Angels and regional backer come together to back SaaS firm SocialRel8

The Finance for Business North East Finance Proof of Concept Fund has teamed up with a number of angel investors to inject a quarter of a million pounds into software company SocialRel8.

Middlesbrough-based SocialRel8 has netted its first round of institutional funding and will now look to create new jobs and develop complementary products.

The business provides services aimed at allowing call centres to supply better customer services by improving the way staff handle enquiries. Its software-as-a-service product EvaluAgent means that call centre managers can monitor and evaluate employee performance as well as supporting them through coaching, e-learning and customer feedback.

Northstar Ventures, which manages the Finance for Business North East Finance Proof of Concept Fund, has led the deal by providing £100,000. A further £150,000 has been provided by a number of angel backers.

SocialRel8 was set up in May 2012 by Jamie Scott alongside fellow directors Alex Richards and Michelle Dinsmore. Scott has had previous experience at Barclays Bank, Orange and Vertex.

He comments, ‘Having worked for a number of different companies we had a clear view of the management issues, and the challenges they faced in empowering their telephone agents to deliver the best possible customer experience.

‘Our software helps customers not just to manage a call centre, but also improves performance by better supporting front line staff. Some of this is done through coaching, developing and training – all with the single aim in mind of empathising, listening and getting everything sorted to all the satisfaction of the customer.’

New roles are now set to be created following the £250,000 commitment at the company’s base in Teesside University’s Victoria Building in Middlesbrough.

Northstar Ventures’ most recent deal came when it backed biometric manufacturer ievo through a £250,000 round, the third time the firm has supported the business through its Accelerator Fund.

More on deals by Northstar Ventures:

Richard Exley, investment manager at “>Northstar Ventures, adds, ‘This is just the kind of fully-hosted software-as-a-service product that the call centre sector is looking for – and with more than 20 years in the business it’s an area Jamie truly understands.

‘It’s a high pressure business environment with a high staff turnover rate – so products like this can succeed if they help to develop and retain good staff as well as improving efficiency and profitability.’

The Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Venture capital funding