Creative UK is excited to announce two ‘firsts’ with the latest addition to its Creative Growth Finance (CGF) investment portfolio. Design studio and policy advisory firm, Urban Scale Interventions (USI) is both the first Northern Irish company to join CGF and its first client operating in the architectural space.
USI was co-founded by Jak Spencer and Ralf Alwani to advise public administrations and private organisations on a wide range of social challenges across space design and policy. Their advice covers wellbeing, culture, strategy and technology. Since the start of trading in 2019, the company has shown impressive growth, delivering 48 projects for 28 clients in 2022 alone; and growing from 2 employees to 23 in under four years.
Founders Jak and Ralf have recently complemented their USI offering with a set of software solutions designed to address the modern challenges faced by public administrations in budget management. Their solutions, marketed under the brand name PolyLoop, support the allocation, tracking and reporting of public spending. The investment from CGF will enable PolyLoop to structure its operations further and accelerate its scale-up, as well as supporting the continued development of the legacy design and advisory work of USI.
Tim Evans, Head of Investment, Creative UK, said:
“The investment into USI is a great testament to the ambition of our Creative Growth Finance fund, which is all about supporting socially conscious growth-minded and game-changing businesses. With this loan, we back the growth of a regional creative company, founded and run by a young and promising team, that is outrightly dedicated to creating positive social impact. We also take our first foray into Northern Ireland territory which adds welcome diversity to the portfolio.
We look forward to supporting USI into their next phase of development.”
Gab Nardo, Investment Manager, Creative UK, said:
“Jak and Ralf achieved some remarkable results with USI in under four years of operations – they started up a business entirely devoted to generating tangible social impact and onboarded a list of high-profile clients and projects, growing top-line fast and generating profits from the very outset.
On the tech side, we have found a rather compelling set of solutions which reflect a deep understanding of the needs of the underlying market. On top of that, the founders have assembled a prime team of professionals and advisors which, together with their established network of prospective clients, place PolyLoop in a great position to play a leading role in the digitisation of the sector.”
Ralf Alwani and Jak Spencer, Co-Founders, Urban Scale Interventions commented:
“We’re delighted to partner with Creative UK. This investment enables us to grow our creative social impact consultancy at USI to new markets, whilst also significantly contributing to the development of our gov-tech SaaS product, PolyLoop. We see this as a natural evolution of our consultancy services to truly deliver social impact at scale.
The investment from the Creative Growth Finance fund not only allows us to kick start PolyLoop as part of our UK and USA go-to-market strategy, but also to partner with a strategically aligned investor. Partnering with Creative UK will support us in furthering our goals related to our mission and purpose of making positive transformation in government for global impact.”
For further information on Creative Growth Finance and the fund’s eligibility criteria please visit www.wearecreative.uk/support/creative-enterprise/investment/creativegrowthfinance
For further enquiries please contact Gab Nardo, Investment Manager, Creative UK at email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
Creative UK believes in the power of creativity to change lives. We unite the Creative Industries and generate opportunities for innovation to thrive by investing in creative people and businesses. And we harness the power of the creative sector to build a stronger, fairer, and more prosperous future.
We are the UK’s leading Creative Industries investor and a strategic investment partner for growth-minded creative businesses. Creative Growth Finance is a landmark fund providing vital scale up finance to the UK’s most promising creative businesses, partnering with Triodos Bank to offer flexible capital financings of £100,000 to £1million.