Ipswich: Henry Catchpole raises £450,000 through Crowd Funding for new venture Inform Direct

Henry Catchpole, founder and chief executive of Inform Direct.

Henry Catchpole, founder and chief executive of Inform Direct. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk entrepreneur Henry Catchpole has raised more than £450,000 through Crowd Funding to support the growth of an innovative new venture which aims to ease the administrative burden of setting up and running a company.

Mr Catchpole, who was previously chief executive of Ipswich-based pensions firm Suffolk Life until its acquisition by Legal & General in 2008, has now launched Inform Direct, an online company records management service.

The website ? www.informdirect.co.uk ? guides users through the creation of a new limited company, automatically completes and sends the wide range of forms required by Companies House and assists directors in summitting their annual returns.

Mr Catchpole said: “While I was at Suffolk Life, and throughout my career, I have been consistently struck by the lack of software to help a company keep on top of its statutory filing duties.

“What was available seemed unnecessarily complicated and totally free of labour saving features. I felt strongly that there was a gap in the market and the seeds of Inform Direct were sown.

“The business has got off to a great start and this recent injection of capital will significantly assist our plans for growth.”

The money was raised through Crowd Funding, an online method for new businesses to attract professional investors, with the help of Cambridge-based SyndicateRoom.

Its chief executive, Goncalo de Vasconcelos, said: “The Inform Direct investment opportunity exceeded its target of £450,000 in under two weeks, which is the fastest funding round we have ever had. We offer our congratulations to Henry Catchpole for putting together such a successful and compelling pitch.”

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Mr Catchpole added: “We are greatly encouraged by the early response to our service but our strategy for the business is to go much further than just company secretarial tools and services.

“I want to provide a fully integrated solution that will ease the increasing burden of administrative corporate life. We know that customers like and are willing to pay for our service and the capital we have raised will allow us to expand to meet this demand.”