ASP start-up Pasporte has secured £2m (E3.2m) from LloydsTSB Development Capital

Pasporte, an ASP start-up, has secured £2m (E3.2m) from LloydsTSB DevelopmentCapital (LDC), the equity investment arm of LloydsTSB Group.

Gary Woodward, Pasporte's CEO, said the money would be used primarily to fund a comprehensive recruitment programme: 'This investment will help to drive Pasporte's development in 2001. We are 12 people now, and running the business quite lean. We are looking to recruit a further 20 staff over a two-year period.'

He added that spending would also focus on marketing, partner programmes and the development of the firm's internal infrastructure. 'We are not going to blow it with gay abandon,' he said, 'We anticipate a significant growth in our partner community and a consequential increase in the number of end users. Therefore, this is where the money will be directed.'

Pasporte was born out of Woodward's former value-added reseller business Panacea, which provided initial funding with a £1m long-term loan. Both firms specialise in horizontal software solutions for corporates, such as Sage accounting software, Microsoft Office applications, Lotus Notes suites and IBM e-commerce solutions.

Woodward said the company also intends to move into supplying vertical applications, such as software for the legal profession.

Woodward admitted that LDC, which also invested in a previous funding round, brought little if any strategic value to the deal: 'It was more a case of better the devil you know. We were both comfortable with the existing relationship and agreed to extend it with this round.'

Pasporte has not decided whether to seek further funding rounds, but Woodward did not rule out the possibility of an IPO in the future.

He added that expansion into Europe was also now a possibility: 'We can serve European customers from our UK data centre.'


Published 8 February, 2001 by NMA Staff

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