Educational media company Makematic has announced a £200k Ulster Bank-backed investment in the development of a new video licensing platform as brands and educators accelerate their plans to shift to digital learning resources.
Makematic is using the funds to invest in the production of new video content as well as in-house technology to streamline its licensing and distribution.
The investment will see the business triple its annual turnover from the licensing of its content in the next financial year.
The funds have been secured with Ulster Bank through the UK Government-backed Recovery Loan Scheme. Launched in April this year, the scheme supports access to finance for businesses of any size as they grow and recover from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established in 2016 by co-founders Catherine Davies and Mark Nagurski, Makematic partners with high-profile brands – including Amazon, Adobe, Microsoft and Crayola – and non-profit organisations – such as the New-York Historical Society, established in 1804 as the city’s first museum – to produce and distribute short, educational animations and live action videos.
Ulster Bank business development manager Aidan McGrath says Makematic is a prime example of how innovative Northern Ireland-based SMEs are achieving significant global reach.
“In 2016, Catherine and Mark saw how the education sector was developing and identified the need for a service to respond to growing demand for creative and engaging digital learning resources. The signs were there for its future adoption, but few could have predicted such a significant and sudden shift to digital and remote learning. That shift has amplified demand and presented massive opportunities for growth. We’re extremely pleased to play our role in supporting Makematic to scale-up.”
Mr Nagurski says the bank’s support is fuelling the company’s expansion over the coming months.
“It has been a very interesting, albeit challenging time in the education space. There was an overnight shift to digital and remote learning; a development that was already in play, but accelerated by the pandemic. For us, this translates to a strong uptick in new business bookings and clients. With the support of Ulster Bank we’re now developing a new licensing platform that will enable us to take the business to the next level.”
Ms Davies adds: “The technology will overhaul our licensing and distribution process, and this is the cornerstone of our next fundraising round as we speak to private investors in the UK, US and Australia. Previously, we managed our licensing and distribution manually. Our new platform will be an automated one, generating a consistent revenue stream while we focus on building the business and brand in new markets and sectors.”
In 2019, the Derry-headquartered company announced it had secured a £1m seed investment from Cordovan Capital Partners; Co-Fund NI (ERDF), managed by Clarendon Fund Managers; and Techstart Ventures.
Earlier this year, it was announced as the Best Established Small/Medium Business of the Year in the 2021 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank.