Innovation company acquires majority share of Hub8
By Sarah Wood | 18th January 2023
Innovation company, Plexal, has completed the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Cheltenham-based Hub8, the network of co-working spaces for businesses in the cyber tech, digital and creative sectors.
Plexal was founded by DV4, a long-term investment fund advised by Delancey, and already has a presence in London and Manchester.
It has acquired the Cheltenham company as part of an ongoing mission to build the UK's most connected cyber ecosystem, delivering prosperity and ensuring national security.
Cheltenham is the natural home of the UK's cyber ecosystem, thanks to GCHQ's more than 70-year heritage in the town.
Hub8 launched Cheltenham's first co-working space dedicated to enabling the growth of the region's cyber-tech sector in 2019. The startup has grown rapidly and launched its second facility in partnership with Gloucestershire College at its Cheltenham campus in September 2021.
Hub8 first started engaging with Plexal in 2019 - sharing ideas, connecting each others' communities, and plotting new initiatives for the good of the ecosystem.
In 2021, Plexal and Hub8 collectively won the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Innovation Partner programme, dedicated to working with startups to help them develop and pilot their solutions, adapting their technology to new cyber challenges.
The NCSC for Startups alumni of over 60 companies has collectively raised over £430m and created hundreds of jobs nationwide.
This acquisition builds on the regional partnership developed to date and comes as development continues of an innovation space at Cheltenham's Minster Exchange (MX), in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, which is built to drive economic growth and job opportunities in the local area.
It was recently announced that the council had committed a further £2.5m to the MX project, after it ran over budget.
Bruce Gregory, managing director of Hub8, said: "Since being introduced to Plexal in 2019, we've established a partnership that has supported and enabled the cyber tech community in Cheltenham and the South West region to flourish and grow.
"As the managing director of Hub8, I'm excited to bring our companies even closer together and the opportunity this will have for our community to connect with other key locations across the UK, where government, industry, startups and academia can collaborate to unlock innovation."
Andrew Roughan, CEO of Plexal, said: "We're delighted to be entering a new phase of growth for Plexal and see this move as a key step, as our company becomes more firmly embedded within the UK's ambition to develop a world-class cyber sector.
"At Plexal, we're focused on solving society's challenges through collaboration with government, startups and industry to unlock prosperity and reinforce national security. With the South West region emerging as the preeminent hub for cross-sector collaboration in cyber and national security, it was clear we fit into the heart of that ecosystem and are excited to help drive its future growth and development, as we close the gap between regions."
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