Johnson Raises Cash to Build New Company

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Byline: By Nigel Stirling

Entrepreneur Peter Johnson, who founded award-winning software company Techtonik, has raised pounds 530,000 to build a new company he expects will have pounds 5m revenues in two years.

Sunderland-based Johnson has sold what is believed to be a one-third stake in activAeon, the company he set up two-and- a-half years ago as a subsidiary of Techtonik.

Techtonik, which was presented the title of the UK's fastest growing inner city business by Chancellor Gordon Brown in November 2004 after taking turnover from pounds 500,000 to pounds 59m within three years, went into liquidation in the middle of last year after losing several key contracts.

The new cash, which has been raised from North-East Equity Matching Fund, investment management specialists in the North-East and Scotland, and debt from Barclays, will be used to bolster the company's management team and marketing of its software monitoring applications.

Mr Johnson said: "The money will be used to take the business forward by attracting a high quality management team and establishing a wider marketing platform for the product the company is selling at this moment in time."

A finance and commercial director, both of whom were "well known in the North" had already been secured, Mr Johnson said, and the company would now look to appoint a non-executive director.

activeAeon, which is on track to post sales of pounds 500,000 this year, sells software applications which monitor usage of desktop applications leased from Microsoft and Software Spectrum.

The "pay per use" market, which is currently worth $350m worldwide, is forecast to grow to $1bn in the next three years. …