Serial entrepreneur secures funding for technology business

A serial entrepreneur has launched a second round of fundraising for his latest fast-growing technology business.

The Apprentice Winner 2015, Joseph Valente, adopts BigChange technology to spring board growth. From left to right Martin Port - CEO, BigChange Apps, Stephan Lee - Senior Gas Engineer, Impra-Gas and Joseph Valente - Managing Director, Impra-Gas

Martin Port is planning to raise £2m for BigChange through a sale of a five per cent shareholding and bond issue.

The Series A fundraising is based on a company valuation of £20m.

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BigChange helps companies plan, manage, schedule and track mobile workforces and transport operations.

The firm’s JobWatch app-based system replaces paperwork and keeps offices seamlessly in sync with staff on the
road.

The company combines back-office software, mobile workforce management and vehicle tracking in an all-in-one system.

BigChange said it achieved sales of £2m last year and is on course for £4m in 2016. The firm added that it is expected to break even later this year.

The Leeds-based company has more than 300 customers, including well-known names such as HSS, Baxi Commercial, Ringway Jacobs, Serco, Morrison Utility Services and Elliott Hire as well as many SMEs. Impra-Gas, the plumbing company
co-owned by Lord Sugar and Joseph Valente, winner of The Apprentice 2015, signed up earlier this year.

Mr Port, who founded Masternaut in the UK and led the telematics business through a series of acquisitions, said the fundraising is attracting “a great deal of interest” and the company is in talks with a number of potential investors and financial institutions.

“Some people could say we are the Uber of the service and transport sectors,” he added.

Mr Port raised £1.1m in seed capital to launch BigChange in January 2014. Backers include Mark Adlestone, chairman of high street jeweller Beaverbrooks, Frederic Dupeyron, managing director of Aeroport De Paris International, and Martin Lee, former chief financial officer of Crown Eye Glass plc.