Funding Boost for Software Company amBX

1 February 2011

A software company has secured a £700,000 investment as it gears up for the launch of its responsive LED lighting technology into the international gaming market.


Middlesbrough-based amBX has developed remote control technology that can set LED lighting to respond to moving images or different soundwaves and is now working alongside gaming firm Mad Catz Interactive to bring the technology to PC users.


The funding, from Northstar Ventures’ North East Accelerator Fund and a North East venture capital syndicate represented by Tiger Corporate Finance, will allow the firm to enter the gaming sector as well as develop the technology for a range of other markets.


Mad Catz’s Cyborg Gaming Lights, which will be amBX-enabled, reacts to in-game amBX commands and showers the user in up to 16 million colours, creating a more immersive gaming experience.


The technology is already proving popular in the leisure sector, with clubs as far away as Cincinnati in the US adopting it, and is also being used at a number of tradeshows across the globe.


However, the firm, which originally span out of electronics giant Philips, is now keen to penetrate the domestic market and benefit from the growing demand for technology that can help create an at-home cinema experience.


The company was launched two years ago in Surrey before moving to The Boho Zone, in Middlesbrough, which was opened in 2009 as a hub for digital businesses in the North East.


Chief executive Neil MacDonald said: “I am delighted to have the support of Northstar Ventures and the other investors who have seen real potential in the amBX business model and share the vision and excitement of the management team.


“We can now get on with the job of building the business rapidly.


“We see our position in one of the UK’s most exciting digital centre’s as a major bonus for the company and should ensure that we can become a leading company in the field of entertainment.”


The lighting control is also being used by short break company Center Parcs, which has introduced games rooms and plasma TVs which use amBX-lighting at its sites.


The company, which still has a site in Surrey, is also looking to use some of the investment to develop an application that turns mobile phones into lighting controls.


Alasdair Greig, investment director at Northstar, said: “amBX is an exciting company with a fantastic team behind it and we are delighted to invest in their growth plans through the Accelerator Fund.


“This investment will help amBX take its groundbreaking products to a wider audience and realise its commercial potential.”


Roland Tate, of Tiger Corporate Finance, said: “Two experienced chief executives in the syndicate have joined the amBX board and we are working with the management team to try to launch the product in the Far East.”