Solihull-based energy software developer Contigo has secured a £1 million finance facility through Santander’s Breakthrough programme to expand the team, enter new markets and accelerate business growth.

Contigo, established by Simon Piercy, Jonathan Yeomans and Adrian Bullock in 2006, designs and implements energy trading, portfolio risk management and logistics (ETRM) software solutions to the European energy industry.

Following seven successful years, the business has completed the first phase of its strategic development and is now looking to further expand into international markets. The firm will also switch focus from product development to solution delivery.

This will require an increase in headcount, creating up to six new roles in the year ahead, to enable more time to be invested in exploring new market opportunities and expand its existing customer base.

The funding includes £500,000 of growth capital finance from Santander’s Breakthrough programme.

Growth Capital funding provides mezzanine-based finance at a low rate which bridges the gap between traditional bank lending and angel and equity investment, helping to fill the recognised investment funding gap for UK companies of less than £10 million turnover. The Growth Capital loan is backed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Breakthrough also provided Contigo with the opportunity to participate in a marketing masterclass with Saatchi & Saatchi at the end of 2012.

Simon Piercy, managing director for Contigo, said: “We are excited to have secured this investment for our businesses. We have great products and already have a very impressive customer base, but we have now reached the stage where we are ready to accelerate our growth.

"However, getting the right finance for this type of growth can be tricky for a company of our size. Santander has given the support we need, not just with affordable funding to fuel this growth, but also through the marketing masterclass, which could not have come at a better time for us.”