An Ashton Under Lyme, Manchester based start-up provider of free-to-use Wi-Fi services to businesses has secured a £3M growth loan to expand their business; the debt financing was provided by Boost & Co.
Purple Wi-Fi provides a Wi-Fi platform for physical spaces, which leverages social engagement, marketing tools and location analytics to allow brands to get digital insights to better understand their customers and create a more personalised experience for the people in their venues” according to Finsmes.com.
The company say they will spend the funds on scaling the business by accelerating its sales development and global deployment.
Purple, co-founded by CEO Gavin Wheeldon, works with brands and venues, across 134 countries and 13 million users, including Legoland, Molson Coors, Jaguar, & United Wireless Arena, and has offices in Spain, the US, Australia and Singapore.
Purple provide businesses who use their free Wi-Fi services to provide guests access to the internet with demographic, technology and location behavioural data at a granular level, and also provides remarketing services to more than 28m users thanks to a built in CRM in its software , which gives brands the opportunity to reconnect with existing or discover new clients – the company says it is connecting 72m users in this way.
Sir Terry Leahy, the ex-CEO of Tesco and Britain’s “Business Leader of the Year” in 2013, sits on the Board of Directors, and was a leading investor in a $5m Series A round which took place in January 2015.
The debt financing was provided by Boost&Co, who specialise in Growth Loans and Venture debt solutions.
Boost&Co provide loans to European companies across the software and services, internet, life sciences, hardware and cleantech industries, working alongside the management teams of small to medium sized start-ups that “are growing and generating good revenues, while doing something innovative and preferably disruptive”.
Boost&Co say that they keep “dilution of your equity to a minimum”, and structure their deals in the form of loans. “Growth Debt”, they say, “is available earlier and in larger amounts in the life of a business” than either traditional debt or growth equity.
The firm, who say that growth debt avoids equity dilution, does not require the sacrifice of a board seat or voting rights, is available within 2 to 3 months, and typically expires within 3-5 years, offer from £2m to £8m of funding to SME’s who can “demonstrate the ability to service loan repayments from projected cash flows.”
Boost & Co charge an interest rate of 9-12% on capital outstanding plus a fee of 1-2% of the total loan amount and an “equity kicker” 5-15% of the amount lent.
The company has been operating more than 12 years and has arranged over 150 loans, including $4.5m to contract centre operator Direct Response, and £1.5m to Vizolution, a UK based software-as-a-service company offering omnichannel digital solutions to streamline customer journeys at contact centres.
The decision making process takes 4-10 weeks, according to the company’s website from initial contact to provision of a loan, with due-diligence conducted and a decision made by the partners.