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Booming security specialist secures loan

Published: 14th July 2008

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Ian Johannessen of Rocksure and SYIF's David Ward with the Peoplesafe device.

A South Yorkshire security firm that specialises in the protection of lone workers has received a £75,000 cash injection to deal with its rapid growth.

Rocksure Systems Ltd, in Dinnington, needed extra working capital from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) to expand its infrastructure and employ more staff.

The firm, which provides a safety monitoring service for professions including social workers and retail managers, has enjoyed impressive growth figures in its first three years of trading.

The company has increased turnover from £62,000 in 2006 to £768,000 in April 2008 and is expecting the figure to double next year.

Rocksure’s service is used by a large range of lone workers who face potential threats in their line of work. The ‘Peoplesafe’ device is worn around the neck and transmits signals via a mobile network to a monitoring station relaying audio feedback, which is automatically activated when the alert button is pressed.

The user, a colleague or the police can then be contacted if necessary.

Ian Johannessen, managing director of Rocksure Systems, said: "We needed to make the transition from a SME to an established company with a strong foundation and with the loan we have been able to increase our infrastructure and staff base to cope with the growth.

"Four years ago we decided to act on the gaping hole in the market for lone worker protection services to provide people like social workers, retail managers who open up stores by themselves on a morning, or truck drivers with a means to be personally protected while at work.

"As we’ve become more established the market has just exploded and because our business model guarantees a monthly subscription to the service, we know we will turnover more than a million pounds next year even without new business.

"Clearly we want to capitalise on this and with the loan from SYIF we are in a good position to make the transition and strengthen the foundations of the business."

The Carrera Court based company was established in 2004 and now employs a team of 17 security specialists.

David Ward, SYIF’s Investment Manager, said: "Rocksure has identified a niche in the security industry, taken its extensive service to the market and enjoyed incredible success in a very short space of time.

"It is a wonderful example of entrepreneurship and the company is helping to give security and confidence to people in jobs that may be associated with certain occupational hazards."

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).