Belfast Telegraph

Belfast software firm given £1.5m boost to fuel growth

By Margaret Canning

A Belfast software firm set to gain more work from new data protection legislation next year has received a £1m cash injection from a major venture capital growth fund.

Automated Intelligence (AI) also received £500,000 from an existing private investor, as well as the £1m from the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund.

Automated Intelligence specialises in enterprise software and has around 100 major customers in the private sector as well as government.

Its software provides detailed analysis of information at high speed. And the capacity of its software to enforce governance rules across all content is expected to increase demand from customers when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regime comes into force next year.

Automated Intelligence, which is based at Catalyst Inc at Titanic Quarter, says its software can cut cost, legal and reputational risk while also making organisations more productive.

The company, which counts Translink among its clients, was founded by chief executive Mark Godfrey and chief technology officer Simon Cole seven years ago.

It works alongside Microsoft in helping companies use platforms such as Microsoft Office365.

Kernel Capital partner Allen Martin - now a director of AI - said: "AI has an impressive and ambitious management team that has successfully engineered and deployed a suite of products that help customers to manage the exponential growth in digital data.

"Against a backdrop of new regulatory data requirements we look forward to supporting the team at AI as they seek to further grow their team in Belfast and scale internationally."

Mark Godfrey said: "Next year a new European-wide data protection regulation will come into force (GDPR) which is the biggest data protection change in almost 20 years.

"This is an exciting time for AI when we are seeing an unparalleled level of interest in our GDPR compliance solutions.

"This significant investment will allow us to market these world-leading products and services to organisations of all sizes who need to achieve GDPR compliance.

"Working alongside Microsoft, we will help organisations understand, and take control of, all the information they hold regardless of where it is."

Gavin Kennedy, head of business banking at Bank of Ireland UK, said: "Through our partnership with Kernel Capital, we are delighted to support AI as they embark on the next stage of their growth plans.

"The ability to securely and accurately manage digital data is of paramount importance to companies across the globe and once again, a Northern Irelandp-based company is delivering innovative solutions."

In 2013, Mr Godfrey and Mr Cole were shortlisted for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the 'emerging' category.

Its client list also includes Westminster's Department of Education and Department of Health, fuel company Statoil and charity Amnesty International.

It's the latest major tech investment in a Northern Ireland company from Kernel Capital. Last month, it announced a £750,000 investment in biometric authentication company B-Secur Ltd.

B-Secur Ltd, which makes devices to identify individuals from their heartbeat pattern, received a total cash injection of £3.5m.

As well as £750,000 from Kernel, it also received £1.5m from Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), and the remainder from private investors.

Belfast Telegraph

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