Purple WiFi raises $5 million for international push

Funding will help grow WiFi platform's team and feature set
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UK WiFi platform Purple WiFi has secured $5 million in funding to help it expand its business across the world.

The investment funds will be used to drive product development, hire staff and expand into new regions, predominantly targeting EMEA, Russia, Asia Pacific and the Americas. It will target the retail and telecoms markets.

Purple WiFi has also appointed new board members as part of the process, including Sir Terry Leahy, former Tesco CEO, and Ian Kelly, entrepreneur in telecoms, energy and other markets.

Purple WiFi allows users to gain free access to a public WiFi network through their existing social media accounts or a short form. The business hosting the service (such as a restaurant, hotel, shop, museum, sports stadium or shopping centre) receives analytic insights into the profiles and movements of their customers as well as a built-in marketing platform.

Purple WiFi already has distribution agreements with Ingram Micro and Westcon Comstor.

Sir Terry Leahy said: “Having been in the retail space for many years, I have seen how technology has and will continue to revolutionise the industry. Purple WiFi is a brilliant example of how additional value can be driven from an existing infrastructure. I’ve been incredibly impressed with what Gavin and the team have achieved to date. I very much look forward to helping them drive global expansion and adoption.”

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO at Purple WiFi, added: “WiFi is something that is expected for free, just as we expect access to heat, light and water. But the big question in recent years has been how to monetise WiFi.

Purple WiFi has created an innovative low cost solution that gives unprecedented analytics and insights, whilst driving true ROI for businesses."

The $5m funding was led by Sir Terry Leahy, Bill Currie, Iain MacDonald and Bob Willett from the William Currie Group with participation from Juno Capital, a leading Angel Syndicate.

Purple WiFi’s latest investment round was facilitated by Ernst and Young and legals were handled by Andrew Sturge, Partner at Turner Parkinson LLP of Manchester.

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