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Insurance company enjoys good karma thanks to an injection of early growth finance


12 December 2007

A Nottingham insurance company is gearing up for growth, thanks to hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment from the East Midlands Early Growth Fund and the Coalfields Enterprise Fund.

Karma Insurance provides niche, internet only insurance products, such as travel insurance for the over 70s, extreme sport enthusiasts and people with medical conditions who would normally find it difficult to get coverage. The company was conceived by Brian Wright from Nottingham, an award winning insurance broker with over 30 years experience in the industry.

The company has received a total investment of £350,000. This consisted of £100,000 which was provided by the East Midlands Early Growth Fund, (funded by East Midlands Development Agency - emda); £100,000 from Coalfields Enterprise Fund (managed by Enterprise Ventures on behalf of Communities & Local Government) and a further £150,000 from various business angels.

The money will be used to enable Karma to strengthen the management team, to research and develop new products and to undertake targeted marketing activity.

Speaking about his plans for the future of the business, Brian said: “We have established ourselves in specific markets and offer a package of flexible, specialist products that the bigger insurance companies simply cannot match, particularly in travel insurance.

“The East Midlands Early Growth Fund and the Coalfields Enterprise Fund are a very welcome source of finance for us. It is difficult for small businesses like ours to obtain finance from banks, because we do not own any significant tangible assets such as buildings. With this money, we will be able to expand the business and move to the next stage of our development. We are also relocating to new offices at junction 27 of the M1, so a little of the money will be used to help with the move.”

emda’s East Midlands Early Growth fund has assisted nine businesses in the East Midlands this year, with almost £700,000 being invested or committed in total. It is administered by London-based fund manager E-Synergy, from their offices in Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire. E-Synergy’s Nick Wright added: “Whilst most insurance websites simply put their existing systems online, KarmaInsurance.com has built it from scratch using the latest AJAX technology. Karma is literally years ahead of the industry and has that rarest of propositions – extraordinary customer value that doesn’t jeopardise a great business model. It is exactly the kind of business that the Early Growth Fund was set up to support.”

The Coalfields Enterprise Fund, managed by Enterprise Ventures on behalf of Communities & Local Government, is a £10 million commercial investment Fund which specifically offers finance to growth orientated companies located in England’s former coalfield areas. Paul Taberner, Investment Director at Enterprise Ventures, commented, “Karma has identified an exciting market opportunity and is now very well positioned to exploit this. We are pleased to have been able to participate in its development and have high hopes for the business”.

For further details about the financial services that are available to businesses by emda and the Coalfields Enterprise Fund, visit www.emda.org.uk/accesstofinance and www.coalfields-enterprise-fund.co.uk

ENDS

For more details about this press release, please contact Nick King, PR and Media Manager, emda on 0115 988 8375 or email nickking@emd.org.uk

For additional information about Karma Insurance, please speak to Brian Wright, Managing Director on 07703 543031 or email brian@karmainsurance.com

Notes to Editors:

About emda

· East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.

· Working in partnership with public, private and voluntary organisations the aim is to deliver the 2006 Regional Economic Strategy (RES) ‘A Flour


Publisher Contact Information:

E-Synergy Ltd
+44 115 988 8375
nickking@emd.org.uk

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