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28 May 2014

Datacentred secures £4 million of funding from GMIF, Jon Moulton and The North West Fund

Press Release 28th May 2014

Financing allows company to roll out its next-generation combined colocation and Open Source cloud computing services.

DataCentred is delighted to announce that it has secured combined funding of £4m from the Greater Manchester Investment Fund (GMIF), venture capitalist Jon Moulton via his family office, Perscitus Advisers, and The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which is managed by Enterprise Ventures. The finance will be used to fund the company's further expansion and roll out of its integrated colocation and Open Source cloud computing services.

The GMIF, which supports business growth and job creation in the Greater Manchester region, invested £1m in DataCentred in an initial financing round in 2013, and is now contributing a further £1m.  Jon Moulton, one of the UK's most astute and successful business investors, and The North West Fund have each provided £0.75m. The North West Fund for Venture Capital is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank and supports innovative, early stage businesses in the North West.  DataCentred's founder Dr Mike Kelly has also participated with a £0.5m investment.

The funding enables DataCentred to complete their first site at MediaCityUK and to continue developing its Open Source cloud computing platform.  The expansion plans are forecast to create around 270 jobs over the next five years in Greater Manchester.

DataCentred was established in 2012 by Dr. Mike Kelly, a pioneer in the data centre sector. Big Data, Video-on-Demand and compute-heavy applications are driving substantial growth in the demand for compute and storage capabilities.   The company will capitalise on these fundamental market drivers and address the colocation and computing requirements of the 80% of UK businesses who are currently managing their computing estates in-house.

DataCentred's service model, providing dedicated colocation capacity and a powerful Open Source cloud compute and storage platform, has been conceived from the outset as an integrated offering.  The company offers a strategic technology platform for clients to support and evolve their legacy IT systems and develop their cloud capabilities.

In addition DataCentred is completing the first of a number of data centres to support a rebalancing of the UK's internet infrastructure away from London. Over 90% of internet traffic is currently routed through London.  Such a concentration of traffic via a single location presents latency and resilience issues as well as cost and risk issues for both operators and users of the internet. As the overall volume of internet data continues to increase, with IDC forecasting a rise of 50% in fixed internet traffic and a 13 fold increase in mobile internet traffic by 2017, the issues associated with this imbalance will only become more pronounced.

As the second largest economic area in the UK, with a population of 2.6 million and gross value add of £46 billion, Greater Manchester is a logical base for DataCentred.  The region is home to the second largest cluster of creative and digital businesses in Europe, employing over 320,000 people.  DataCentred's first facility is located on the MediaCityUK campus in Salford; MediaCityUK is the new home for BBC North, ITV, dock10, Coronation Street, SIS LIVE, the University of Salford and over 150 other creative businesses.

DataCentred provides a continually evolving, world-class, Open Source technology platform. The company's software development team comprises some of the most respected developers in the industry and offers specific and unrivalled solutions to meet the colocation, computing, connectivity and cloud requirements of large corporations, broadcasters, academic institutions and public sector bodies. Through its partnerships with proven market leaders and innovative players in the development community, as well as with its clients, DataCentred works collaboratively to provide bespoke customer solutions.

Underpinning the quality of DataCentred's proposition is one of the most experienced management teams in the industry, who between them have designed, built and operated some 30 data centres across the UK and Continental Europe.  Bill Enevoldson, chief investment officer for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, will be Chairman of the company.

DataCentred was advised by Stuart Moss and Alex Wilson of Rickitt Mitchell and Simon Masters, Nigel Dale and Lizzy Tindall of Eversheds. Stuart Scott-Goldstone of Aaron & Partners advised The North West Fund for Venture Capital.

Dr. Mike Kelly, DataCentred's Founder and CEO, commented:

"The funding package we announced today from the Greater Manchester Investment Fund, The North West Fund for Venture Capital and Jon Moulton is hugely significant for the company. It enables us to complete our first site and deliver cloud services for our clients. It also allows choice to clients and operators in rebalancing the UK's Internet infrastructure towards the North.

Our services offer clients the benefits of combining the shared approach of colocation to an infrastructure-as-a-service model. This is an approach that allows companies to change the proportion of self owned computing machinery, flexibly and quickly, by using a cloud within the same facility. With still only 20% of companies using third party data centres at all, there is a huge opportunity for an operator with the right balance to develop a business that helps companies improve their efficiency and profitability."

Ian Stewart, elected City Mayor of Salford, commented:

  "This is investment in jobs and in MediaCityUK to meet future business needs through cutting edge technology. I'm delighted to welcome this to Salford."

Mike Blackburn, chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, commented:

  "GMIF was an early supporter of DataCentred and we are delighted to contribute further finance to help accelerate its expansion. We are also pleased that our backing has attracted further funding to the region. DataCentred has, by building the next generation of computing infrastructure, begun to contribute to growth and job creation in Greater Manchester. As DataCentred expands, its impact on improving the local economy and employment will increase, and its data centre services will help enhance the connectivity, efficiency and competitiveness of businesses in Greater Manchester area and beyond."

Jon Moulton, Perscitus Advisers, commented:

"We always look to invest in an opportunity in which we see high market growth, management commitment and management capability. We believe that DataCentred is one of these happy combinations, and we look forward to our faith and early stage commitment being rewarded by DataCentred's future success."

Richard Young of Enterprise Ventures, which manages The North West Fund for Venture Capital, commented:

"This investment will provide a facility of strategic importance to the North West and support the growth of many other regional businesses which require flexible IT infrastructure. We believe that DataCentred's innovative approach will enable it to grow rapidly and become a market leader, both in the region and beyond."


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