30 jobs lost as Gateshead's AYO Digital folds

Staff at Gateshead-based AYO Digital were informed of the news on Friday morning as they arrived at the firm’s Northern Design Centre offices

Rob Mathieson, managing director of AYO Digital
Rob Mathieson, managing director of AYO Digital

A prominent web development firm is poised to enter liquidation with the loss of more than 30 jobs, just over a year after it secured a £400,000 venture capital investment.

Staff at Gateshead-based AYO Digital were informed of the news on Friday morning as they arrived at the firm’s Northern Design Centre offices.

In September 2013 the AYO secured £400,000 investment from Newcastle venture capital firm FW Capital, in a move that was intended to strengthen its applied technologies division.

Since forming in 2008, the business grew sales rapidly across desktop and mobile projects.

Over the last five years the AYO had serviced a number of high profile clients including Renault, Gentoo and AAF, creating digital products for them.

The firm’s work with Renault helped to launch the new Clio model onto the consumer market in the UK, with a purpose-built for invitation-only customers who could login with a unique code to be the first to book a test-drive.

Work with Cramlington-based air filter company AAF, saw AYO design a system to allow sales staff to access an intranet system from anywhere in the world.

AYO also developed the timing software used by Great Britain’s Olympic BMX Team during its intensive training regime at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, in the run-up to the London 2012 games.

The company is currently in dispute with co-founder and former director Tony Olanipekun over his removal from the business in April 2013.

Mr Olanipekun told The Journal: “I wanted to build a business that had a great reputation and that would last for years. Personally, I feel very sad for the staff, who had put in so much hard work, and the for the clients.”

Linda Farish, head of recovery and insolvency at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, says: “At a meeting of directors on October 3, the decision was taken that AYO Digital should cease to trade.

“A meeting of members and creditors has been called for October 22. The company will go into formal liquidation at that time, and RMT Accountants & Business Advisors is assisting the directors in completing the formalities around this process.”

The Journal was unable to connect any of the existing directors of AYO Digital for comment.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer