A Manchester start-up which connects companies with creative freelancers has raised £400,000 in a seed funding round.

Twine, founded by Manchester University graduates Stuart Logan and Damien Shiells, received investment from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority plus angel investors Herb Kim, Chris Mairs and Stephen Pankhurst.

It takes the total raised by the company to more than £900k.

“We are very excited to continue our growth with this investment round. The northern start-up community is booming and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Stuart Logan, Twine CEO.

“The potential market for Twine is huge. There are 52 million small and medium sized companies in Europe and the US. They spend £24k per year on marketing, 32 per cent of which is spent on content marketing.

“This means around £400 billion is spent on content marketing per year. We want to help companies create the content they need.”

BusinessCloud met Stuart and Twine at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Conference.

Twine is a creative marketplace that connects companies to a network of over 195,000 freelance graphic designers, animators, musicians and filmmakers. It helps small and medium size companies hire creatives to make high quality content to grow their businesses.

Creative freelancers can build a portfolio, find paid work and connect with interesting creatives to collaborate with. GMCA lead member for investment and finance, Councillor Kieran Quinn, said: “It would have been foolish of the GMCA not to take the opportunity to invest in Twine.

“As a creative network for almost 200,000 professionals it is a key organisation that will help us to meet our ambitions to grow the digital economy in the region and provide the high-skilled, highly-paid jobs that we need to ensure that Greater Manchester prospers.”

Herb Kim on a BusinessCloud roundtable

Herb Kim on a BusinessCloud roundtable

Herb Kim, founder of tech conference Thinking Digital Conference and executive chairman of Tech North, said: “My decision to invest in Twine was driven by my belief in Stuart Logan’s integrity and ability, and do I think Twine are fulfilling a real need with a compelling solution? My answer is a resounding yes.”

At the end of 2015 Twine raised £350,000 round from angels and VCs including Seedcamp, AXM and Creative England.

Logan, 31, is also founder of adtech company Amnis Technology.