North East investor and philanthropist Jeremy Middleton has backed a Newcastle-based start-up, as part of a round of investment led by Northstar Ventures.
His first major investment since the end of his mayoral campaign, Mr Middleton’s stake in One Utility Bill formed part of a £500,000 round of fundraising.
One Utility Bill provides a service for residential landlords and their tenants that merges their utility bill with their rent into one all-inclusive charge, which makes life easier for both parties, especially with homes of multiple occupancy.
Since it was founded two years ago by Newcastle University graduate Chris Dawson and his business partner Dale Knight the company has grown to service more than 150 letting agents, and employ 16 people.
This round of funding, which is the company’s second, will help the firm expand further and will create a number of additional jobs in Newcastle.
Jeremy Middleton said: “I’m delighted to back One Utility Bill, our region needs companies with great ideas and the motivation to bring them to fruition, and these guys have both. My first company was in the utility sector, I have invested in a number of others in it, and I think One Utility Bill brings a great new service to the market.
Sean Kelly, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “The progress Chris and Dale have made with One Utility Bill over the last two years is really great to see. The interest from letting agencies, landlords and tenants really shows the quality of the business. This, along with the funding they’ve received from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, has helped them become one of the North East’s fastest growing start-ups.
“We’ve supported One Utility Bill from its inception and we are pleased to be furthering our relationship with Chris, Dale and the team. We look forward to seeing the company continue to grow and achieve success at the highest level.”
Chris Dawson said: “We operate nationally, and are based in Newcastle, so this investment allows us to serve more customers across the country, while creating jobs locally. Newcastle is a fantastic climate for businesses to start up and grow, and this investment is a great example of the funding available to help them.”