Family-owned software company to expand after six-figure funding | North East Deals

left to right: Katie Bennett, Amy Bennett, Mark Bennett and James Robson of Strelitzia with Rachel Smith and Keith Charlton of FW Capital and Sally Bennett

A Darlington-based, family-owned software company which provides services to customers in the floristry industry has secured an investment of £175,000 to help it grow and develop routes to market.

Florisoft, trading as Strelitzia Software, has secured funding from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The company serves UK and international customers and helps manage the day-to-day running of florist businesses, incorporating tools such as order taking, delivery schedules and accounts, allowing the user to turn their tablet or computer in cash register.

Founded in 2006, Strelitzia is owned and run by husband and wife Mark and Sally Bennett and their daughters Amy and Katie who wanted to find and develop a technology tool after taking over the family business “Flowers by Nattrass”.

“Flowers by Nattrass” was founded in 1959 by Sally’s father, Ron, after buying land in Hurworth to grow his own flowers and vegetables and selling them from the front door.

The investment will provide the financing needed to further develop the system and allow Strelitzia to expand and develop routes to market.

It also preserved seven jobs and created eight others during the investment.

The deal was facilitated by FW Capital assistant fund manager Keith Charlton, supported by chief investment officer Rachel Smith.

Smith said, “Strelitzia is led by a credible and highly experienced management team that is well known and respected in the floristry industry. Their vast experience and expertise positions them best to develop a compelling software offering that customers will want to buy.

Mark Bennett, Managing Director of Strelitzia, said, “Strelitzia was created out of a need for software to run our family floristry business. There was nothing on the market, so we created our own. Our mission is to make business management successful for every florist. , with the best customer service at the heart of everything we do.

“This investment from FW Capital will allow us to further expand our software and deliver exciting new features to make the product even more attractive and open up new avenues to market. We are grateful to FW Capital for their support.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Strelitzia is not only a brilliant company adding value to our growing digital sector, but its history shows real ingenuity and innovation in identifying and filling a gap in the sector, stimulating it towards new successes.

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