Fluent Communications
Tom Keighley

Member Article

Sheffield firm secures £210,000 for jobs growth

A Sheffield IT lead generation outfit have secured an investment of £210,000 from Finance Yorkshire’s Equity Linked Fund which will help to triple its workforce in the coming year.

Fluent Communication will expand into new premises and create tens of new jobs as the firm grows its service offering in generating new business opportunities for its clients in the IT/Technology sector.

Director Jonathan Edgeley started the company out of his mother-in-law’s dining room two years ago.

He said: “I have worked in IT sales for 20 years and so I decided to use my expertise to set up my own company. Initially I worked on it part-time, but it quickly grew and I was able to take it on full-time.

“At the start of 2012 the business moved into offices in St James House in Sheffield city centre. We planned to be there for two years, but we have already outgrown it and so to assist with our rapid growth we turned to Finance Yorkshire for assistance.

“We currently have 20 full-time staff who all intricately understand the IT market and how to generate new business opportunities for our clients.

“IT Lead Generation has evolved dramatically over recent years with the adoption of new communication channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. Fluent is unique as we fuse traditional IT telesales methods with social media and digital marketing to create extensive yet highly targeted campaigns that deliver a compelling return on investment.”

Andrew Burton who heads up the Finance Yorkshire Equity Linked Fund, said: “Fluent Communication is a young, innovative company that has already attracted several major clients in its first year of trading and is making a name for itself.

“The IT sector is continually bringing out new products and services, while corporate clients are regularly replacing infrastructure to meet changing business practices. Finance Yorkshire sees a healthy UK market for lead-generation services from big, multinational vendors and their channel partners as well as niche service providers.

“We invested in the company as it has considerable potential to expand its client base, the numbers and types of services it offers and its geographic footprint.

“Lead-generation businesses are sizeable employers and we’re pleased to invest in a young, ambitious Yorkshire company that’s planning to increase substantially the numbers of staff it recruits and trains, most of whom will be young people from the Sheffield City region.”

The investment will help to purchase office equipment, upgrade the company’s IT infrastructure, and support working capital. As part of the investment Paul Edgeley has been appointed as a Director and Chairman of Fluent. Paul was formerly the managing director of Lynx Technology which was acquired by BT in 2007.

Jonathan added: “We have a very aggressive growth plan ahead of us and so the funding will also be used to recruit and train around 40 more full-time staff members in the next 12 months, which is exciting for us and for local people.

“We currently have 40 clients nationwide and we aim to double this in the coming months.”

Finance Yorkshire was represented by Walker Morris of Leeds in the deal, while Keeble Hawson advised Fluent Communication.

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15m from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45m match funding from the European Investment Bank.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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