Affinity Systems kick-starts growth with £100,000 venture capital round

A Sunderland-based IT firm which counts BT and Cisco as clients has secured a six-figure venture capital investment.

Northstar Ventures has backed IT service provider Affinity Systems through the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund.

The £100,000 deal marks the first time that Affinity Systems has taken on investment and will facilitate the creation of a new strand for the business – a remotely provided IT service to end users and other companies.

The service, which will be called Rymote, is building on the growing trend of remote working – which Affinity Systems believes is not being utilised enough.

Al Yong, founder of Affinity Systems, says, ‘After receiving a significant investment from Northstar and backing from local partners, both in the public and private sector, I feel really positive about our ground-breaking service.

‘Affinity will be working closely with the University of Sunderland and creating skilled jobs in the local area.’

The Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund is a £15 million pot and is backed by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund. It is also part of the £125 million Finance for Business North East Fund.

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Northstar Ventures investment manager Rebecca Crawford adds, ‘This is a really interesting company to add to our portfolio.

‘Affinity is on track to be a real success and the funding it has received is going to help it to market its new service Rymote and also create a new string of jobs.’

Northstar Ventures has now closed 12 2013 investments. Alongside its new backing of Affinity Systems, the fund has also supported business including Amplience, SocialRel8, RecruitmentForce, ScreachTV and Recite Me.

In January, Gateshead-based Recite Me, a company which helps those who are dyslexic and visually impaired use the internet, secured £225,000 to go with the £100,000 it received two years ago.

Web recruitment company RecruitmentForce secured the capital it needed to fund eight new hires as well as move to a bigger site in Newcastle.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Early Stage Funding