Management break-out business Fourteen IP secures £500,000 venture capital investment

A business set up by three former colleagues has received a funding boost from the North West Fund for Venture Capital.

Fourteen IP has netted a £500,000 investment and employed a new non-executive director to help with its growth ambitions.

The business, which provides hotel communications in the form of voice and data networks for telephones, wi-fi and other data traffic, was founded by Neil Tolley and two former workmates.

Prior to setting up Fourteen IP in 2011, the three entrepreneurs had worked at telecoms business SpiriTel in Wigan.

So far, Fourteen IP has secured the Marriott and Four Seasons customers, as well as on oversees account in the form of the Kempinski Hotel in Vienna.

Tolley, managing director at Fourteen IP, says that the business is addressing a challenge being faced by modem hotels through the need to keep up with the demands of guests carrying ever more technology.

He adds, ‘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.’

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The new investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital comes in the form of Enterprise Ventures, which manages the Venture Capital arm of the £155 million six-part North West Fund. As part of the deal, David Ashmore, former chair of Metronet, has been appointed as non-executive director to bring expertise in the telecoms and data industry.

Enterprise Ventures has invested some £24 million in 160 small businesses in 2012 through fundings for start-ups or management break-outs.

Richard Young, fund manager at Enterprise Ventures, comments, ‘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.’

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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