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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
17 November, 2011 - 17:30 By News Desk

Arachnys secures Seed A funding

Arachnys co-founder, David Buxton

Arachnys has emerged from the Springboard Cambridge programme to win significant investment from Cambridge angels.

The Seed A funding round for Arachnys, a super slick intelligence agency for the corporate world, was oversubscribed although no figures are being released.

Peter Cowley, investment director for Martlet, the Cambridge angel vehicle launched with Marshall of Cambridge, has led the round on behalf of Martlet, Cambridge Capital Group and Cambridge Angels. Arachnys made its bow in this summer’s inaugural Springboard Cambridge programme and has been co-founded by David Buxton and Harry Waye.

The company consolidates valuable business information from emerging markets, helping companies increase opportunities and reduce risk in complex but attractive markets including India, China and Russia.

Emerging markets are seeing an explosion of business information coming online but info is fragmented, badly organised and often unsearchable.

Arachnys, as its name suggests, uses its spidering technology to identify high value information buried in the deep-web and make it searchable and accessible to businesses – investment banks, hedge funds, law firms, accountants and risk consultancies – who view these emerging markets as growth opportunities. Buxton, who used to work for an organisation that negotiated with kidnappers to free victims being held to ransom, is a multi-linguist. He speaks Russian, Serbo-Croat, French, Spanish, Turkish – “and a spattering of others.”

His kind of linguistic skills are pretty unique and certainly haven’t been at the disposal of the corporate world who can encounter major and multiple risks when trading in far flung corners of the globe.

“Our software goes far deeper and wider than searches at Companies House and the equivalent. They mine all manner of important information in a number of languages to help companies prove the credibility of customers, suppliers, distributors and potential partners, for example. We are already covering 30 countries but our aim is to penetrate as many as 150 or 180 different countries, so it is a truly global service with really big markets.”

Although ‘born’ and funded in Cambridge, Arachnys looks like settling R & D and production in the London area. But Buxton pays tribute to the funders for their show of faith and says that “Without Springboard Cambridge I very much doubt we would have been at the stage we are at now.”

Buxton said conventional services offered by publishers of corporate information didn’t go deep enough to take the risk out of trading abroad for major corporates.

“We can unlock an Armenian or Greek corporate register for non-Armenian and Greek speakers – and do the same in Papua New Guinea if necessary. Obviously the far flung nations in the emerging markets offer the greatest, most complex challenge and that’s where we have started to operate.”

The business employs only the two programmers at present, although a third is coming on board shortly. Buxton doesn’t anticipate the need for major scale-up in headcount or having to seek more funding based on the current business model but says the founders will keep their options

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Arachnys co-founder, David Buxton

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