UKFast buys stake in software start-up

Manchester cloud hosting firm UKFast has struck a deal to acquire a stake in software start-up Reconfigure.io.

Described as a computing accelerator specialist which unlocks increased processing potential within servers, Reconfigure.io is based in Manchester with a 13-strong team working across the globe.

The move makes UKFast the largest single investor in the firm’s current founding round and is part of CEO Lawrence Jones’ mission to speed up the internet.

Jones said: “This is an extraordinarily exciting investment for UKFast and for the future of the internet. There are only so many times you can launch a new chip with increased processing power or add more cores.

“Reconfigure.io is unlocking the technology that supports growth in virtual reality, big data and machine learning. There is an incredible future ahead for these guys.

“Ultimately, we’re committed to speeding up the internet – it’s in our DNA – and Reconfigure.io is facilitating the very technology to make this happen. We'll be looking to make use of it within our products as we look to integrate greater use of AI and machine learning.

“Reconfigure.io is undoubtedly set to make a huge difference to a lot of businesses."

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are chips able to perform many taks simultaneously, providing significant speed enhancements over the same code running on traditional CPUs.

However, the skills required to program FPGAs are not readily available to most businesses.

Reconfigure.io lets users program FPGAs with Go - a more simple programming language than the complex code normally required to program the chips. The technology means businesses bypass the current need for hard-to-find developers and costly R&D budgets.

Founder and chief executive Rob Taylor said: "With this investment, UKFast becomes the single largest investor in this funding round. We look forward to building a working partnership and creating the next generation of computing infrastructure.

"We aim to bring on investors who add value to our business and having this relationship with UKFast opens many major doors."

UKFast is the UK’s largest independently-owned hosting provider and is on track to turnover £46 million in 2017.

Lawrence Jones’ business portfolio also includes cybersecurity firm Secarma, technology magazine and events company BusinessCloud, office fit-out and refurbishment company UKFast Space and a ski hotel in Verbier, Switzerland.

Article Posted: November 14, 2017
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