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£100k NPIF funding for Manchester digital marketing agency

Digital Media Stream, a Manchester-based digital marketing agency, has secured a £100k loan from NPIF – River & GC Microfinance, which GC Business Finance (GCBF) manages in partnership with River Capital as part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

Founded in 2011 by Simon Leeming and Dave Watson, who met while working together at US software firm Flexera, Digital Media Stream was established to combine the pair’s sales experience with marketing. The business achieved strong growth and is now a Diamond HubSpot Solutions Partner, offering CRM implementation projects with retained marketing services.

Digital Media Stream initially secured an £18,000 Start Up Loan through the British Business Bank and delivered by GCBF in 2014. Using the loan to help scale the business, the team has also utilised a number of other services through the Growth Company, having recently attended workshops organised by the Growth Hub.

In 2023, Digital Media Stream acquired Bespoke Digital, a marketing agency with over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. Subsequently, the team grew to 22 people, along with implementing a new management structure.

With the NPIF loan in place, Digital Media Stream plans to increase its revenue to £2m and invest further in talent and technology, building on the increased skillset it gained from the acquisition of Bespoke Digital to enhance the service it offers to clients.

Co-founder Leeming said: “We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved since founding Digital Media Stream in 2011. The last year has been particularly exciting for us, with the acquisition of Bespoke Digital and the expansion of our team. To allow us to continue delivering on our market leading proposition, it was clear additional funding was needed.

“With the new loan in place, we can continue to invest in our people further and support even more clients.”

Andy Nichols, senior loan manager at GC Business Finance, added: “The growth Digital Media Stream has achieved since receiving a Start Up Loan is incredible. Since working with the business in its early stages, the teams’ entrepreneurial spirit and determination was clear, so I am pleased that we have been able to support them again.”

The current NPIF investment phase has now completed with the British Business Bank due to launch the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II in March 2024.

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