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UK Hotspot Startup Purple WiFi Raises $5 million to Expand Free Social WiFi Service Abroad

15 January 2015
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UK Hotspot Startup Purple WiFi Raises $5 million to Expand Free Social WiFi Service Abroad Credit: Purple WiFi

Purple WiFi, the UK-based WiFi social login and location analytics platform, has raised $5m in funding to accelerate its international expansion. The investment was led by former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy, Bill Currie, Iain MacDonald and Bob Willett from the William Currie Group with participation from Juno Capital, a leading Angel Syndicate.

According to Purple WiFi, the funds will be used to accelerate product development and for staff recruitment to aid global expansion, targeting EMEA, APAC and the Americas. Purple WiFi allows users to gain free access to a public WiFi network through their existing social media accounts including, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Weibo and VKontakteor. The user gets access to family friendly WiFi, while the benefit to the business hosting the service (such as a restaurant, hotel, shop, museum, sports stadium or shopping mall) is that they are rewarded with valuable analytic insights into the profiles and movements of their customers and a sophisticated built-in marketing platform.

The company said that investment interest from both the retail and telecoms sectors demonstrates a recognition of the value and potential for WiFi in these verticals; incorporating the future of shopping, showrooming and enhancing customer experiences in-store for retail, and telecoms recognizing the need for valid data offload solutions.

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO, Purple WiFi
WiFi is something that is expected, for free, just as we expect access to heat, light and water. But the big question in recent years has been how to monetise WiFi. Purple WiFi has created an innovative low cost solution that gives unprecedented analytics and insights, whilst driving true ROI for businesses. We have seen unimaginable interest and demand for the product, not just within the obvious sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality, but also unexpected sectors such as social housing, education and healthcare, where they want to use WiFi to communicate better and deliver services. I’m absolutely delighted with this new investment and expertise, which will help us accelerate our product feature set and further build out the team that I am already very proud of.

Sir Terry Leahy, former Tesco CEO
Having been in the retail space for many years, I have seen how technology has and will continue to revolutionise the industry. 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.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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