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Ground-breaking Venture Capital search engine receives grant from Welsh Government.

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

Economic sustainability and growth is dependent on the success of small growth enterprises, and they need capital. Our present financial world is awash with capital. It is vital that ideas and investment find each other.

Some of the Ship Shape Team
Pictured - Far left: Carrie Skye; Left Middle: Gareth Williams; Right Middle: Daniel Sawko; Far Right: Alistair Baillie.

Welsh Fintech Ship Shape has built a Venture Capital search engine which identifies highly relevant investors in seconds. It is currently available to Universities, Venture Capital firms, Corporate Finance firms and Governmental organisations for the entrepreneurs they support.

The Welsh Government has awarded a SMART Cymru grant, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, to Welsh Fintech Ship Shape to collaborate with Cardiff University to further develop their transformative software. The project intends to create a new benchmark for investment financial data, driven by data science.

Venture Capital is a growing industry. In 2020, the global Venture Capital industry was estimated at £220bn. For 2021, £310bn had already been invested by August. However, it is an industry plagued by entrepreneurs spending months trying to identify the right individuals at VC firms to speak with.

“Financial data on investment is not targeted enough. We need to cut out the noise and give decision-makers exactly and precisely what they need to know. We are delighted to lead this disruption, and to have the support of both Cardiff University and the Welsh Government’s SMART Cymru funding.”

- Alistair Baillie, co-founder of Ship Shape

“We are delighted to be partnering with Ship Shape in their quest to match backers with businesses. Text mining and data science will play a key role in gaining knowledge for financial investments in the context of big data. We are happy to have an opportunity to translate our research into disruptive innovation.”

- Professor Irena Spasic, School of Computer Science

“The partnership offers a wonderful opportunity to match academic expertise with industry need. Throughout the project we will aim to ensure there is flawless interaction between the systems and their end-users to deliver explainable AI and an enhanced user experience.”

- Colleague Dr Fernando Loizides, Deputy Director of Cardiff’s Data Science Academy added:

Cardiff University press release can be found here

Ship Shape note to editors

Ship Shape was founded by Daniel Sawko and Alistair Baillie and is currently based in Cardiff, Wales. To discover Ship Shape please visit our website:

Alistair Baillie:

Daniel Sawko:

For more information about this press release please contact:

This press release was in collaboration with Cardiff University and The Welsh Government as part of SMART Cymru.

Ship Shape is the search engine for VC.

Ship Shape is a unique search engine that finds the right individual at the right VC firm in seconds, not months.

Deep artificial intelligence drives accurate searching and detailed evidence of investments and theses. When combined with cross-checks against professional networks, this decreases the time spent searching and increases the chance of that initial meeting.

"Ship Shape are building a unique AI-powered search platform that answers a genuine need that no one else is solving." Adam Baron, Associate Director, M&A Growth Advisory, BDO.

Ship Shape’s search can be used by individuals,VC firms looking to find investors relevant to their portfolio, intermediates seeking to broker more deals, and universities supporting spin-outs and commercialisation.

Ship Shape is proudly Welsh and is Wales Fintech Start-up of the Year 2021, and is a member of Praxis Auril, the professional association for Knowledge Exchange. Ship Shape has received grants from Innovate UK and SMART Cymru and was selected for the Fintech Wales Foundry Accelerator.

Ship Shape’s vision is to unleash world-changing ideas by bringing together data and human networks.

Welsh Government note to editors

The Welsh Government is committed to building a stronger, greener economy for Wales, based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future.

This includes supporting demand-driven Research, Development and Innovation in Wales, and facilitating effective collaborations which drive prosperity and deliver real benefits for Wales’ people and its environment.

Our Economic Action Plan has building stronger foundations for growth, supercharging the industries of the future and empowering Wales’ regions at its heart. It includes our Economic Contract which frames a new relationship with business based on the principle of public investment with a social purpose as we help businesses respond to the challenges of the future.

We support businesses to innovate and introduce new products and services, to trade with the UK and the rest of the world, to improve our skills base and to ensure that Wales remains competitive in the fourth industrial age. We are also working to enable more Welsh businesses to become carbon-light or carbon-free.

Through our suite of support called SMART, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Government helps to create jobs and improve people’s lives by driving cutting-edge research and innovation.

SMARTInnovation – Investing in Research & Development

SMARTCymru – Funding to Innovate

SMARTExpertise – Academic Collaboration for Business

European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government Llywodraeth Cymru

For more information on how Welsh Government innovation support can benefit your business call 03000 6 03000, or visit SMART Innovation | Innovation (


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