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Press Release: OpenGenius secures £1.1M Funding

OpenGenius secures £1.1M of investment

Innovative Welsh firm OpenGenius has secured funding of £1.1m.

With the backing of an equity investment package of £500,000 from the Development Bank of Wales and a further £600,000 from private investors, OpenGenius has its sights on global expansion and stock market flotation.

Cardiff-based OpenGenius, which develops high-tech software for innovators and creative teams, has enjoyed increasing momentum over the past few years.

Task management app, DropTask, has attracted a worldwide customer base, with teams and individuals at Harvard University, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, among others, all joining its client list. Whilst iMindMap is an all-in-one Mind Mapping and visual thinking tool – the software is used for creative ideation by a large number of varied industries; ranging from education to finance.

In 2017, OpenGenius became the first Welsh company to be selected for the international ‘accelerator’ training and networking programme (ELITE) at the London Stock Exchange. A scheme which has helped them develop their scalable business model as well as building new strategic partnerships, increasing sales and raising awareness of their brand and pioneering products.
The DropTask app brings structure and transparency to every day work by allowing users to assign tasks, display progress, and increase productivity through enhanced collaboration. iMindMap uses brainstorming techniques and an intuitive user interface to facilitate visual and creative thinking; it has been taken up in industries ranging from education to finance.

Owner and founder Chris Griffiths said:

“OpenGenius is excited to gain this investment; it will play a big part in the company’s development over the next year as we continue to expand our international customer base.”

The company’s innovative approach extends beyond its products. Its headquarters lie in Tec Marina, a creative workplace in Penarth. The unit (‘Wales’s answer to Silicon Valley’) was built specifically for OpenGenius to foster an atmosphere of open thinking and entrepreneurship.

“We’re proud to be based in Wales, and firmly believe that DropTask can help people improve their productivity all around the globe. With this investment, we can accelerate the development of DropTask, and be more aggressive in our marketing. We have our sights set on flotation in the very near future, and this investment takes us one step closer.”

Alexander Leigh, a Technology Venture Investments Executive with the Development Bank of Wales who led the transaction said: “This £1.1m investment will provide OpenGenius with the capital it needs to further refine its innovative SAAS platform and accelerate its global expansion plans.

“As lead investor the development bank recognises the importance of the co-investment from sophisticated private investors who bring considerable sector experience to the company.
Chris Griffiths is a respected, Welsh entrepreneur and has built an impressive organisation with an experienced management team which now has the ability to scale up and create additional high calibre jobs at its headquarters in Tec Marina.”

This latest equity investment from the development bank follows a number of recent venture deals focussed on the rapidly expanding software sector within Wales. OpenGenius joins a cohort of the very best Wales based software companies within the Development Bank’s Tech Venture investment portfolio.

This investment was funded by the Wales Business Fund which is part-funded by the ERDF, through the Welsh Government. It was created specifically to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Wales and those willing to move here.


The DropTask app is a visual tool that helps teams and individuals manage tasks and projects. It uses a variety of ‘views’ and visual displays to help track the progress of ongoing work, it offers clear visualisation of task ownership and makes timely, in-context team discussion easy without needing to resort to email resulting in flooded inboxes.

iMindMap has successfully digitised mind maps, a technique also known as brainstorming or spider diagrams. The software fosters creativity, allows changes to be easily made and means that multiple teams across the world can share ideas. In a world where innovation is the lifeblood of every prosperous organisation, iMindMap has positioned itself as an indispensable tool.

(Pictured from left to right: Alexander Leigh (Development Bank Wales, Technology Venture Investments Executive), Mark Bate (OpenGenius, CFO), Chris Griffiths (OpenGenius, CEO), Darren Rees (OpenGenius, CTO), Gaile Griffiths (OpenGenius, Operations Director).

What is innovation – and how can your business use it to find success?

Discover Innovation and how to use it for success in your company

What does the word “innovation” mean to your company? Arguably, it is the most important quality a start-up or growing business can have – and that’s exactly why innovation has become something of a buzzword in the world of business.

The problem with buzzwords is that they are generally used without thought or reflection – they become associated with the fluff that companies use to try and sell themselves as progressive and new. But for businesses with genuine values of creativity and change, innovation is the lifeblood that keeps them pushing forward.

With the meaning a little hazy, it’s about time we think about what innovation actually is. By its very nature, innovation is hard to pin down. It can’t be defined as one single thing, and it doesn’t manifest itself in one single way.

Innovation is energy, openness, creativity, enthusiasm, spark, transformation, movement, resilience, creativity, optimism and so much more. To try and summarise it succinctly, innovation is that restless kind of creativity that looks at the way things are done and asks why?

Incorporating innovation into a company doesn’t happen overnight; it requires persistence and a company-wide culture adjustment. But it is possible. So here are 3 ways your company can become more innovative:

rethink mistakes and failure for innovative recovery

Rethink how you tackle mistakes & failure

Everyone makes mistakes – but few make as many as successful people and businesses. In a now famous tale, while on his journey to inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison said:

“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

This attitude perfectly encapsulates the most productive attitude we can have towards failure – but it is one that many companies find scary to adopt. When you have so many systems put in place to avoid mistakes, you may actually hinder progress

Accepting failure doesn’t mean being sloppy or making the same mistakes again; it is about learning from mistakes so you can get better and – like Thomas Edison – find the way that will work.

improve company culture by letting all voices and ideas be heard

Let all voices be heard

As a general rule, companies are structured in a hierarchical fashion with different levels of seniority within each department – but that structure shouldn’t mean that those lower down aren’t heard.

Creating an environment where every employee feels comfortable and encouraged to share their ideas means you’ll get the very most out of each member of staff. Sometimes it takes a fresh or different perspective to see what needs to change for the better of the whole team.

Instilling this kind of attitude contributes to a company culture where everyone feels acknowledged is an essential element of a positive, hard-working company. Hosting monthly meetings or idea roundups where everyone feels comfortable contributing is one way to start to introduce this inclusiveness within your own company.

ensure you have vision and ambition to make the most of your innovative company

Have vision and ambition

Your company is on a journey – it can’t get to where to it’s going if you don’t have a destination in mind. Every company success story starts as just an idea. The difference between those who make it, and those who don’t, is the energy that’s put in to actually reaching that end goal.  

Everyone has dreams, but to actually achieve them they should be specific. Rather than talking to your employees about wishy-washy ideas of success, tell them exactly what you’d like to achieve. Encourage creative, disruptive thinking within the company – with the ultimate goal of making the company’s vision a reality.

Having the ambition and confidence to aim high is crucial. As mentioned earlier, you can’t let the fear of failure stop you from trying. Weave these values into the foundation of your company and you may be surprised by how far you’ll go.

Discover the innovation process by making real changes to your company culture & strategy – so that you can grow, improve and uncover the best version of your business.