Chirp, the award-winning sonic data transfer app incubated and hatched in UCL (University College London), closed its Crowdcube fundraising campaign on a high last night after receiving investment pledges totalling over £750,000, 88% above its original target of £400,000. This is the largest amount raised by any UK University spinout company via crowdfunding and the first for a UCL spinout.
A total of 365 investors participated in the campaign, including existing investors UCL Business the wholly-owned technology transfer company of UCL, and Red Gate Software. However a significant boost in the last days of the campaign arrived in the form of a £215,000 pledge by London-based investment firm GuanQun Investment UK. The campaign also benefitted from an early match-funding pledge from the London Co-Investment Fund.
During the 7 weeks of the campaign, the company pushed out a number of new product features including Chirp for Chrome and announced partnerships with Black Swan Data and BleepBleeps. Equally exciting for the company, the publicity around the campaign has resulted in over 350 requests for the Chirp SDK allowing external developers to enable chirping within their own apps.
Cengiz Tarhan, UCLB’s Managing Director commented “UCLB is delighted with the outcome of the campaign and pleased that the company can now really move forward with growing a sustainable, revenue-focused business based on a robust technology platform. This also gives us real evidence that the crowd is now a significant player in the funding of early stage businesses and an option that we will seriously consider for more of our spinouts in the future.”
The latest version of the app for iPhone and iPad is free to download from the App Store.
Chirp is a platform for connecting devices with sound.
The first Chirp client was launched in 2012, and immediately took #1 download spots in App Stores including the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Ireland and China. Chirp has since gone on to be a Top 20 App in 58 App Stores worldwide.
Chirp for Android was launched in Sept 2013 at London Fashion Week, in collaboration with global fashion retailer Topshop.
Chirp is a highly flexible platform and can be used share any data, from pictures to payments.
Chirp is led by simplicity and ease of use, and has been recognised by the mobile design and marketing communities: Chirp took Gold Prize for Mobile Innovation (iOS & Android) Lovie Awards and was exhibited in the Designs of the Year Award Show, at the London Design Museum.
About UCL Business PLC
UCL Business PLC (UCLB) is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. UCLB has a strong track record in commercialising medical technologies and provides technology transfer services to UCL’s associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.
For further information, please visit: www.uclb.com