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Mettle Capital, Facilitating data analysis for ESG, reputation and trust using Open Source Intelligence

Mettle Capital provides daily Open Source Intelligence on ESG, reputation, trust, and thematic issues for 5,000+ global companies to asset managers, strategists

Mentoring | Research and development |

The need

How do you know which companies to trust when making investment decisions? What if you are unaware of reputational damage, or unsustainable practices, but go ahead and place funds in what turns out to be a poorly governed organization? You’d probably wish you’d had the data and measurements needed to check in the first place.

The solution

This is where the co-founders of Mettle Capital Andrew Tucker and Rufus Grantham spotted a gap in the market. They knew each other from university and decided to combine their academic rigor and experience in financial services to design and build a data analytics facility for investors such as major pension funds. Having successfully built and sold an early version of Mettle, the two bootstrapped the research and development of Mettle Capital, and launched in 2019.

The startup company already has several customers of the service which draws raw data from global open sources, typically professional media such as the Financial Times, trade media like Fierce Pharma, and the various social media channels. Mettle analysts look at the ESG, trust, and reputation conversations for each company, providing a real-time report for the interested client.

Although Andrew had been an academic at Brunel University, it was Rufus who first met Dr Michael Joseph, lead of the RIEm Programme, and they were encouraged to join the 2023 cohort. 

The outcome

“We understand our product and what it can achieve, but we recognised the university’s strength in testing innovation and in guiding us in our funding applications,” says Andrew. “We applied for a £5,000 Brunel Innovation Voucher which allowed us to team up with the Department of Financial Mathematics. They know how to work with complex data. The subsequent third-party and peer-reviewed report validated our dataset and moved us towards making our application to Innovate UK.”

Most startups struggle to gain momentum unless they have the funds to cover early-stage project development costs. The RIEm workshops covering the various sources of funding, as well as how to write a strong application, were invaluable to Mettle Capital. The awarding of a significant Innovate UK grant of over £180,000 will enable the venture to consolidate the technical team and continue work on product development and refinements generated by user feedback.

Andrew continues: “We have our sights on the global pensions market, so the confidence placed in us by the awarding of government funding gives us valuable credibility. Finance means we can design the platform to meet the needs of pension fund managers who are under pressure from investors to answer questions around sustainability, trust, and reputation. We are very much at the early stages but plan to launch into this market in 18 months.

There is no doubting the impact that the RIEm programme has had on our progress. Not only did we get access to the university’s mathematicians and a better understanding of sources of funding, but the content of the workshops and Brunel’s approach to innovation support is exemplary.

Dr Andrew Tucker, Co-Founder

Andrew’s experience demonstrates how RIEm helps businesses to collaborate with Brunel research experts and other businesses to develop unique solutions to address emerging priorities in sectors and secure funding the solution to the market.

Dr Michael Joseph, Business Development Manager (Healthcare and MedTech) & RIEm Lead

Get in touch with the project team member(s) for this case study

Dr Michael Paratharayil Dr Michael Paratharayil
Email Dr Michael Paratharayil Business Development Manager
I have managed large partnerships for 15+ years in private sector, in over 25 countries including for a large Consultancy Group in senior management role. I have led capacity strengthening programmes in the UK and overseas on resource mobilisation and funding diversification. I have secured large funding and investment in health, education, research and innovation. I manage research and innovation and knowledge exchange partnerships with businesses and health sector actors in the field of Health and Med Tech innovation. I conceptualised and lead Brunel's award winning Research, Innovate and Emerge (RIEm) Programme to strengthen the capacity of businesses to optimise innovation and access funding to take the solution to the market. I am a member of Brunel’s Business Innovation Board and contribute to Early Career Academic Capacity Development Programmes and South Asia Regional Working Group in addition to innovation ecosystem management with businesses. I previously successfully led the delivery of Brunel’s Business Resilience Fund. I am a Vice Chair of UK Public Administration \Association (UKAPA). Reuters named me as one of the top 10 influential international programme managers in 2010. I speak at national and international conferences on innovation funding systems. I completed my PhD in Public Health and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). Connect with me on LinkedIn

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Case study last modified 07/06/2024

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