British Business Bank - Zeetta Networks Case Study
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a number of key markets targeted by Zeetta, forcing the business to refocus its activity in different areas. Carrying out this move without having to furlough staff or pausing its operations meant securing additional finance via the Future Fund.
The interview below with Vassilis Seferidis, Founder and CEO of Zeetta Networks, has been selected by the British Business Bank as a leading example of a software company that circumnavigates the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to thrive through very difficult market conditions.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks: We are a software company of 30 people based in Bristol. We offer intelligent software automation tools that enable our clients to control, operate and monitor their ICT networks in a simple, flexible, customisable and cost-effective way and deliver a better experience to their customers.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply to the Future Fund?
The COVID-19 lockdown disrupted one of our most important market segments—‘smart’ venues and stadia—quite dramatically, a segment in which we were about to close several big deals with key distributors. We had to react swiftly to refocus our business and repurpose our software products to support private ICT networks for industrial applications. This quick change required additional working capital, which we obtained via our existing investors and the Future Fund.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The application process was simple and straightforward. One of our investors applied online and outlined to us the key terms of the investment. All we had to do then was confirm we accepted the proposed terms and provide details of our legal team, together with a few other pieces of information which we’d prepared in advance. This preparation allowed us to complete the whole process in a couple of hours through the Future Fund portal. We received the funds within 30 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has reduced our revenues significantly, and without the Future Fund we’d have had to make substantial cost cuttings. That would have included furloughing most of our employees and postponing several projects intended to grow the business.
Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
It’s worth serious consideration! The Future Fund offers a speedy injection of funds when you need them most. For us, it helped us to address not only the short-term cashflow issues but also to invest in a promising new business opportunity we were planning before the pandemic hit.
But what impressed me most was the support team, who were always helpful and informative and provided not only practical support but also a friendly ear.
How has the Future Fund helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received the money?
The Future Fund was a quick and easy way for us to access working capital for our business so we can continue our journey with one less thing on our mind.
The coronavirus pandemic has reduced our revenues significantly, and without the Future Fund we’d have had to make substantial cost cuttings which most likely would have included furloughing most of our employees and putting on hold several projects intended to grow the business.