Purple WiFi today announced new funding to accelerate its rapid international expansion. 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 allows users to gain free access to a public WiFi network through their existing social media accounts or a short form. The user gets access to family friendly WiFi, while the benefit to the business hosting the service (such as a restaurant, hotel, shop, museum, sports stadium or shopping mall) is that they are rewarded with valuable analytic insights into the profiles and movements of their customers and a sophisticated built-in marketing platform.
Purple WiFi have also appointed new board members as part of the process, including: Sir Terry Leahy, former Tesco CEO who took the retailer from the third largest in the UK to the third largest retailer in the world, launching the Clubcard during his tenure; and Ian Kelly, Serial Entrepreneur in Telecoms, Energy and other markets.
Additional investors include: Bill Currie, Iain MacDonald and Bob Willett from the William Currie Group; Jonathan Hammond and Steve Ashton from the beverage distribution industry; Juno Capital a leading Angel Syndicate, including high profile investors such as Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman at Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (formerly BAA) and formerly Chairman Alliance Boots, and three senior Ernst and Young partners, who facilitated the round.
Sir Terry Leahy, former Tesco CEO, comments: “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 (pictured), CEO, Purple WiFi comments: “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. We have seen unimaginable interest and demand for the product, not just within the obvious sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality, but also unexpected sectors such as social housing, education and healthcare, where they want to use WiFi to communicate better and deliver services. I’m absolutely delighted with this new investment and expertise, which will help us accelerate our product feature set and further build out the team that I am already very proud of.”
Purple WiFi recently sat down with Comms Business to discuss their views on the wireless market as a whole in the UK. You can find their opinions in the Wireless Trends feature here.