News digest

Skiing and circus funding, Aveni, whisky and security

Nick Robinson, centre with colleagues Olly Robinson and Aaron Tipping

Maison Sport, the online platform connecting ski enthusiasts with professional instructors, has announced the completion of a £3.1 million investment round secured through a private investment firm and angel investors.

Previous investment rounds have attracted investors such as Gareth Williams, co-founder of Edinburgh-based Skyscanner, and Kevin Byrne, the founder and owner of Checkatrade. 

Edinburgh-based co-founder Nick Robinson, a former capital markets broker and member of the British ski team, said: “Our goal is to become the largest seller of snow sports activities worldwide within the next five years.

“This investment not only validates Maison Sport’s mission to make snow sports accessible to everyone but also empowers us to scale our operations and bring more value to our end users, both the instructors and the holidaymakers.” 

Circus flying high

Community Circus Paisley has become the base for Scotland’s only full-scale flying trapeze equipment as a result of funding from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), which has provided a loan of £85,000 to cover the cost of the new apparatus.

The full-scale flying trapeze is one of only two in the UK and will open up an additional revenue stream for the community interest company.

As well as being a training centre for professionals, the circus group works closely with the local Ferguslie community, offering a range of youth activities, outreach programmes and classes attended by over 100 children and adults each week. 

Aveni to drive 7IM productivity

AI-driven fintech business has been selected by the wealth and investment management business 7IM to help boost productivity.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which is acquiring 7IM, plans to invest in the company which will deploy Edinburgh-based Aveni’s generative AI and natural language processing technology platform.

Andy Johnston of Aveni said: “We’re in the initial phase of a technology revolution that will fundamentally change the industry over the next decade.”

Spearhead changes distribution

Distiller and marketing company Loch Lomond Group has parted ways with UK distributor, Mangrove, and brought distribution of its Spearhead whisky brand back in-house.

Launched in 2021, Spearhead is a single-grain scotch whisky sold in 26 markets and the decision to bring distribution back in-house with immediate effect follows a series of successful UK trade events hosted with Mangrove over the past 18 months.

John Grieveson, chief marketing officer at Loch Lomond Group, said: “We thank Mangrove for all their support in helping us to establish the brand.”

Safer security

Port Glasgow-based site security firm Safer Scotland has rebranded as Safer Group and secured its first international partnership deal with VPS Group.

This will extend its reach into new markets in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Founded in 2016 by Greenock entrepreneur Ryan Clark, the business specialises in protecting construction sites, infrastructure and assets.

It has grown strongly since inception – roughly doubling in size every 18 months.  It has recorded its best year to date, which saw annual turnover soar from £5m to £12m and staff headcount exceed 60.

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