Inuk Networks today announced that it is has completed a £9.5 million second round of funding led by broadcaster S4C and venture capital firm Wesley Clover. The Inuk executive team will use this investment to further develop its Freewire triple-play platform in the UK, as well as expanding into Ireland and North America.
The investment by S4C has been made through its commercial subsidiary S4C Digital Media Ltd (“S4CDM”) using commercial revenues only.
Iona Jones, S4C’s Chief Executive and Chair of S4CDM, and David Sanders, a director of S4CDM, will both join the Inuk board of directors which is chaired by Simon Gibson OBE.
“This is an exciting time for Inuk, with our Freewire service already available in over 100,000 student rooms in the UK and growing fast,” said Marcus Liassides, CEO of Inuk Networks. “S4C and Wesley Clover are providing the means to allow Inuk to further enhance our technology platform and to continue to redefine the way people watch TV.”
Iona Jones, S4C’s Chief Executive, added: “This investment represents a coming together of S4C's commercial ambitions and our understanding as a broadcaster of the importance of new methods of delivering content to consumers. We believe that Freewire is a compelling proposition and has the potential to become a mainstream digital television platform.”
S4CDM is a commercial subsidiary of S4C. The Broadcasting Act 1996 and the Communications Act 2003 gave S4C certain powers to participate in commercial activities. To enable S4C to invest in Inuk Networks, S4C was required to seek an Order from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The order came into force on April 2nd, 2008.
S4C is one of the UK's five public service broadcasters. S4C Digidol is available on Sky 104 in Wales and on Sky 134 outside Wales. It is available on Freesat 104 in Wales and on Freesat 120 outside Wales. It is also available in Wales on Freeview on 4 and Virgin TV on 194. In 2007, S4C was made available on Inuk's Freewire service. S4C is also available to watch online at www.s4c.co.uk
Wesley Clover is a private holding company and venture fund specialising in the seeding of technology companies. To date the fund has created more than 60 companies in the telecommunications, computing and broadcasting markets. Wesley Clover has a substantial real estate and leisure portfolio including the Celtic Manor Resort, host of the 2010 Ryder Cup. The Company’s Chairman Sir Terry Matthews is one of the UK’s leading technology entrepreneurs.
Inuk Networks is a triple-play service provider which has capitalised on the rapid growth of broadband technologies by developing a platform for the distribution of broadcast quality TV and carrier-class telephony over closed IP-based networks.
Freewire (http://www.freewireTV.com) is the company’s branded platform for the delivery of video, voice and data services to consumer customers, with an initial direct focus on the student market. Inuk’s Freewire platform can be customised and delivered as a wholesale solution, offering broadband providers and network operators the ultimate flexibility in how they provision their TV, voice and converged entertainment service offerings.
Please visit www.inuknetworks.com for more information about Inuk Networks.