A Yorkshire-based tech start-up has attracted three high-profile investors after a successful £150,000 SEIS investment round.

AI powered video networking platform, Meeow, caught the attention of Chris Craig-Wood, Greg Gormley and Nigel Ashfield during an initial fundraising round.

As a result, the tech firm is heading into the future with leading SME investors by their side and with capital to support the expansion of their revolutionary technology.

Meeow – a portmanteau of Meet Now – was an idea born during lockdown in May last year when traditional face-to-face networking came to a halt.

Friends and business associates Simon Glenn and Chris Rabbitt tested out the concept of bringing people from different backgrounds together at random – and it worked.

Following the success of the initial concept, they built a bespoke platform using the latest technology, and the new platform went live as a subscription based Saas at the end of March.

People from across the globe are now able to connect with one another whenever they want, at the click of a button. This is because Meeow’s technology enables 24/7 networking for users, offering Meeows on the hour for an hour.

As Meeow only ever brings together up to four people, early-stage users have reported a sense of intimacy missing from traditional networking, with reviews outlining the opportunities it provides for them to obtain support, talk business and collaborate.

And, because the platform is powered by AI, subscribers can be matched based on their interests, specific needs and location if they wish.

Now that the initial round of funding is complete, the firm can focus on developing the functionality of the platform further and investing in global marketing.

Co-founder Chris Rabbitt said: “We are overwhelmed by the level of investment we’ve received from three very high-profile and experienced businesspeople. While the investors will be “hands-off” in terms of the day-to-day operation of the business, they will still play a key role in the future of the business.

“What they will do is help Meeow navigate the turbulent early-stage choppy waters that all start-ups have to navigate. It’s never easy but Chris, Greg and Nigel have the experience to guide us through.

“What this initial investment will also allow us to do is further develop the functionality of the platform and we’ll bring in a team of specialist developers to fast-track the process to create the best possible experience for our community.”

Mr Chris Craig-Wood is a former managing director at UBS and has been an active angel investor for the past 5 years. He has an excellent track record of helping start-ups maximise their success.

Mr Gormley, CEO at ride-sharing app Skoot, is a chartered accountant and serial entrepreneur. He recently sold out of Bink, a start-up loyalty platform.

Another serial investor in start-ups, Mr Ashfield, is managing director at TIME investments, a property fund with over £1bn under management.

Meeow co-founder Simon Glenn shared his gratitude towards the trio, saying: “To have the backing of three high-profile investors with a track record in spotting start-up success is just great for us.

“Right from the very start we have always had the confidence and belief that we had hit on a successful formula and the backing of Chris, Greg and Nigel means we can continue to grow.

“We’ve invested heavily in a bespoke platform which moved the business and the user experience up another level overnight.

“This new investment will allow us capitalise on the launch and build our user community through enhanced marketing.”

The new investors will also advise the company on its £500,000 EIS funding round, which opens over the summer, as it looks to scale up on the back of its excellent early traction.