Hammerkit, a Finnish cloud technology provider which opened an office at Liverpool Science Park in October 2010 to target the global PR market, has received backing from the North West Fund as part of a EUR1.25m (£1.05m) investment round.
The company, which provides repeatable, digital solutions for the PR and marketing industry, will use the funding to establish its Cloudstore business in the UK. It plans to create 12 new jobs in Liverpool in the next year and a further 40-50 positions in the city within three to four years.
The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by EV, and the North West Fund for Digital & Creative, managed by AXM, have between them invested £435,000, with an equal amount coming from Veraventure, a Helsinki-based institutional investor. The company has also received further support from Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation.
Hammerkit was established five years ago in Helsinki by a team of IT professionals. Its cloud-based web development toolkit and Cloudstore make it faster and easier to build professional-grade websites and social media applications. A key feature is that any site can be launched as a repeatable solution, effectively turning one-off web projects into potential best-selling digital products. Cloudstore has been piloted with the global PR agencies Edelman in Latin America and Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Europe.
"The digital industry is crying out for more effective ways to produce the services that clients need. We developed the Cloudstore to meet that need and ensure that large agencies can leverage their scale to produce digital services effectively. We also want to help them join up their creative talent to ensure the best, most repeatable solutions are shared across their company to increase revenue and profit margins.
We're excited to launch the next phase of Hammerkit and the creation of a new digital industry hub in Liverpool, given its abundance of digital talent and proximity to MediaCityUK. There is real passion here to succeed," said Mark Sorsa-Leslie, CEO of Hammerkit.
Will Clark, Investment Director of EV, said: "Hammerkit has identified a niche in the PR and marketing industry with major growth potential. With the rapid rise in social and digital media, PR agencies want the ability to create new sites for specific promotional campaigns quickly and easily using non-specialist staff.
Hammerkit provides repeatable, off-the-shelf solutions that allow agencies to create new revenue streams and improve profits. This investment will allow the company to develop a permanent NW base to service its target client base of global PR agencies, which typically have a large UK presence."
David Smith of AXM added: "Hammerkit has an award-winning background, and we hope that AXM's knowledge and sector contacts will prove invaluable as it expands its business model here in the North West of England."
Liverpool Vision, the city's economic development company introduced Hammerkit to Liverpool who quickly made it its first UK location because of its closely connected and well networked digital industry and its close proximity to MediaCityUK in Salford.
Steve Smith, IT industry director at Liverpool Vision, said: "This is a groundbreaking move by Hammerkit and represents the culmination of two years of effort by Vision working with Hammerkit's CEO, Mark Sorsa-Leslie. Hammerkit are an ideal inward investor bringing great technology, innovation and very welcome job opportunities. They chose Liverpool because we are big enough to matter and small enough to care! The combination of high talent availability at sensible prices was one of the key factors in selecting Liverpool as their UK HQ. Join me in ensuring that Liverpool fully supports this great company."
EV is a UK-based fund manager which provides venture and growth capital of up to £2million to new or existing SMEs are you located throughout the UK and trading across technology and non-technology sectors. It operates from regional offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston and manages a range of investment funds totalling more than £130million focusing on all stages of development, including proof of concept/early stage, start-up, development capital, replacement capital and MBO/MBIs.
AXM Venture Capital is an experienced fund manager for digital, media, and creative industries investments. It has offices in Manchester, Liverpool and London. In addition to the North West Fund 4 Digital & Creative, It currently manages two London-based digital and creative funds.
Hammerkit is a cloud technology provider focused on serving the PR and marketing industry with high quality digital production solutions. With three years of aggressive development, we have created the only end-to-end web production platform that allows global PR agencies to produce, store and sell repeatable web solutions from a private global marketplace. Founded in 2007 and based in Helsinki and Liverpool, Hammerkit is an award-winning business that is trusted by blue-chip clients to deliver rapid web development and fast, reliable sites running on its innovative Hammerkit platform. For more information, visit www.Hammerkit.com and follow Hammerkit at @Hammerkit on Twitter.
Press contact for Hammerkit Mark Sorsa-Leslie Mob: +358-40-580-1962 Email: email@example.com Press contact for EV Pauline Rawsterne Turquoise PR. Mob: +44(0)7801-639816 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org