Melissa Morris, the CEO of Network Locum — a healthcare startup that helps hospitals and GP practices to find cheap on-demand doctors — was introduced to venture capital firm Beringea by boyfriend George Marangos-Gilks, who is the cofounder of student media publication The Tab.
The introduction has helped Morris, who founded Network Locum in August 2010 after a stint in the NHS, to raise around £1 million from Beringea, which has funds of around $650 million (£489 million).
Beringea investment director Rob Hodgkinson explained the encounter to Business Insider:
“George, who runs The Tab, was looking to raise money about 18 months ago. I can’t remember where I met him. I think I read an article about the Tab and just got in touch with him. So we were looking at The Tab [and realised] it’s a bit too early for what we do. But he said you should speak to my girlfriend, who runs Network Locum.
“She already had £2 million but we managed to persuade her, that because we’ve got this US angle, because we’ve got quite a lot of healthcare expertise, that actually, we would be useful. So she made space for us [in the funding round].”
Morris added: “It’s brilliant going out with your best friend who also completely understands exactly what you are going through. We help each other out 24/7. “
Network Locum has raised a total of £8.5 million, with the most recent round of £5.3 million announced on Sunday.
The startup is one of the first young technology companies to announce a significant investment round following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union — a move that has startup founders worried that they will struggle to raise the capital they require.