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21 May 2012

Online payment provider secures backing from The North West Fund for Venture Capital

Press Release 21st May 2012

A mobile payment provider has secured a significant investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by EV.

App55 Ltd, based in Salford Quays, will use the investment to develop and market its Card Hub product that enables merchants to convert browsing into sales by letting customers pay with their password from any smartphone, tablet or computer.

The North West Fund for Venture Capital is part of the £185m North West Fund, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The company has also appointed Chris Hall as a non-executive chairman to help guide its expansion plans. Chris has a proven track record of leading successful teams and introducing innovative new services in the global telecoms industry and is currently deputy chairman at Manx Telecom.

App55 was launched in 2011 by chief executive Richard Beaton. Its Card Hub platform is an innovative, fully featured plug-in which is quick and simple to install and delivers significant benefits to retailers of all sizes. It is easy for merchants to adopt without disrupting existing operations and can also handle e-invoicing, subscriptions and payment by instalments.

This funding completes an eventful 12 months for App55. It has teamed up with WorldPay, a global leader in payment processing, to bring their customers payment-by-password for mobile. The company has also been named winner of Best eCommerce Payment Innovation at the eCommerce Awards for Excellence in London and was a finalist in the MobileBeat 2011 Startup Competition in Silicon Valley in July.

Richard Beaton said: "We welcome the backing of The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which is a very positive endorsement of our product and our business plan. App55 streamlines the payment process and makes it easier for the consumer to buy and therefore more attractive to the retailer, supporting sales."

Doug Stellman, investment manager with EV, which manages The North West Fund for Venture Capital, said: "A European Commission Green Paper issued in January 2012 identified key challenges in developing competitive card, mobile and internet payment systems across the EU. App55 contributes to the development of such systems."

Barney Leaf, of Laytons Solicitors in Manchester, which advised App55 on the investment, said: "Richard is one of the driving forces of online payments in the UK and demand for these services grows on a daily basis. We congratulate App55 on reaching this milestone, which will no doubt provide a significant boost for further expansion."

Law firm Ward Hadaway's Manchester office provided legal advice to The North West Fund for Venture Capital on the investment in App55 Ltd. Melanie Yeomans, Partner in the Corporate Finance team at Ward Hadaway, said: "We are delighted to have helped The North West Fund on this investment. The mobile payment market is potentially huge so this is an exciting development for The Fund and for the North West's technology sector."

David Middleton of Cole Associates provided corporate finance advice to App55 for the investment.


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