GMLF delivers funding support to Unique Digital

The Greater Manchester Loan Fund (GMLF), managed by Maven, is pleased to announce an investment in cinema software supplier Unique Digital (Unique), its 8th investment in just over a year.

Funding from the GMLF will help the company to continue the UK roll-out of its innovative MovieTransit product, the first broadband IP distribution network for the delivery of entire movies to cinemas.

Unique Digital is the leading software developer for the cinema industry, founded by entrepreneur Chris Hagan in 2003, providing proprietary solutions for the management of digital equipment in cinemas. Unique has also launched MovieTransit, a market leading content distribution solution, which has been fully operational across Scandinavia since 2012. A planned 600 site roll-out across the UK and Ireland, which will be completed by the end of 2014, will take the broadband IP connected estate past 1500 sites (over 10,000 screens), with combined admissions in excess of 250 million per annum.

MovieTransit enables movie distributors and content providers to transmit digital movies, advertising, live shows and events to cinemas securely via the internet. The technology has already been used to deliver content of major studios, such as Fox, Sony, Disney, Warner Paramount and Universal, throughout the Scandinavian market, and Unique has seized the opportunity to roll-out this ground-breaking product across the UK, including all of Odeon’s UK and Ireland sites.The GMLF has also agreed the availability of follow-on funding to assist Unique with the extension of its network across further European territories.

Launched in August 2013 by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, the GMLF has been providing flexible funding solutions to promising businesses that need help to raise finance as a result of tighter lending criteria in the traditional finance market. The Fund will remain open to new investments until 2018.

David Wright, Investment Manager at Maven said: “Unique’s innovative online technology will completely transform the means by which movies and advertising content is delivered to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. The value of MovieTransit as a secure, reliable, and cost-effective solution has already been proved with its adoption by many of the biggest names in movie distribution. We are delighted to have supported Unique with a flexible funding package from the Greater Manchester Loan Fund, and look forward to working with management to help grow their business and create more jobs in the area.”

Chris Hagan, Managing Director at Unique Digital added: “I’m delighted to be linking up with GMLF and Maven. Developing our Manchester operations centre is absolutely a key strategic step, as we continue to expand our UK and International businesses.”

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