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Frog Capital takes a £5 million stake in Bristol-based tech firm Clue

10 December 2021
Clare Elford CEO of Clue
Clare Elford CEO of Clue

A Bristol-based tech firm that helps organisations tackle crime has secured an investment of £5 million from Frog Capital, a leading investor in European digital infrastructure and smart data software scale-up companies.

Clue is a software platform for managing investigations. From its roots in policing, the platform is now used across government, private and non-profit sectors to investigate cyber-crime, fraud, child protection, corruption, environmental crime, cheating in sports and much more.

Demand for Clue has more than doubled over the last two years. Joining founders Clare Elford, CEO (pictured), and Thomas Drohan, CCO on the board will be Nick Harber, CFO; Mike Reid, senior partner at Frog Capital; and Adam Hale, chairman of the ScaleUp Institute, as chairman.

“The world of intelligence and investigations is no longer constrained to policing, there is much wider application. Organisations are under growing scrutiny, finding themselves more susceptible to threats and with a much greater duty of care towards the vulnerable," said Clare.

“Clue empowers intelligence officers and investigation experts to achieve successful outcomes.

"So many of those dedicated to preventing harm and seeking justice have to deal with an overwhelming volume and complexity of data.

"Still reliant on legacy systems, or even spreadsheets, this is a sector primed for digital transformation.”

Thomas Drohan, CCO, said “With this investment, we will strengthen the capabilities of the platform with further AI and ML capability, automation, data insights and business intelligence, while continuing to support and build our user community.

"Frog have a formidable track record, with an impressive team who we are looking forward to working with to deploy the scale-up methodology and drive business growth and a solution to better serve the market.”

Mike Reid said: “Across the industries that Clue serves there’s a deep-rooted frustration at the lack of good enough tech to allow people to do their investigative work as efficiently and thoroughly as they need.

"For too long there’s been a staggering underinvestment in how investigations are done, resulting in missed opportunities and slow outcomes for hardworking investigative teams and the people they serve.

“Clue’s technology is genuinely delivering very significant clients a step-change in how they manage and resolve incredibly complex and sensitive investigation cases.

"With Frog’s investment and experienced team of operators, Clue can accelerate their incredibly positive organisational and, critically, social impact in the key fields of policing, child welfare, financial crime amongst many others.”

Adam Hale, said: “I first met Clare and Thomas just before the pandemic and was really impressed with what they had built and the magnitude of customer problem that Clue solves.

"Since then, working with the ScaleUp Group, they have raised value-added SaaS growth investment from Frog Capital. I have known Frog for many years and am delighted to become part of their portfolio.

"I’m also really excited to work with Nick Harber again. I studied Computer Science in Bristol in the 80s and love coming back to a city set to support high growth organisations such as Clue.

“Now is the ‘end of the beginning’ for Clue and the start of the path to market leadership. From speaking to customers, I can hear how invaluable Clue is to them. There is so much opportunity and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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