Academy Internet (AI) today announced it has secured new investment and working capital funding which allows the acceleration of its business plan to become one of the leading digital agencies in the UK. The funding is complemented by the appointment of an experienced Chairman which will broaden the executive base of the company.

AI, who ranks 34th in the 2007 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and 144th in the 2007 Deloitte Technology EMEA Fast 500 league tables, is now primed for further expansion through a combination of continued organic growth and a series of planned acquisitions and mergers with other digital agencies in Brighton during 2008.

Following an investment campaign, which attracted international interest from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany as well as from within the UK, the company was able to complete a funding package of circa £500,000 with the aid of additional bank funding. The bank funding element was provided by the company’s bankers, NatWest, via the DTI Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme.

Chief Executive Officer Jason Woodford commented, “I am pleased that our business plan has the right balance of excitement and credibility to attract investors of such calibre and international standing. This is further evidence that “responsible” businesses can be both successful and attractive as an investment proposition.” AI is currently the Business in the Community (BITC) Small Company of the Year on account of its responsible business practices.

The company is advised by Terry Rainback of EMC Corporate Finance Ltd who said, “AI has grown steadily over the past 3 years and has positioned itself to capitalise on the strong foundations that Jason and the team have laid. Jason and the AI team have a real depth of experience and the new funding will enable AI to pursue its growth and development plans with confidence as a key player within one of the UK’s most dynamic business sectors. EMC is delighted to have helped AI achieve this important step in its development.”

The management team has been strengthened by the appointment of Paul Whitwam as Chairman. Paul has a long history in international IT services and telecommunications, with a broad professional experience in general management, mergers and acquisitions, services strategy and customer relationship management. He joined Sita, the IT and telecommunications provider to the Air Transport Industry, in 1997 and became Chief Commercial Officer of Sita SC responsible for sales, revenue, margin, and customer satisfaction on a global basis. Prior to joining Sita, Paul was Chairman and Chief Executive of ICL Sorbus, a Fujitsu subsidiary company, where he was responsible for creating Europe’s largest multi-vendor IT services company with revenues of $1 billion.

On being appointed Chairman of AI, Paul said “I am very impressed by the scalable foundations laid by Jason and his team in what is a challenging, high growth market sector. The whole team is very focussed on growing market share through satisfied customers, and with this increase in capital we are now well positioned for the next phase of our strategy, which is accelerated growth.”

Jason Woodford concluded, “This funding provides confidence to AI’s customers, staff and other stakeholders that AI has the financial strength to take advantage of the opportunities that exist to build a powerhouse digital agency in the Region. I am particularly excited that we will now be able to invest in our people and business processes to capitalise on what we achieved so far.”

For more information, interviews, photos and quotes, please contact:

Academy Internet:
Rachel Lewis, Marketing and PR Manager

T 00 44 (0)1273 733433
E rachel.lewis@academyinternet.com
W www.academyinternet.com
Office Kingslake House, 1-5 Union Street, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 1HA, United Kingdom

EMC Corporate Finance:
Terry Rainback
Tel: 00 44 (0)1293 440366

Notes to Editors

About Academy Internet
Academy Internet (www.academyinternet.com) is a rapidly growing, award winning digital communications agency which employs 26 experts in Brighton working for clients across the UK and into Europe and North America. Academy Internet aims to be counted amongst the largest and most successful digital agencies in the UK by the end of 2010.

Our customers experience a clear and a joined up approach to solving their digital vision. Through insight into their needs and organisation, we work with our clients to create inspired solutions that deliver a significant and enduring impact.

The company has achieved rapid profitable growth since 2002 as recognised by its ranking number 34 in the 2007 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK. Rankings are based on average percentage revenue growth over five years.

Academy Internet’s services fall into two distinct areas:

Internet Marketing services are bought by clients who want to grow their online businesses using Academy’s search marketing, email marketing, web design, online PR and social media services as their “digital marketing manager” with a proven ability to increase client profiles on the web, while simultaneously reducing direct costs. The company won the 2007 DPA Search Engine Marketing Agency of the year award.

e-Learning services are bought by organisations who want to communicate or initiate a performance change amongst people using online educational content ranging from Point Of Sale retail training, to Induction and technical subjects. The company was a finalist in the custom e-learning content category of the 2007 e learning Awards.

Academy Internet is currently the Business in the Community Small Company of the Year, recognising its national leadership in responsible business practice amongst small businesses.

Published on: 12:00AM on 18th December 2007