DIGITAL signage company Beyond Digital Solutions has received a £250,000 shot in the arm to build a new hi-tech demonstration centre and bring on new staff to meet demand.
The Boldon firm said it had added six new employees to its team after boosting its turnover from £1m in 2010 to £3m last year. It provides digital signs to sectors including automotive, retail, hospitality and healthcare.
The funding comes from existing angel investor Middleton Enterprises, headed by entrepreneur and investor Jeremy Middleton, and Newcastle- based venture capitalist Northstar Ventures’ Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund.
Beyond Digital has clients including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Frimley Park Hospital. It offers consultancy in areas such as media distribution, maintenance, project management and content design.
Louise Richley, managing director of Beyond Digital Solutions (BDS), said: “We are investing the money in a big demonstration facility because we call ourselves a ‘show me’ company.
“We can’t sell our products over the phone because they’re too complex so we wanted to have a facility in the North East to be a dedicated showroom for us.
“The money will also help us take on new employees for the creative side of software development. We currently have a team of four in that department, but I’d like to up that to around 10 or 12 in the next 12 months as that is the company’s main area of growth.
“I always said I hoped the firm would be turning over £5m by its fifth year of trading and that is looking very likely as we managed to turnover £3m in our second year of operation.
“The digital signage market is a rapidly growing area of business and this investment puts us in an excellent position to capitalise on the opportunities available.”
Digital signs can range from messages on devices such as mobile phones and iPads, to TV monitors and outdoor digital billboards. One exciting growth area is the automotive sector, where sales staff in showrooms can use BDS technology to show customers different car configurations, features and benefits.
Northstar director Ian Richards said: “Beyond Digital is a dynamic and exciting young company, and we are delighted to be involved in this round of funding.
“The new demonstration suite is really going to help them by being able to demonstrate to potential clients how digital signage can promote their own businesses.”
Beyond Digital is the top UK partner of Scala, the worldwide digital software brand, and has been selected by leading US digital signage specialist Four Winds Interactive as its European partner.
The company also has strong relationships with IT suppliers such as Dell, HP, Samsung and LG.
Jeremy Middleton said: “It is great to see an exciting digital business expand in the North East. It is one of only a few companies that can offer end-to-end support for clients looking to use digital signage and I think it has great potential.”
Source: Digital Signage Systems