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Living Map, a high-tech start-up based in Bath, is proof of how a business can be transformed, having recently secured a significant £1.1m investment after taking part in a SETsquared entrepreneurship training programme.
Living Map started with a great idea, but to fulfil its potential it needed the guidance and insight of SETsquared, a partnership with a wealth of experience and connections in helping high-tech, high-growth potential start-ups.
SETsquared provides mentoring for tech start-ups, access to investors and corporate innovators and a wide range of industry experts through its network and training programmes.
“We’ve been going for nearly four years but the last 18 months have really seen the business start to take off in its full form,” Jake Ronay, chief commercial officer at Living Map, said.
“We realised we had a good product with global potential, but that to expand quickly would take more than we could find through our existing revenues.”
The digital mapping company, offering location-based services for urban and indoor areas using data from space, announced the funding from Committed Capital after signing up for an entrepreneurship programme with SETsquared.
Living Map’s place on the programme was supported by the UK Space Agency, who teamed up with SETsquared to foster new innovations in space-related technologies. The collaboration allowed Living Map free access to space data and exciting new technology to build new services and products.
Living Map was then able to develop its digital mapping platform that helps cities and venues monetise their data.
“We provide a solution for cities and site owners who want complete control over their navigation systems and the ability to visualise their site data,” Jake said.
“City managers and site owners often don’t realise how much they can benefit from having their own site data presented in a visual and an accessible form – not just for their visitors but also for their maintenance teams and operations teams.
The company started with just one developer working on Living Map as a side project to co-founder Tim Fendley’s previous business, Applied Wayfinding. Today the business has 14 employees and is constantly on the look-out for fresh talent, whether developers, designers or project managers.
The business is putting the funds into developing its technology – and integrating with big data (a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis) from sources such as the Internet of Things (IoT), content and advertising platforms.
Support for multiple languages, disability access and content management of the maps, as well as integrating with several large-scale platforms, are also being worked on.
“SETsquared has helped in many ways, including mentoring and business plan reviews, introductions to potential clients and investors and providing us with our first office space here in Bath,” Jake explained. “They’ve been a great support with helping us get the funding and are still helping us now as we grow.
“It’s been a great journey so far, but we are excited now about the next five years.”
Colin Baldwin, programme manager at the UK Space Agency, said: “It is great to see a company we’ve supported receive such investment that will transform the business, as well as showing how valuable the access to space data has been to Living Map.
“The benefits of free big data are enormous for all types of business, including agriculture and location based services. Working with the space sector gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take advantage of incorporating this exciting new technology.”
Ali Hadavizadeh, deputy head of enterprise at the University of Bath Innovation Centre, added: “We’re delighted Living Map has secured this incredible funding that will take the business onto a whole new level.
“The company is set for big things and is a great example of some of the best technical talent coming out of Bath.”
To find information about SETsquared’s next entrepreneurship training programme go to localhost/setsquared-live/enterprise
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