Funding boost for growing fintech firm AFT

(Photo: Getty)

Fintech business Asura Financial Technologies (AFT) has secured a six-figure investment deal to fuel growth.

The Glasgow-based firm is the first to be awarded funding with the help of a new scheme developed by Glasgow City Council to help small and medium-sized firms rapidly grow.

AFT develops software for stockbrokers and wealth managers and has been backed by ESM Investments, a Scottish angel investment group focused on supporting high-growth tech companies.

Law firm Harper Macleod advised on the deal after being directed to the firm as part of the city council's new Framework for Business Growth, which was launched in early 2017.

The scheme aims to support 1,200 SMEs across all sectors over the next three years, focusing on providing high-quality advice rather than short-term grant funding.

AFT was set up by co-founders Tony Hamill and David Waddington in late 2015 and was one of the first SMEs to move into Tontine, a dedicated space for tech start-ups on Glasgow’s Trongate. 

Hamill said: "The investment gives us the finance to go ahead and grow the business, particularly the development and sales arms, which is essential as we expand.

“The fact that we were able to demonstrate to a group of investors exactly what we do, and to give them the confidence to buy into it, is a massive thing. Some of our investors have background in the sector and the fact that they can see our potential gives us a lot of confidence going forward.” 

ESM Investments, an angel investor group led by founder and chief executive Steven Morris, comprises entrepreneurs and former senior tech sector executives. 

Harper Macleod partner Paula Skinner, who heads the firm's high growth & investment team, said: “We are delighted to have helped AFT secure such a significant investment. The whole purpose of the council's Framework for Business Growth was to direct businesses to the professional advice they need at the right time, to accelerate their growth.

“AFT is a fantastic business which is ideally placed to be a leading light in Scotland's burgeoning Fintech sector. It is in everyone's interests for Glasgow, and the rest of the country, to seize this opportunity and scale up, and hopefully, this deal will be the first of many similar ones."