A company which provides technical staging for TV, West End theatre shows and high-profile events has received a seven-figure equity investment from Enterprise Ventures Growth Fund to help fuel its expansion.
Blue-i is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of video projection, high-resolution displays and audio and lighting to the live events industry. Its recent activities have included supporting the launch of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign and the Olivier Awards. It is also a preferred supplier for venues including the Camden Roundhouse, the o2 Arena, the Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Airforce Museum in London.
Founded in 2002 by Ian Riley, Lee Bradshaw and Stevie Warne, Blue-i employs 21 staff at offices in Leeds and Hemel Hempstead. The investment will allow it to expand its team and further develop its innovative technology.
Lee Bradshaw will now become MD and Stevie Warne technical director while Charles Moyle, the former MD of WPP-owned Grass Roots Live, joins the board as non-executive chairman.
Lee Bradshaw said: “Blue-i aims to be ‘best-in-class’, delivering highly compelling and engaging audio-visual platforms alongside our set-build studio. The investment we have received will enable us to further strengthen tour team and advance the company’s innovation story.”
Wayne Thomas, investment director with Enterprise Ventures, said: “Revenue from the UK events industry is predicted to increase from £42bn to over £48bn by 2020. Meanwhile theatre is attracting a younger audience and attendances have been growing year on year.
“Blue-i has built an enviable reputation through its sector-leading technology and its partnership-led approach. It is well placed to take advantage of the strong growth in both these sectors in the coming years.”
Hill Dickinson Liverpool provided legal advice to Enterprise Ventures, while Freeths in Leeds advised the management. TLP Consulting provided corporate advice to management and Mazars in Manchester carried out financial due diligence.
Enterprise Ventures is part of Mercia Technologies PLC.