Cardiff tech entrepreneurs secure big investment for business

Two Cardiff-based entrepreneurs have secured investment for High Level Software, a firm that creates applications to help hoteliers streamline operations.

Zonal Retail Data Systems, which provides integrated hospitality management solutions to over 9,000 leisure firms in the UK, has acquired a majority stake in the company.

Rhys Swinburn and Deri Green, two young Welsh entrepreneurs, set up their business in 2013 with the aim of becoming the world’s best hotel software maker.

The company works with leading hotels right across the UK, and it offers them a cloud-based management service that sports a real-time booking engine and property management capabilities.

Although the amount of investment remains disclosed, the deal with the Edinburgh-based firm will help HLS to accelerate its growth and refine its product offering.

HLS expects its revenue to double over the next 12 months, and it’s looking to attract the best talent from across Wales. The company believes that it’ll get a lot from the investment.

Rhys Swinburn, managing director, said:  “Our ambitions may have seemed high three years ago, but given how the deal with Zonal has come about, we feel vindicated in our decision to aim big. We don’t consider our goals as unreachable, just aspirational.

The company currently employs 12 people, and five of them have been with the business since day one. Swinburn credits the firm’s success to its culture.

“The importance of any team is crucial; especially in the early stages of a business where people are juggling a number of roles. The dedication and passion from the team has carried HLS to the point we find ourselves at now,” he said.

“The culture is something that attracted Zonal very early on; they have made it clear that it is the people they have invested in, not just the product. This is why we aim to invest and develop our people to be leaders within the technology sector.”

This deal has been finalised, and Zonal has taken an active role in helping the business achieve its aims. Swinburn said: “Zonal is keen not to disturb what we have.

“They are there to help accelerate growth and amplify the positives we have in the business, as well as help us with some areas we are less-experienced in such as recruitment and scalable growth.

“Already, we have forged a great relationship and the ‘fit’, both in terms of strategy and culture seems perfect.”