Mark Wilcockson, Ash Lewis and Simon Crabtree
An award-winning Hull-based video advertising start-up has secured funding from NPIF - Enterprise Ventures Equity Finance.
Ash TV, a Tech North Northern Star 2016 award winner, will use the investment to hire additional staff to support its ambitious growth plans. It is the first investment in Humber by NPIF - Enterprise Ventures Equity Finance.
The company was founded in 2014 by Ash Lewis, who has a background in programming and over 10 years’ experience working in online advertising for some of the UK’s largest consumer brands including Argos, Homebase and Boohoo.com.
Ash TV has developed a novel in-browser, video advertising platform for mobile devices. The technology is supported by artificial intelligence (AI) software to target advertisements using location and social media data. It provides real-time feedback to clients on the effectiveness and targeting of their advertising campaigns.
The company claims that five people watch one of its mobile video adverts every second in the UK.
Simon Crabtree, Investment Manager at Enterprise Ventures, part of Mercia Technologies PLC, said:
“We are delighted to have completed our first equity investment in the Hull region with Ash TV. Mobile internet advertising is continuing to grow globally as companies spent over £10bn in the UK alone last year. Ash TV is well-positioned to meet this demand and this investment will allow the business to further strengthen its team and add to its already impressive client base.”
CEO of Ash TV, Ash Lewis, said:
“Working with Enterprise Ventures and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund brings a great opportunity for our business and after recently expanding into mainland Europe, we're focusing hard on recruiting more talented individuals in our region. This investment allows us to continue to rapidly expand as we take on new clients and media partners.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said:
“We are delighted that this deal marks NPIF’s first equity investment in the Yorkshire & the Humber region and we look forward to seeing Ash TV develop with support from Enterprise Ventures. We have been very encouraged by the response from the regional business community and our fund managers since NPIF launched earlier this year. The appetite for investment in the Humber region has been strong, and the support offered to these businesses from our fund managers has been outstanding.”
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.