NPIF Equity

Hospitality tech firm celebrates £500k investment

A company whose customer relationship and marketing platforms are used by leading restaurants and bar chains has secured a £500,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The funding will allow Sheffield-based Airship Services Ltd to further develop its technology and create eight new jobs in the coming months for additional developers, sales and customer service staff.

The company’s first product, Airship, is used by over 50 customers across more than 600 locations including brands such as Leon, Turtle Bay, Revolution, Hydes Brewery, Wells & Co and The Alchemist. Airship brings together data from different sources to help operators understand more about their customers are their visiting habits.

The company’s second product, Toggle, allows hospitality companies to sell and manage gift cards and experiences. Launched in October last year, it is now live in over 350 locations, generating over £50,000 a week for its customers.

Airship is led by Dan Brookman, who has over 30 years’ experience in hospitality beginning with founding the Deep End pub in Hillsborough. He and technology specialist Rob Marcer set up the business in 2002 to offer specialised communication solutions to the sector.

Dan, the company’s CEO, said: “Both our platforms have enjoyed a surge in new customers and after the success of Airship, Toggle is being well received in the market. We are delighted with this investment and are looking forward to building on the growth of the past year.”

Will Schaffer, Investment Manager with Mercia, added: “The hospitality industry is highly competitive, and understanding and engaging with customers is key to success. Airship is shaking up the industry by offering companies of all sizes the technology that enables them to do that.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF continues to provide vital funding to Northern businesses across the region. We are pleased to continue this support, and are proud to work in partnership with Mercia and our other appointed fund managers to make a real impact on business communities, creating jobs and strengthening regional economies to unlock the North’s potential.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.