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Rights Tracker gets Capital investment
IP software entrepreneurs secure new funding


The Capital Fund has invested in Rights Tracker, a developer of intellectual property rights management systems, as part of a significant new funding round. The Creative Capital Fund participated in this fundraising round with additional support from angel investment.

Established in 2002, The Capital Fund is a £50 million venture capital fund that backs fast-growing small and medium-sized companies in the Greater London area, and is the largest of the nine UK regional venture capital funds.

Rights Tracker’s software allows clients to maximise the potential of their intellectual property (IP). Initially focusing on the television sector, Rights Tracker enables rights owners to maximise the licence revenue, minimise the administrative burden, and ensure efficient stewardship of company assets. IP rights and contracts are recorded and organised using Rights Tracker software, and any potential areas where rights can be exploited are identified. For production companies, international distributors, broadcasters, and other rights-holding organisations, correctly identifying and valuing IP is a crucial revenue source.

Ross Bentley, Rights Tracker CEO, said: “With the proliferation of broadcast platforms, revenues from advertising have become spread more thinly. Efficiency in licensing content has consequently become critical for all IP owners. Producers need to manage broadcast, co-production and distributor agreements, as well as pre-sales, and sub-agent agreements on part of the production. When merchandising and rights for broadcast on digital platforms – such as mobile phones – are taken into account, it becomes extremely complicated to keep track of all the contractual agreements surrounding a particular show or series.”

Bentley and his team recognised these problems and saw a niche for a user-friendly and universally-applicable software system that could bring together all the relevant data surrounding the IP rights for content owners.

“The system can identify when licences for content expire and highlights where and when it can be sold,” Bentley said.

This is very useful when negotiating deals with, for instance, broadcast platforms, as often there will be very specific requirements in terms of timing and location – and for a rights-holder to be able immediately to ascertain what content would be available makes the process much more efficient.

Rights Tracker’s software is designed to be as user friendly as possible. Web-based, the system can be accessed via standard web browsers.

Bentley said: “Our top priority was to develop a powerful system that would have the simplicity and functionality that modern users expect. We’re also an official Microsoft Field-Managed Service Partner, which means we can call on Microsoft’s technical expertise and ensures we stay abreast of Microsoft’s technical roadmap.”

The new funding round will be used to develop Rights Tracker’s sales and marketing function and to continue technical development of the system. “We’ve developed a great product and now will be ramping up our profile to develop new clients using a network of resellers and systems integrators,” Bentley said. Looking to the future, Rights Tracker plans to extend its systems beyond broadcasting to other sectors where IP rights management is key to revenue optimisation, such as music and publishing.

Commenting on working with The Capital Fund and the investment-raising process, Bentley said: “The Capital Fund have been tremendous to work with. Benjamin Davis clearly understands our strategy, and we have established an excellent relationship with his team. While the due diligence procedures took some time, the detailed examination of the company provided us with new insights into our business and where improvements can be made.”

Benjamin Davis, Investment Manager at The Capital Fund, said: “Rights Tracker have developed a great product that has enormous potential in the broadcast industry and can also can be applied to many other sectors. We’re looking forward to helping Ross and the team take the company forward.”

Chris Blake, Investment Manager at the Creative Capital Fund, said: “Rights Tracker’s innovative management of IP rights will enable more efficient use of broadcast content, ensuring the best revenues for production companies and other key programme developers. We’re delighted to be supporting this particularly creative industry by investing in Rights Tracker.”

Rights Tracker has been supported by gateway2investment (g2i), the investment readiness programme supported by the London Development Agency. Ian Shields, Programme Manager, said: “We are pleased that Rights Tracker has secured this important round of funding. The achievements of the company to date, and its product offering, make it a very attractive proposition for any investor.”

- ENDS -
Notes for Editors
Press enquiries to Margaret Henry, PR Consultant, The Capital Fund.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 811199 Email: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

1. About The Capital Fund
Launched in 2002, The Capital Fund is a £50m venture capital fund that backs fast-growing, small and medium-sized enterprises in Greater London. The Capital Fund is the largest of the nine Regional Venture Capital Funds and has a mixture of public and private sector investors. To date, the Fund has made over 60 investments in London-based companies. For further information: www.thecapitalfund.co.uk

The Capital Fund is managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and part of the YFM Group. The YFM Group provides investment capital and business development services to SMEs throughout the UK. It currently has over £300m in funds under management, with over 90 employees. For further information: www.yfmgroup.co.uk Since April 2008, the YFM Group has been part of GLE Group: www.gle.co.uk

2. About Rights Tracker
Since 2004, Rights Tracker Ltd has developed a comprehensive suite of rights and sales management solutions for the broadcast industry. The Rights Tracker team has a deep understanding of the market issues, having for many years suffered the frustrations of being end-users of slow, expensive, dated and functionally-limited systems.

It is this understanding that has helped the company create a winning product that has already been sold to eight out of the top 30 UK-based TV distributors. The software uses state-of-the-art web-based component technology, and is scalable, robust, portable and easy to use. Whilst standard Rights Tracker products cover most industry demands, the software’s unique architectural framework means that bespoke elements can be incorporated in order to meet individual client requirements.

Users access the modular system via a standard web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), and the system is compatible with both Windows PCs and Apple Macs. Rights Tracker is constructed on a Microsoft platform (including SQL Server, ASP/NET and the latest AJAX technology). The company is a Microsoft Field-Managed Service Partner which generates excellent sales co-operation and supply of development resources, resulting in new sales opportunities and alignment to Microsoft’s product strategy.

For further information: www.rightstracker.com

3. About g2i
gateway2investment (g2i) is the highly successful investment readiness programme, backed by the London Development Agency, delivering early-stage private investments to exciting young London-based businesses. The programme is delivered by a consortium led by the financial and business advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP and comprises E-Synergy, Pembridge Partners, Quotec, The Innovatory and Library House. g2i has worked with over 600 start-up and early-stage London businesses, helping them secure more than £26m in equity funding, a figure that is continuing to grow. g2i supports businesses across the design and creative, life sciences, emerging technologies, energy and environment, ICT, food and drink, value-added manufacturing and retail sectors, providing the equity investment community, venture capital and business angels, with high-calibre investment opportunities.
For more information: www.g2i.org

4. About The Creative Capital Fund
The Creative Capital Fund is a £5m equity fund that helps talented entrepreneurs and businesses in London’s creative industries achieve their potential by providing seed capital investment and business support. It was established in March 2005 as part of the Creative London programme. Creative London is the strategic agency for the creative industries and is part of the London Development Agency.

The CCF makes equity investments of up to £500,000 in promising early stage companies. The CCF operates as a matching fund and so every £1 invested by the CCF must be matched by at least £1 in equity from private investors on the same terms. Typically, the CCF will invest up to £75,000 in its first tranche of investment. As each investee company grows and hits commercial milestones the CCF may invest further funds up to a possible total CCF investment of £500,000 (£1m including matching funding).
For more information: www.ccfund.co.uk


Publisher Contact Information:

The Capital Fund
+ 44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Company profile of The Capital Fund
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