A ‘management break-out’ team who set up their own business providing communications solutions for hotels have secured a £500,000 investment from the North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by Enterprise Ventures.
Fourteen IP was started in 2011 by Neil Tolley and two colleagues who had previously worked together for 14 years, most recently at the telecoms firm Spiritel in Wigan. Fourteen IP provides complex voice and data networks which support telephones, wi-fi and all the other data traffic a modern hotel business requires. In addition to traditional payment methods. the company offers an innovative occupancy-based pricing model, which links costs to hotel occupancy rates.
Fourteen IP posted revenue of £1.6m for its first full year to August 2012 and delivered projects in hotels nationally and internationally, including sites for the Marriott and Four Seasons chains and, most recently, the Kempinski Hotel in Vienna.
The company has agreements with suppliers including Hewlett Packard, Mitel, and Motorola and is also working with Otrum, a Norwegian company which supplies TV systems to hotels and has a presence in 30 countries.
As part of the investment, David Ashmore has been appointed as Non-Executive Director. David has extensive experience in the telecoms and data industry and is the former Chair of Metronet.
Neil Tolley said: “Modern hotels have a real challenge in keeping up with the demands of their guests who carry ever more technology and demand ever more bandwidth. We have worked with HP to provide a unique occupancy-based pricing solution that allows hotels to install the latest networking technology without capital outlay and with a greatly reduced risk. Interest has been considerable and the investment will be fundamental in helping us take advantage of these opportunities.”
Richard Young of Enterprise Ventures, which manages the North West Fund for Venture Capital, said: “Neil and his colleagues are a classic example of a management break-out team. Experienced managers are well placed to spot opportunities and become innovators – and when they do start their own business, they can build it very quickly, as the success of Fourteen IP shows.”
The North West Fund for Venture Capital is part of The North West Fund and is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.