Twitter marketing start-up raises £150,000 through SETsquared pitch process

Mercia Fund Management backs TorqBak following tech incubator investment showcase

A marketing start-up on the SETsquared programme has raised £150,000 from Mercia Fund Management, following a pitch at the leading tech incubator’s investment showcase.

TorqBak, founded in September 2013 by Nick Sharples, allows brands to find potential customers on Twitter by automatically sorting through the contents of their tweets.

Normally, a brand would have to search and sort through tweets manually using keywords, but TorqBak says its language-processing and machine learning technology can automatically scan the entirety of Twitter for relevant profiles based on their tweets.

Since foundation it has already worked with a number of high-profile clients, including Cancer Research and NBC Universal.

Based at SETsquared’s ‘innovation centre’ at the University of Surrey, TorqBak was one of a number of start-ups on the tech incubator programme chosen to pitch at its investment showcase in London last November.

TorqBak said venture capital firm Mercia’s funding would be used to ramp up a sales and marketing campaign, in order to dramatically increase its exposure across a range of industry centres.

Nick Sharples, founder of TorqBak, said in a statement: “This funding will have a big impact on our rate of growth. Without it we would have had to slow our sales strategy down, hitting each sector sequentially.

“Now we can ramp that up and are looking to expand our team by up to 200% in the next few months.”

Rob Johnson, venture partner at Mercia Fund Management, said: “TorqBak’s innovative approach to engaging potential leads, combined with Nick Sharples’s experience in marketing for major global brands makes TorqBak an exciting addition to Mercia Fund Management’s digital portfolio.

“With £19 million under active management, TorqBak is one of our stable of scalable businesses receiving start-up and expansion capital.”

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