Belfast soft­ware com­pany given £1.5m boost to fuel fur­ther growth

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

A BELFAST soft­ware firm set to gain more work from new data pro­tec­tion leg­is­la­tion next year has re­ceived a £1m cash in­jec­tion from a ma­jor ven­ture cap­i­tal growth fund.

Au­to­mated In­tel­li­gence (AI) also re­ceived £500,000 from an ex­ist­ing pri­vate in­vestor, as well as the £1m from the Bank of Ire­land Ker­nel Cap­i­tal Growth Fund.

Au­to­mated In­tel­li­gence spe­cialises in en­ter­prise soft­ware and has around 100 ma­jor cus­tomers in the pri­vate sec­tor as well as govern­ment.

Its soft­ware pro­vides de­tailed anal­y­sis of in­for­ma­tion at high speed. And the ca­pac­ity of its soft­ware to en­force gov­er­nance rules across all con­tent is ex­pected to in­crease de­mand from cus­tomers when the new Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (GDPR) regime comes into force next year.

Au­to­mated In­tel­li­gence, which is based at Cat­a­lyst Inc at Ti­tanic Quar­ter, says its soft­ware can cut cost, le­gal and reputational risk while also mak­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions more pro­duc­tive.

The com­pany, which counts Translink among its clients, was founded by chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark God­frey and chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Si­mon Cole seven years ago.

It works along­side Mi­crosoft in help­ing com­pa­nies use plat­forms such as Mi­crosoft Of­fice365.

Ker­nel Cap­i­tal part­ner Allen Martin — now a di­rec­tor of AI — said: “AI has an im­pres­sive and am­bi­tious man­age­ment team that has suc­cess­fully en­gi­neered and de­ployed a suite of prod­ucts that help cus­tomers to man­age the ex­po­nen­tial growth in dig­i­tal data.

“Against a back­drop of new reg­u­la­tory data re­quire­ments we look for­ward to sup­port­ing the team at AI as they seek to fur­ther grow their team in Belfast and scale in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

Mark God­frey said: “Next year a new Euro­pean-wide data pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tion will come into force (GDPR) which is the big­gest data pro­tec­tion change in al­most 20 years.

“This is an ex­cit­ing time for AI when we are see­ing an un­par­al­leled level of in­ter­est in our GDPR com­pli­ance so­lu­tions.

“This sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment will al­low us to mar­ket th­ese world-lead­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices to or­gan­i­sa­tions of all sizes who need to achieve GDPR com­pli­ance.

“Work­ing along­side Mi­crosoft, we will help or­gan­i­sa­tions un­der­stand, and take con­trol of, all the in­for­ma­tion they hold re­gard­less of where it is.”

Gavin Kennedy, head of busi­ness bank­ing at Bank of Ire­land UK, said: “Through our part­ner­ship with Ker­nel Cap­i­tal, we are de­lighted to sup­port AI as they em­bark on the next stage of their growth plans.

“The abil­ity to se­curely and ac­cu­rately man­age dig­i­tal data is of paramount im­por­tance to com­pa­nies across the globe and once again, a North­ern Ire­landp-based com­pany is de­liv­er­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions.”

In 2013, Mr God­frey and Mr Cole were short­listed for the Ernst & Young En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Award in the ‘emerg­ing’ cat­e­gory.

Its client list also in­cludes West­min­ster’s De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and De­part­ment of Health, fuel com­pany Sta­toil and char­ity Amnesty In­ter­na­tional.

It’s the lat­est ma­jor tech in­vest­ment in a North­ern Ire­land com­pany from Ker­nel Cap­i­tal. Last month, it an­nounced a £750,000 in­vest­ment in bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion com­pany B-se­cur Ltd.

B-se­cur Ltd, which makes de­vices to iden­tify in­di­vid­u­als from their heart­beat pat­tern, re­ceived a to­tal cash in­jec­tion of £3.5m.

As well as £750,000 from Ker­nel, it also re­ceived £1.5m from Ac­cel­er­ated Dig­i­tal Ven­tures (ADV), and the re­main­der from pri­vate in­vestors.

From left: Ker­nel Cap­i­tal part­ner Allen Martin, Mark God­frey and Si­mon Cole from Au­to­mated In­tel­li­gence, In­vest NI di­rec­tor Wil­liam Mc­culla and Gavin Kennedy, head of busi­ness bank­ing at Bank of Ire­land UK

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