Activ8 secures six-figure investment through Enterprise Investment Scheme

October 15, 2014

Sunderland-based entrepreneur Neil Herron has earned the backing of several individual investors

Parking technology firm Activ8 Virtual Parking Solutions has secured a six-figure investment from a number of private individuals.

The Sunderland-based firm has secured backing from its Virtual Parking Solutions’ (VPS) platform which offers management of restricted kerbspace in urban environments – creating ‘opportunity windows’ for certain classes of vehicle used for deliveries and so on.

A deal advised by RMT Accountants and Business Advisors, with legal support from Square One Law, saw Activ8 founder Neil Herron secure investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

VPS allows local authorities to manage roadside deliveries between set times without issuing deliverers with penalty charges.

Details of each delivery are sent directly to Civil Enforcement Officers’ handheld devices or CCTV operatives to ensure no penalty notices are issued.

After successfully proving the VPS concept with a major London Borough, Activ8 is now lining up a number of operational pilot schemes in different local authority areas, with others to follow in the coming months, including solutions to assist the disabled motorist with major global fuel retailers.

New sales and system development jobs are being created in the North East as the company expands, with a number of developers also being taken on to create new applications, and Activ8’s management team are already looking at how the system might be tailored for use right around the globe.

Strategic non-executive directors appointments are set to be made to provide the company with further expertise in a range of areas, including road safety, autonomous and connected vehicles, energy policy, social enterprise and digital communications.

Mr Herron said: “The issuing of a penalty notice is simply a failure of the traffic management regime, and with local authorities now treating traffic management as a priority, rather than simply the enforcement of traffic regulations, there’s a huge amount of potential to tap into, especially as our platform can be delivered at zero cost to local authorities.

“Time is money to the companies making deliveries to hard-to-access areas, and the efficiencies that arise from guaranteeing kerb-space and advance notification of imminent arrival through utilising this platform, is going to have a massive impact on their bottom lines.

“The RMT and Square One Law teams understood the wider concept of the business and were very receptive towards what we’re looking to achieve – it’s been very refreshing to work with advisors who truly operate as part of our team.”

Stephen Slater, director at RMT Accountants and Business Advisors, added: “Having worked with Neil for two years on the connected city vision and the last six months to bring all the elements of the investment process together, it’s very satisfying to see it reach its completion, especially in light of the excellent use made by the investors of the allowances offered by the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

“This is a very dynamic business operating in a fast-moving sector, and Activ8’s management team now have the resources they need to fully realise the commercial potential that it offers.”

John Hammill, senior associate at Square One Law, said: “The concept of smart city technology has great potential, and it was a pleasure to work alongside Neil and RMT on this deal.

“We were delighted to assist in putting the necessary legal agreements in place to create a group of companies offering differing but complementary technologies and to secure substantial investments into the group. We look forward to seeing the growth and development of the Activ8 group and wish them every success in the future.”

Activ8 has also secured a strategic partnership with a South African fleet and supply chain optimisation company to create Sizwe Solutions, which will help companies, businesses and fleet operators reduce costs through efficiency savings in the supply and delivery chain.

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