25/02/2015

W2 Global Data Solutions secures investment from Finance Wales to bring new product to market

W2 Global Data Solutions (W2) has secured investment for its seed capital financing round from Finance Wales, a group of angel investors and its existing shareholders. 

Finance Wales’s investment is the third from its Welsh Government-backed Wales Technology Seed Fund, which helps young technology companies based in Wales to commercialise their innovative products and bring them to market.

W2 has been changing the way regulated medium and large businesses such as banks and other financial services providers manage their compliance obligations, to simplify their processes. The company has achieved significant growth in the last 3 years and over 100 organisations currently rely on its suite of software tools which include versatile Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Anti-Fraud technology platforms.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “This Fund was specifically set up to support early stage technology companies with high growth potential and to help commercialise their innovative products and technologies and bring them to market.

“ I am delighted the Fund is doing just that and supporting businesses like W2  to grow, launch new products and target new markets.  We want to increase the number and growth of successful, IP rich, technology based businesses in Wales and attract technology businesses to Wales that have the potential to trade globally, contribute to economic growth and create high quality skilled jobs.”

Finance Wales is the first institutional investor to back W2. The Wales Technology Seed Fund’s investment will enable W2 to launch new products targeted at new markets.  W2 plans to launch a suite of products for small and medium-sized businesses such as estate agents.

“W2 aims to be the most agile, innovative and customer-oriented provider of consumer and corporate screening services in the UK and international markets. Finance Wales’s investment will enable us to expand quickly and strategically into new markets, maintain the momentum of our innovation and deliver on our vision,” explained W2’s Chief Executive, Warren Russell.

W2 has tripled its headcount in the last year and further recruitment is planned with the backing of Finance Wales’s investment. The company also plans to open a new HQ in Cardiff.

Richard Hadden, Deputy Fund Manager in Finance Wales’s Technology Venture Investments team, led the Wales Technology Seed Fund’s investment in W2. 

Welcoming W2’s announcement, he said: “Recent changes to the way the financial services industry is regulated mean that small and medium-sized businesses are now required to conduct KYC and AML checks just like large financial institutions.  Small businesses need to ensure they comply with these regulations despite their budget and resource constraints. 

“W2 has already achieved significant traction targeting larger businesses and has now come up with a flexible, cost-effective solution for smaller businesses.  Finance Wales’s investment will back Warren and his team to bring their software-as-a-service offering to market and spearhead the next phase of W2’s global expansion. We wish them well.”