Cornish high-speed broadband provider, Wildanet, has secured further equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).
The additional £400k will help the company to continue its roll-out of Internet services to the thousands of homes and businesses across the county, that currently lack adequate broadband provision.
This latest funding follows an initial £750k CIOSIF investment last year. Since then, Wildanet has extended its infrastructure, which uses state of the art wireless radio technology, so that it is ready to connect over 100,000 properties. That’s over one third of Cornish homes, many in hard to reach areas, that could be accessing a guaranteed a minimum internet speed of 30Mb/s, going up to a lightning-fast 1Gb/s.
Wildanet is affected like most other businesses by the Covid-19 crisis, but it also appreciates that now, more than ever, high-quality Internet is critical to keep Cornish businesses and residents connected. With the new funding, the company will take on new staff and increase its capacity to deliver its services more widely and quickly.
CEO and founder, Ian Calvert, said: “The coming months are going to be difficult for all businesses and we are no exception, but with Cornwall still lagging behind much of the UK when it comes to reliable internet, we feel strongly that we must push forward with a ‘business as usual’ approach as far as possible.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the CIOSIF team at The FSE Group, who have supported us over the last year.”
Lloyd Brina, senior manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Wildanet has grown from being a young start-up to an established provider in Cornwall in a very short time and their minimum speed guarantee, especially in hard to reach areas, has helped set them apart in a competitive market.
“We’re delighted that the fund is supporting their continued growth with further equity investment.”
The £40 million CIOSIF provides debt and equity finance from £25k to £2 million, to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is operated by appointed fund manager, The FSE Group.
CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.