£150k investment leads to new jobs at GPS firm

By April 22, 2014Finance, News

A Liverpool company which specialises in geospatial and mapping technologies is planning to create five new jobs after securing £150,000 growth funding from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by Enterprise Ventures.

GeoGrafi delivers high accuracy GPS-enabled solutions and 3D spatial data to help organisations such as utilities and local authorities to survey and manage their assets in the field.

The company, which expects to take on a further five staff in the year ahead, was established in 2011 by Mike Darracott, who has 15 years’ experience in the industry, most recently working with geospatial solutions providers internationally, and previously in the UK with Ordnance Survey.

In addition to providing services, it has already expanded into the supply of equipment and recently acquired Stockport-based Mobile GIS Services (MGISS) which is a reseller for a number of leading geospatial brands. MGISS founder Dave Shandley will continue to work in the business alongside Mike Darracott.

Geospatial technologies are now widely used in the government, public protection, energy, infrastructure and environmental sectors, and help organisations to accurately map and monitor assets across large geographies – for example, creating 3D models to check that power lines are free of overgrown vegetation, or to map the location of anything from land parcels to street lighting, animal habitats and rare plant species.

Mr Darracott, whose wife Catherine also works in the business, said: “Geospatial technologies help organisations to reduce costs and manage their assets more effectively. Developments in 3D building information modeling, spatial data, mobile technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles will open up new possibilities and new markets in the years to come. This investment will help us to build expertise across new technologies and recruit new staff into sales, technical support and administration roles.”

Chris Hardman of Enterprise Ventures, which manages The North West Fund for Venture Capital, said: “The geospatial solutions sector is set to grow considerably and GeoGrafi is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge as a result.”

The North West Fund for Venture Capital is part of the £155m North West Fund and is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Andrew O’Mahony of Brabners provided legal advice to GeoGrafi while Melanie Yeomans of Ward Hadaway advised The North West Fund for Venture Capital.

Melanie Yeomans said: “We are delighted to have assisted on this investment in a company with ambitious plans in what is a major growth sector in the economy.”

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