Proptech firm secures seven-figure loan to help construction industry ‘go digital’

A Lancashire Prop Tech firm whose software is used by many of the UK’s biggest construction companies has secured a seven-figure loan to support its growth from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and Mercia’s SME Loans fund.

The funding will enable Clitheroe-based Glider to create 15 new jobs and meet the growing demand as construction firms and property managers increasingly adopt digital technology to improve efficiency and sustainability and comply with new safety standards.

Glider’s software provides a secure online platform for managing asset information throughout the entire lifecycle of a building - enabling architects and contractors to share project information and models at the design and construction stage, and owners to manage their buildings and wider estates more effectively once they are in use.

gliderbim helps to minimise safety risks, improve efficiency and comply with the Building Safety Act, which was introduced last year in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. It obliges building owners and managers to provide a ‘golden thread’ to show that safety has been considered at every stage.

Launched in 2018, gliderbim is now used by many industry professionals such as Mace, Lendlease, Kier Group, and Lovell, and building owners including Deutsche Bank, Google, Deloitte, British Antarctic Surveys, and the government’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

Glider was founded by Nick Hutchinson and Steve Rukuts, two software engineers who had previously worked in construction and asset management. The company has almost trebled its turnover in the past three years and more than doubled the number of staff. It now employs 35 people and plans to increase that to 50 in the next year.

Nick Hutchinson, co-founder, and Managing Director, said: “Digital technology is transforming construction and property management, which offers a huge opportunity for Glider. This funding will enable us to strengthen our management and engineering teams, and put the right structures in place as we prepare to scale the business.”

Blackburn-based Pierce Corporate Finance provided fundraising advice to the company. Kevin Steven, Corporate Finance Director of Pierce, said: “Securing a bespoke and flexible funding structure is paramount to ensuring that Glider can continue to go from strength to strength. We worked closely with Mercia to help shape the funding package to meet the company’s specific needs and we are delighted with the outcome. This is clearly a very exciting time for all involved at Glider and we wish Nick, Steve, and the team all the best for the future.”

Mike Rogers of Mercia added: “Glider is a pioneer in the field of building information management and has built a client base that includes many leading names in the industry. The time is now right for the company to prepare for future growth. The funding will enable the team to put the foundations in place to take it to the next level.”

(Photo left to right: Mike Rogers, David Wright, Nick Hutchinson, Stephen Rukuts, Kevin Steven.)

NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance provides loans in the NPIF region with a focus on Yorkshire and the Humber.

Debbie Francis, at the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “This deal signifies that the Lancashire region is brimming with entrepreneurial talent, rivaling the rest of the UK when it comes to creating transformational digital offerings. As new regulatory measures are implemented to make buildings safer for people, companies like Glider are stepping in to make compliance easier, which ultimately boosts the performance of the UK’s property industry and places Lancashire on the map as regional experts in this area.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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