Foresight invests in high security IT data fortresses

By | June 9, 2006

Foresight Venture Partners, the leading growth investor, have invested Ј1m (as part of a pre-lPO round) in The Bunker Secure Hosting Limited, a high security IT data business that has found new uses for nuclear bomb proof bunkers. It owns and leases 41,500 square feet underground in ex-military command centres at Ash (Kent), Greenham Common (Berkshire) and Bawdsey (Suffolk).

The Bunker builds, hosts and manages IT infrastructure platforms for top financial, telecoms, and web-centric companies. Businesses and local government worried about terrorist and disaster threats, both physical and digital, have co-located their data systems in newly upgraded space at the ex-MOD HQ bunker at Ash radar station.

The Bunker also benefits from the expertise of Adam and Ben Laurie. Ben Laurie was a founding member of the Apache Software Foundation, was one of the co-authors of Apache, the Open Source software platform for 70% of the global internet and was the author of Apache-SSL, the first secure version of Apache. Adam has contributed to later versions of Apache-SSL which recently became the worlds most popular Webserver, overtaking Microsoft MS*. Adam is also world renowned for his work in identifying the security flaws within blue tooth. He is also on staff at the security conferences Blackhat (www.blackhat.com)& defcon (www.defcon.org) and speaks at conferences around the world on digital security.

The Bunker has the unique selling proposition of ultra high security at low cost outside high risk urban areas. By acquiring ex-MOD nuclear bunkers, The Bunker has been able to create the ultimate environment for IT security at far lower cost than competitive offerings. Together with its reputation in the field of secure IT solutions, Open Source and encryption, The Bunker is perfectly positioned to fulfill the need for “Ultra Secure” managed hosting solutions in this large and rapidly growing market.

David Hughes, partner at Foresight, said:

” While competitors are spending tens of millions on upgrading office buildings to meet high security standards, The Bunker has acquired top specification secure space from the MoD and the USAF. With the FSA and Sarbanes-Oxley pressing companies to protect their business continuity and IT security, Foresight is forecasting a business boom below ground. With the managed services sector growing at 25% per annum, we see a great opportunity for filling up all the bunkers.”

Peregrine Newton, CEO of The Bunker, commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Foresight Venture Partners, one of the foremost Venture Capital investors in the UK, as a shareholder and to have David join our board. The company will undoubtedly benefit from Foresight´s experience in financing and building IT businesses.

“The Foresight investment will give us the financial muscle to accelerate our growth. Company directors´ responsibility for business protection and continuity is driving a strong market for our Ultra Secure Managed Hosting Solutions which are located well outside London.”

The initial capital for the acquisition of the facilities in August 2004 and the development of the business over the past 2 years was provided by the founders. In addition to Peregrine Newton, Adam and Ben Laurie, the founders include Jean-Loup de Gersigny (a founder of Intermediate Capital Group, the leading mezzanine finance house) and Steven Joseph (an executive and investor in a number of Private Equity owned businesses over the past 15 years) who is Chairman of the Company.

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