised £6.6m. Following the investment, Jon Edington, Director of Technology Ventures at Innovations, will join the board as non-executive director.
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity to back a fast growth business with a strong commercial team. Acunu is addressing the issues that the growing volume of Big Data creates and their products offer real solutions for business.
“Acunu is our third investment in a Cambridge technology company, where our pipeline of new opportunities is gaining significant momentum.”
Chris Gomersall, Chief Executive Officer, Acunu, said
“This successful funding round is a great boost, enabling us to drive sales and marketing effectively. We are pleased to have Innovations on board as an investor and the support and expertise they bring.”
Imperial Innovations 020 7594 6589
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer
Diana Crisp, PR Manager
College Hill 020 7457 2020
Adrian Duffield/Rozi Morris/Tim Watson
J.P. Morgan Cazenove 020 7742 4000
Michael Wentworth-Stanley/Paul Park
Notes to editors
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.
Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:
- leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages
- providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products
- providing operational expertise
- helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members
Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.
By raising £140 million in January 2011, Innovations has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments. In the year to 31 July 2011, Innovations invested £35.1 million (2010: £14 million) in 23 ventures, and launched six new companies.
In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative vaccines for the treatment of a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.
About Acunu www.acunu.com
Acunu is a technology solutions provider helping business to derive new insight from Big Data.
Acunu makes it easy to build real-time Big Data solutions for reporting, monitoring and analyzing your business. We deliver a turn-key analytics, database and storage stack that is scalable, robust and cost-effective, on premise or in the cloud. We provide the infrastructure so you can deliver immediate insights.