Gradwell Gets Funding from Altitude Partners

UK-based Internet provider Gradwell has secured a 1.15 million pounds ($1.8 million) investment from UK regional equity fund Altitude Partners. Gradwell was founded in 1998 by Dr Peter Gradwell as a means of offering small businesses his proprietary Voice over Internet Protocol system. the business is now based in Bath and has a turnover of £5 million, a team of 60 and serves 12,000 UK Small Businesses.

PRESS RELEASE

Business VoIP telephony and Internet provider Gradwell has today announced a significant “4×4” expansion plan – four times larger in four years – supported by a £1.15 million investment from regional equity fund Altitude Partners LLP.

Gradwell was founded in 1998 by Dr Peter Gradwell, whilst studying at the University of Aberystwyth, as a means of offering small businesses his proprietary ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VoIP) system. Now based in Bath, Gradwell has a turnover of £5m, a team of 60 and serves 12,000 UK Small Businesses.

The investment from Altitude Partners will enable Gradwell to significantly scale its technology and expand its customer base.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Gradwell said:
“It is really exciting that after more than 12 years of steady growth we are able to cement our position as a leading supplier of VoIP and broadband to small businesses. The company has grown enormously in the last 12 months (now employing 60 staff); we’ve become a true 24/7 business and now with Altitude Partners on board we have a firm foundation to leap forward and provide the most useful VoIP platform on the market.

“There is a huge opportunity to encourage businesses to follow the consumer lead in adopting VoIP instead of more traditional phone systems. VoIP makes a company’s phone system cheaper and more useful for a business.

“I’m delighted that Altitude Partners has agreed to support this growth with a £1.15 million investment. After a rigorous selection process, we felt that Altitude Partners shared our ambitious vision and would offer the business invaluable advice and support as we continue to expand.”

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GRADWELL ANNOUNCES SUPERFAST EXPANSION WITH £1M NEW FUNDING (2)

Simon White of Altitude Partners commented:
“Gradwell is one of the most established and innovative businesses operating its own platform in the VoIP telephony market. The company is expanding at a rapid rate as more businesses discover the benefits of using VoIP for their telephony requirements. As an investor in regionally based growing businesses across the South, this investment fits well with our strategy.

“We are pleased to be backing Gradwell’s dynamic team, who have a comprehensive knowledge of this burgeoning industry and a clear vision for the growth of their business.”

Ahead of agreeing the investment with Altitude Partners, Gradwell received Corporate Finance advice from Shaw and Co LLP. Jim Shaw commented:
“We are very pleased to have advised Gradwell on this transaction. The team at Gradwell has established a fantastic platform and the partnership with Altitude Partners will better place the business to take advantage of the opportunity to grow in the expanding VoIP and broadband markets.”

Legal advice was provided to Gradwell by Veale Wasbrough Vizards and to Altitude Partners by Bond Pearce LLP, with due diligence from Francis Clark.

For more information, please contact Hannah Williams at Grayling on 020 7932 1880 or email over £1hannah.williams@grayling.com

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Gradwell:

Gradwell is a leading independent provider of Internet communications to SMEs in the UK.

Established by entrepreneur Dr Peter Gradwell in his second year of university, the business provides industry award winning technology for every line on the SME owner’s business card: internet telephony (VoIP), business broadband, website hosting and email management, amongst other services, driven by a team of experts.

Gradwell’s revenues have grown by over 30% year-on-year and with a customer base of over 12,000 businesses and innovative product roadmap, Gradwell is prepared for growth.

Gradwell is listed in the Deloitte Technology Fast500 EMEA 2011 and has been nominated as a finalist in the Best Business ITSP (SME) and Best Business ITSP (Micro) categories for the 2012 ITSPA awards, and has won several other industry and sector awards.

For more information on Gradwell, please contact Tom Bowden-Green or Laura Tomlinson at Grayling on 0117 929 2311 or email name.surname@grayling.com.

About Altitude Partners:

· Altitude Partners LLP in authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

· Altitude Partners provides a unique structure for High Net Worth and Angel private investors who are seeking a managed portfolio approach to direct private equity investment. Because Altitude has committed and drawn funding it can, unlike investment clubs, act as an institutional investor delivering structured funding in realistic timescales.

· Altitude Partners will invest up to £3 million into established growing businesses across the South of England.

· The Partners and Advisory Panel of Altitude Partners have collective private equity investment and portfolio experience in excess of 60 years.

For more information on Altitude Partners, please contact Simon White or Jonathan Simm on 023 8030 2006.

Alternatively email swhite@altitudepartners.co.uk or jsimm@altitudepartners.co.uk

About Shaw & Co:

· Shaw & Co provides advice to shareholders and management teams in the areas of Corporate Finance, Strategy and Market Intelligence. Our clients are owners and managers of small to mid-cap businesses for whom we have successfully raised funds, created exits or acquired businesses in a variety of sectors. Please visit our website for further details of selected transactions.

For more information on Shaw & Co, please contact Jim Shaw or Myles Hamilton on 0117 329 1120.

Alternatively email jim.shaw@shawllp.co.uk or myles.hamilton@shawllp.co.uk

Hannah Williams
Director
Grayling

Direct + 44 (0)20 7932 1880
Mobile +44 (0) 7980 726 004