Big-name investors put £3.3m into firm

Date published: 19 January 2015

A GROUP of investors - including former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy - has invested £3.3 million in the business of a Saddleworth entrepreneur.

Greenfield’s Gavin Wheeldon, who built and sold translation business Applied Language Solutions to Capita, launched Purple Wifi from his base in Delph in 2012.

Purple, now in Ashton, offers technology that helps businesses to offer free wifi to customers.

The multi-million pound investment group also includes Bill Currie, Iain MacDonald and Bob Willett, from the William Currie Group, and Juno Capital, a leading business investor syndicate.

The funding boost will accelerate product development, help recruitment and allow it to expand.

Sir Terry said: “Purple WiFi is a brilliant example of how additional value can be driven from an existing infrastructure.

“I’ve been incredibly impressed with what Gavin and the team have achieved to date. I very much look forward to helping them drive global expansion and adoption.”

Sir Terry has been appointed a board member, alongside telecoms and energy entrepreneur Ian Kelly.

Chief executive Mr Wheeldon said: “WiFi is something that is expected free. The big question in recent years has been how to monetise WiFi. Purple WiFi has created an innovative, low-cost solution.

“I’m absolutely delighted with this new investment and expertise.”