AYO Digital secures £400,000 investment

Fast growing firm AYO Digital has secured a "milestone" investment of £400,000 which is set to fuel further rapid expansion at the agency

Rob Jones, Kevin Reece and Ben Williamson
Rob Jones, Kevin Reece and Ben Williamson

Fast growing firm AYO Digital has secured a "milestone" investment of £400,000 which is set to fuel further rapid expansion at the agency.

The Gateshead-based company has doubled in size in the past year and currently employs 25 people in the North East.

However, managing director Rob Mathieson, shortlisted for the Entrepreneur Forum’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award, said 40 new jobs will be created in the next few years, several of which will be based at a planned office in London.

That growth plan has moved a step closer after the firm secured the seven-figure sum of venture capital funding from regional investment company FW Capital, to help it invest in its Northern Design Centre headquarters and develop its applied technologies division.

Over the past five years, AYO Digital has become a leading manufacturer of digital platforms that has assisted blue-chip brands such as Renault, Gentoo and AAF take their products and services online, and the business will launch two new technology products later this year.

The company, which is set to achieve its first £1m turnover this year after winning a host of new contracts, specialises in delivering online software that assists its clients in driving efficiency, improving profitability and in measuring return on investment.

It now works with numerous SMEs in the region along with national and global organisations across a number of sectors including manufacturing, utilities, property and retail.

This is the first external investment for the ambitious business that has grown organically since 2008, and one the firm said marks a milestone for its future.

Kevin Reece, technical director at AYO Digital, said: “This investment is a major milestone for our business and signals the start of a very exciting era for our team.

“The first major initiative will be through our applied technologies arm, which specialises in the development and production of advanced technology solutions.

“We have two AYO product launches on the horizon which we expect will have national and potentially global uptake, which will help put AYO Digital and indeed the North-East firmly on the technology map.

“The other key area of expansion will allow us to increase our presence in the capital, which we see as the next territory to drive our growth.

“We worked closely with the FW Capital team, which quickly came up with a funding package to suit our plans and we’re pleased to have completed the entire investment process in two months,” added Reece.

The deal was completed by FW Capital’s investment executive Rob Jones.

Jones said: “AYO Digital is a dynamic technology business with an impressive client list and equally impressive management team with significant industry expertise and experience.

“We structured FW Capital’s investment to enable AYO Digital to invest in further product development and also to expand their sales operations in key markets.”

Advisers to AYO Digital included Clive Owen Corporate Finance and Square One Law, Legal, while Watson Burton advised FW Capital on the deal.

Ben Williamson, associate director at Clive Owen Corporate Finance, added: “AYO Digital has been a very exciting company to work with.

“The team are already turning heads, having doubled sales in the past two years.’’

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