TeleCity founder's start-up raises millions for Northern technology push

TeleCity founder's start-up raises millions for Northern technology push

A Manchester-based start-up led by one of the co-founders of TeleCity has raised millions of pounds from US venture capital firms to drive expansion at the payments company.

AccessPay provides back-end payments and treasury technology that can connect businesses to their banking providers. 

Led by Anish Kapoor, who founded data centre start-up TeleCity in 1998 before its 2000 listing, AccessPay has raised £9m from backers including transatlantic fund Beringea and US venture capital firms True Ventures and Route 66.

The venture funding round represents one of the biggest ever for a Northern financial technology company. 

AccessPay currently has 50 staff based out of Manchester and provides a system for payments, money transfers and fraud prevention technology for clients including ITV, Barclays and the AA. It now plans to more than double headcount to 120 on the back of the raise.

Mr Kapoor said many financial service technology systems were operating “in total isolation to one another”, with AccessPay allowing companies to connect them up, improving security and streamlining operations.

While payments companies such as Jack Dorsey-founded Square have made it easier for businesses to manage customer payments, Mr Kapoor said AccessPay "brings that same level of simplicity to business-to-business payments and cash management".

"We are one of a few players in the world focusing on that space," he added. 

Mr Kapoor had been a key figure at TeleCity Group, which emerged in the early 2000s as a major data centre supplier in Europe. The start-up listed in 2000, was taken private in 2005 and ultimately bought out by US rival Equinix for £2.35bn which scuppered the company's own attempts at M&A in Europe.

Mr Kapoor left TeleCity in 2001 after its initial listing, and later went on to found YuuGuu, a video conferencing business sold to Powwownow in 2010.

According to data from London & Partners, UK tech companies attracted £2.5bn in venture capital investment in 2018. German start-ups secured £1.4bn while French start-ups took in £1bn. 

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