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Rocket Internet Investment Arm Leads £9m Series A Into Recruitment Contract Finance Provider Sonovate, Who Also Raise £5m Debt Financing

Global Founders Capital, a VC firm based in Munich and backed by the Samwer brothers, founders of Rocket Internet, has led a Series B investment round into Sonovate, a leading recruitment finance provider. Dawn Capital have also participated in the round.

The funding is split between £9 million in equity funding and £5m in debt funding and follows a £20m raising completed in February, led by Dawn Capital; the debt funding has been supplied Shawbrook Business Credit.

Founded in 2012 by Richard Prime and Damon Chapple, the former Directors of a FTSE 250 listed recruitment agency, Sonovate’s high-tech digital platform helps solve admin and cash-flow problems experienced by recruitment firms.

By using the platform agencies can receive 100% of their profits just one week after raising an invoice, select which placements they would like the platform to fund, and set up financing arrangements at zero cost, with no hidden fees or changes, the company says.

Sonovate also provides one-click reporting and analytics, and online contract and timesheet management – the company’s founders say that they are at last providing a valid alternative to seeking recruitment finance form banks, a process that is both inconvenient and comes with “a host of headaches and barriers that became second nature to running contractors.”

Co-CEO Richard Prime reveals “we launched Sonovate as a disruptive start-up to challenge the status quo in recruitment. In just two years we have completely overtaken the banks, transformed the industry and changed how recruitment agencies operate and we are delighted that this has been recognised by Global Founders Capital.”

In the last 12 months Sonovate have increased company headcount from 25 to 100, and also say they have signed up more recruitment agencies in the past year that every major UK bank combined – the company expects to provide as much as £245m of funding through the platform over the next year.

The funding will be used to help launch the platform overseas in Europe and North America, as well as investing in and developing new products, and winning business from more established recruitment firms, as well as independent businesses using contingent staff.

Global Founders Capital Partner Daniel Jones says; “Sonovate have already demonstrated rapid growth and dominance within their market and we believe they have the potential to go even bigger. We’re excited to support the team as they take the business to the next level.”

Josh Bell, a partner at Dawn Capital added “this new funding round is a great achievement and will enable the business to accelerate its impressive rate of growth both in the UK and internationally; as initial investors in the business we continue to be hugely supportive of the management team.”

Amongst those sitting on Sonovate’s Board of Directors are Paul Birch, who, alongside his brother founded social networking site Bebo before selling the site to AOL in 2008 for $850m dollars, Paul Sanders, a Board Director at Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, and John Martin, ex-CFO and now CEO of Wolseley PLC.

According to Crunchbase, Global Founders Capital have made a total of 51 investments, into start-ups including business loan provider iwoca, London based on-demand pickup service Quiqup, Movinga, a Berlin based online relocation service provider, and NatureBox, a subscription delivery service for healthy snack foods based in Redwood, California.


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