UK entrepreneur starts datacomms firm to give small businesses the e- word

UK entrepreneur starts datacomms firm to give small businesses the e- word
Alex Mayhew-Smith Data networking entre-preneur Bob Jones has announced a new datacommunications firm with a product aimed at small and medium sized businesses. The company, based in the Swindon area and called Equiinet, has already raised ?5m venture funding from Schroder Ventures and is currently recruiting a management and engineering team. Jones told Electronics Weekly that the company’s device, the NetPilot, will provide businesses with several services including e-mail, Internet access and complex firewall protection. The NetPilot is the data equivalent of a telephone switch, said Jones, and sits alongside a PBX to provide competitive data services. More than 1,000 NetPilot units have already been sold in the UK. “The idea came from an Internet service provider which I am involved with. The idea dawned on us that we could make a good product,” said Jones. Jones, who will take on the role of chairman at the company, has previously been highly successful with other ventures he has been involved in. His most recent success was with a company he founded – Sonix Communications – and sold in 1995 to 3Com for $70m. The firm will have 30 staff in six months’ time, said Jones and is also looking for ten engineering staff.


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