L-R: Jan Oosthuizen, Mercia, Kevin Latimer & Claire Hollyman, founders Trench Networks, Damien Murphy, COO Trench Networks.
L-R: Jan Oosthuizen, Mercia, Kevin Latimer & Claire Hollyman, founders Trench Networks, Damien Murphy, COO Trench Networks

”Wi-fi SOS” company raises £500k to create new North East jobs

A North East wi-fi company has announced that it has secured another £500k investment to expand its business.

Trench Networks, based in Cramlington, Northumberland, has secured the funding from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.

The latest funding will enable it to take advantage of growing demand for its services and expects to create a further five new jobs in the next 12 months.

Trench Networks’ device, Outpost, aggregates connections from all the major mobile networks and combines them to provide a reliable internet service.

The business has recently launched a ‘Wi-Fi SOS’ service for businesses suffering wi-fi outages or moving to sites which lack connectivity.

Founded in 2015 by Kevin Latimer and Claire Hollyman, Trench Networks now employs eight people and serves clients including Bowmer & Kirkland, Esh Group, Glencar Construction and flooring company Connection Retail.

Its Outpost device is used on a number of construction projects including the NOMA neighbourhood in Manchester and the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) in Oxfordshire. The business has more than doubled its revenue in the past 12 months despite multiple lockdowns.

Claire Hollyman, co-founder and chief customer officer, said: “This is an exciting time for us. We already provide connectivity to some of the UK’s biggest construction firms and the switch to remote working has created increased demand from businesses of all types.

“The backing from Mercia and the NEVF has enabled us to develop the company to this point. This latest funding will allow us to continue enhancing our Outpost product and support the next stage of our growth.”

Jan Oosthuizen of Mercia Asset Management added: “Trench Networks has made great progress since our first investment two years ago. Its award-winning technology and rapid deployment times have enabled it to build a strong track record in the construction industry. “As businesses of all types become increasingly dependent on internet connections, this latest funding will allow it to take advantage of opportunities in other sectors.”

Muckle LLP provided legal advice to Mercia on the investment in Trench Networks while Ward Hadaway advised the company.

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