A management buyout that took control of cutting edge video phone technology is looking to the angel market to reach the next level.
The MBO, funded by its directors and employees, saw Aupix acquire advanced technology that a team of 25 engineers developed, at a cost of around £4 million.
The Bristol firm has since seized the opportunity to spin out a technology platform for voice and video over IP and is now a little over half way in raising £600,000 to attend industry events and raise its profile.
It has already produced a number of video phone products under its own name, from personal devices to booths used in public spaces such as libraries and airports, but now sees a much larger market in licensing its technology to the giants of the electronics business.
"We can sell or supply what it would take even the biggest guys three years to develop," says managing director Graham Brown. "Our future is in licensing our technology to the big boys."
It has made progress in pursuing its strategy.
"We are already in deep discussions with a number of very large and well known companies," Graham says. "These discussions take a very long time, we're looking at a minimum of nine to 18 months to get an arrangement initiated."
In the short term its existing product base, which is available from www.aupix.com provides a revenue stream and something of a shop window for its technology, which is based on industry standards that have been widely adopted in the video conferencing arena.
Graham sees substantial room for growth in the relatively young video communication market, likely to have an exponential effect on demand.
"The more video out there, the better it is for everyone," he says. "Eventually it will be ubiquitous."
At that point he sees people buying a dedicated video phone, who might have previously shied away from the complexity of using a computer to call.
"Our focus is on separate appliances. PC-based stuff works for some who are technically competent, but is still quite complex. We believe there is a market for separate appliances, and we have the best technology for it."
Getting this far has required an eye on cost. "Cash is king," says Graham. "It doesn't matter how good technology is, without cash you're knackered."
* Advantage Business Angels is the UK specialist in raising funds for early stage business seeking an initial investment of under half a million. Its track record demonstrates its knowledge of those business propositions most capable of raising finance and the actions required to secure that finance. See www.advantagebusinessangels.com or telephone 0845 833 0103.