L-R: Gavin Cowling, James Mulvany and Sue Barnard
L-R: Gavin Cowling, James Mulvany and Sue Barnard
Richard Bell

Manchester-based radio startup to create 10 jobs with £300k funding

Online radio startup Radio.co has secured six-figure support from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The Manchester-based firm will use the £300k boost, received through NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, to fund product development and create around 10 jobs over the next 12 months.

Radio.co currently employs a team of 20 and is used by around 3,500 radio stations around the world. Half of its customers are based in the US.

The firm has created a streaming platform that enables radio stations to control and manage their channels through cloud-based software.

In its first six weeks of operation, Radio.co reached over 5.5m listeners.

The company was set up by tech entrepreneur James Mulvany, who launched his first enterprise, Wavestreaming.com, in 2004 while still at university.

The business resold third party software solutions to radio stations, but James eventually identified ways to improve what he had on offer. He invested in developing a bespoke product incorporating streaming services and Radio.co was born.

James said: “Investment is vital for us to take the company to the next level. Having always self-funded the business, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’ve had a great experience with FW Capital.

“A contact of mine had received investment from FW Capital for his own business and highly recommended them. They were very straightforward to deal with and I was impressed by their ability to create a tailored package that suited the exact needs of our business.”

He added: “The funding will be used to develop new products and will create around 10 jobs this year. We expect turnover to reach £5m during the next three years.”

Gavin Cowling, senior investment executive at fund manager FW Capital, commented: “Radio.co is a really exciting business and a great example of the burgeoning technology industry in the North West.

“Companies in this sector often struggle to secure funding from traditional sources because they have few tangible assets.”

He continued: “However, we are actively investing in this area and want to encourage more businesses like Radio.co to speak to us if they need investment. We see lots of growth potential in the tech space and are very pleased to be supporting James and his business.”

The NPIF is delivered by the British Business Bank.

Sue Barnard, the bank’s senior manager, said of the deal: “We are pleased that NPIF through FW Capital have provided Radio.co with the right finance needed to purse its vision for growth.

“Supporting new and growing businesses to help drive economic growth in the North of England is a key objective at NPIF and through the support our fund managers, NPIF will continue to do so by assisting similar high-growth companies in need of funding in the region.”

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