HIGH SPEED, HIGH TARGET

UK broadband broadcaster Video Networks Limited (VNL) has high technology and lofty ambitions. The company has just launched an ambitious fundraising programme, aiming to raise between £75 and £85 million of equity funding from UK and American venture funds.

Interest is already strng, according to a source close to the company, partly due to the fact that the technology that the company uses has been in existence for some time and has a demonstrable track record. The new funding will be used principally to expand the reach of the service into some 2.4 million homes in London, compared with the current 1.5 million.

VNL provides multi-channel television, video-on-demand, high speed/high capacity broadband Internet and, from November, telephony services to UK residents. It is hoping to conquer the London market before rolling out nationally and internationally.

The fundraising process, anchored by majority investor Chris Larson's Digital Explosion company, has an ambitious target closing date at the end of November. The company is hoping to raise a significant portion of the proposed funding from venture capitalists by leveraging contacts of the board and senior management team, which comprises non-executive director Etienne de Villiers, founding partner of Englefield Capital; chairman Roger Lynch, ex-Morgan Stanley; and CFO Peter Gutman, ex-Goldman Sachs.

The fundraising is being co-ordinated by London-based Anthem Corporate Finance. Like its client, Anthem is hoping for a high-speed, high impact fundraising campaign.