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Profile Winter 2007 Newsletter

Software specialist goes global, or so it SEAMS

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Pictured: John Philips, SEAMS Chairman, Dr Pete Skipworth, Managing Director and Co-founder of SEAMS and Nigel Owens, SYIF’s Portfolio Director

An asset management company from Sheffield is taking its market-leading software to an international stage following a £200,000 investment from South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

SEAMS Ltd, based at Hallamshire Court on Ecclesall Road, has spent the last five years establishing itself as market leader in the UK water industry with its asset investment planning software.

Now SEAMS is taking its WiLCO software to markets in Europe and North America and also expanding into domestic utilities markets including electricity, gas and transport.

SEAMS Ltd was born out of post-doctorate research conducted at the Universities of Sheffield and Exeter into the delivery of decision support technology solutions to meet the requirements placed on the UK water industry for the 2004 price review.

The software technology helps large infrastructure-rich companies make complex investment decisions.

Peter Skipworth, Managing Director of SEAMS, said: "We are expanding to make our services available to a broader spectrum of the primary public utilities industries domestically as well as markets in Europe and the United States.

"Having achieved market leader status in the supply of decision support technology to the UK water industry we felt we were in a position to grow into different markets and really take our Sheffield-born technology to the world.

"The investment from South Yorkshire Investment Fund has allowed us to recruit 15 new highly qualified data analysts to help drive this expansion and develop our reputation for providing effective expenditure services to infrasatructure-rich companies.

"We fully expect this growth to increase our revenue to in excess of £6m inside three years."

SYIF first invested in SEAMS in 2004 and has continued to support the business since then.

Nigel Owens, SYIF's Portfolio Director, said: "SEAMS is a fantastic example of a business with its origins in the University of Sheffield growing into a high technology success story in the city, and now beyond."

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).