A wealthy north-east property developer has emerged as a backer of a rising star of the so-called “fintech” sector.
James Barrack of Chess Group and Knight Property Group is one of a number of Aberdeen-based investors in cybersecurity firm Payfont.
The Edinburgh-based fintech company recently completed its latest round of funding, raising £1.2million in October. In all, the company has raised £3million from investors, including a “significant proportion” worth £700,000 from investors in and around the Granite City.
Recently the firm, which specialises in identity theft protection, was handed an award for “Innovation of the Year“ at the inaugural Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, held in Dundee.
The award was received for Payfont’s work with Napier University to safeguard data.
The judges noted the “significant market opportunities” for the firm’s software, highlighting the “innovative approach of the product in a competitive, global market”. Event organisers said judges were also impressed by the amount of international interest in Payfont in particular from financial services and healthcare markets and that the company had created 14 jobs in a short space of time.
Dr David Lanc the chief executive and founder of Payfont said: “We are delighted that the world leading quality of the tech we are building has been recognised. Furthermore as we take our solutions to market the world will start to see what safe and secure can look like.”
Experts believe that the technology that Payfont has developed will bring a generational change in the way data and financial information are stored and prevents today’s cybersavvy criminals hacking into company and personal financial information.
Mr Barrack said: “High profile hacking on companies such as Apple, Sony and Talk Talk have brought data protection and identity theft to the front of mind and the award is further validation of the technology they have developed and underpins the reason we have backed the company.”
Ian Paterson Brown, commercial director of Payfont, said “We have had good support from Aberdeen investors and we are grateful to them and indeed all our shareholders for their continued support. The award further validates what we are doing and we are in great shape to grow the business throughout 2016 and beyond.”