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Calculus Capital invests GBP2.5m in Wazoku

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) specialist Calculus Capital has invested GBP2.5 million in software provider Wazoku.

Wazoku’s core product, Idea Spotlight, serves as a global home for ideas and is used by clients including the Ministry of Defence, Waitrose, Aviva and HSBC, enabling them to embed innovation as a core, strategic, everyday capability. Ideas collected using the customisable platform help to identify new opportunities and highlight areas for business improvement, driving significant savings or boosting revenues for organisations.

Challenges are launched inviting staff and other interested groups, like customers or partner networks, to contribute their best ideas in a shared, secure workspace. Using social media-style ‘conversation’ features, other contributors can then rate the ideas, add to them, comment or follow those they like.

Challenge managers rate the contributed ideas against a set of pre-determined criteria to help identify the best contenders for further consideration.

When Waitrose used Idea Spotlight to invite new ideas from 60,000 employees in 350 stores, it resulted in savings of GBP3.5 million. The return on investment (ROI) was 1,500 per cent.

In February, Wazoku announced the Ministry of Defence will be using Idea Spotlight to make it easier for staff to be directly involved in innovation across the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, Joint Forces Command and Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

The global idea management market is forecast to grow from around GBP325m in 2017 to GBP1.17 billion in 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 29.2 per cent, according to research company Markets and Markets.

Alexander Crawford, Co-Head of New Investments at Calculus Capital, says: “Innovation starts with an idea to solve a problem or improve a process. These ideas need to be captured, collated, analysed and successfully implemented. Wazoku helps organisations do this very effectively, transforming raw ideas into actionable innovation.

“The company is a leader in a high-growth business area and already has an impressive roster of clients. Our investment will help them move into the next stage of their growth story.”

Simon Hill, Chief Executive of Wazoku, says: “All organisations need to innovate, solve problems and generate new ideas to meet their objectives. Every one of these organisations have an army of potential innovators at their disposal – not only employees but customers, partners, suppliers and beyond.

“Engaging them in a meaningful way may be challenging, but this crowdsourcing journey poses an exciting opportunity to radically rethink the way organisations collaborate. The right approach will drive tangible results, fuel growth and create real competitive advantage in a sustainable and repeatable way.

“The funding from Calculus will enable us to further expand our reach by investing to strengthen our sales and marketing capability and allow us to continue to deliver a market-leading product through further investment in product development and data science capability.”

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