WHO ARE

WI-5

Despite decades of work, the transition from tangible to digital remains a clunky process. Often fraught with connection difficulties, consumers must endure a never-ending series of pop-ups and checkboxes. For big brands and retailers, this presents a major problem. Consumers enjoy a physical experience with the products they wish to purchase. To connect with those consumers on a longer-term basis, a brand wants to connect with those same consumers on a digital basis. But getting your phone out, pairing or standing close enough to an NFC transmitter to pick up content is a major pain in the backside. What brands need is a seamless transition from reality to digital. This is the purpose behind Wi-5. It’s patent-pending technology harnesses the power of AI and machine learning to help brands deliver contextually relevant content to their customers - without the need for apps. Founded in London in 2015 by Prask Sutton, Richie Stote and Jonathan Clarke, Wi-5’s vision is to create a future in which a billion Wi-Fi hotspots facilitate human-digital interactions that are instant, intuitive, effortless and effective. Wi-5 was a side-project that took over the team that created it. Its forebear, Nock Studio, specialized in the development and implementation of content used in communications, especially involving the deployment of augmented reality. Working on some large projects seeded ideas in Prask’s head about a communications solution that offered the seamless transition from reality to digital that Nock’s clients sought. Wi-5 was born and less than a year later, with a patent application filed and some high-profile product trials underway, Wi-5 joined the Main Programme of world-leading telecoms accelerator Wayra.

Wi-5,20 Air Street,Soho,London,W1B 5AN Phone: +44 (0) 20 7100 6019www.wi-5.com

“We credit them with the successes we have had, and will have”

What we did for them: When *particular first moved into the London market, we decided that we needed to get our name known beyond the Ignite community. One of the things we tried was staging workshops based on practical themes at our office space in Shoreditch. We publicised these on Facebook's London Startups group and one of the first members of that group to respond was Prask Sutton, whose creative agency Nock was already doing great things in the digital marketing solutions space. Leaving aside those Ignite alumni who had relocated to London and other clients to whom we had been recommended by existing clients and contacts in the north east, Nock was probably our very first London client - a client who came to us on the back of us arriving in London. Our early engagements involved some work on brand protection and advice to Richie, Prask’s co-founder, on a dispute with his former employer - something that is actually quite common for more mature startups. In fact, Prask, Richie and Jonathan, who joined a little later, all had something slightly unusual in common. When they decided to pursue their side project Wi-5 full time over their client services vehicle Nock, all three were, shall we say, somewhat more mature in years than the twenty-somethings who made up the bulk of Ignite’s founders in those days. All had significant experience. They also had considerable personal commitments in the shape of families, mortgages and so on. So when Matthew first dropped Wayra into a conversation with the three over a beer on Heddon Street one summer evening in 2016, he didn’t actually expect that they would consider a full time accelerator programme to be a runner. He was wrong. Their application received a glowing response from the Wayra UK management, who were blown away by the promise of the technology on which Wi-5 was working. Wi-5 joined the 10-month Wayra main programme for 2017 as one of its 15 teams. Their progress since, supported by Telefonica’s broader community, has been rapid and substantial. In a business such as Nock/Wi-5, commercial agreements will always form the bulk of the engagement and that has certainly been true, with a long running saga involving a main agency to whom Nock was sub-contracted, the management team of a national sports stadium and one of the world’s most famous sports organisations being an especially painful memory for Matthew. The pivot from Nock to Wi-5 brought its own challenges, not least because of the early exit of a recalcitrant co-founder. This led to a complex and urgent shift into a new corporate vehicle when a settlement with the individual in question proved impossible to find. Not long after that Wi-5 managed to secure a very favourable pre-seed investment with an investor that seemed doomed to failure until Prask managed to sort out the issues over a beer or two with the investor in question, proving once and for all that so often the difficulties that we face in these deals are primarily in the imagination of the investors’ lawyers. Since then, we have continued to assist with a number of commercial matters as well as advising on data protection and on the management of Wi-5’s IP portfolio, which includes a number of patent filings. Again, Wi-5 were not helped by the move of their patent attorney from one firm to another and the insistence on the attorney's earlier employer on enforcing certain restrictive covenants despite the fact that they didn’t have anybody with the technical expertise to handle the work... and frankly not caring less about the effect this had on Wi-5. For various reasons, life for Wi-5 in its early years has not been easy. But then that’s so often the case for startups. The secret that we’ve learned in two decades of doing this (which is how long Matthew has been advising tech startups) is to pick your battles. Choose what fights you need to pursue and where you need to find a quick compromise, even if that means swallowing some pride. The right advice is not always the advice that is most welcome, but sometimes it’s the advice that has to be given. The good thing is that we enjoy a level of trust from our clients that most commercial firms cannot grasp, much less achieve. And there’s probably no better example of this than Wi-5. We’re not sure about the praise that Prask and Richie give us, but what we can say is that the success they are finding now is a great example of why we do this job. We don’t need vacuous write-ups in legal directories or awards for which you have to nominate yourself. Our pride is in the success of our clients. That’s all we care about.

MATTHEW

RIPPON



What they said about us: How are *particular different?We have used very large expensive law firms and smaller affordable ones. Particular Legal are completely different. They have the expertise and quality of a large firm with the affordability and personal approach of a small firm. They really understand startups - their expertise and experience in this area is far better than the huge legal firms with giant reputations. We consider Matthew and the team part of our business. It’s like having an in-house legal team. They know us so well they could tell our story for us. They provide a far better service than I have ever had before. Matthew has hand-picked a team for us, a team that is consistently available for us. We would never get this level of expertise and service from one of the larger law firms. We get expertise and a quality service at an affordable price. What do you value most about *particular?The whole team genuinely cares about us, and our business. They are emotionally invested in us - caring about any legal outcomes and how that affects us. We have an open and honest relationship with Particular - they are in no way face-less. I look forward to meeting the people from Particular. How many people could say they actually look forward to catching up with their lawyer! We have had some very difficult legal matters to navigate, but because we have utter confidence and trust in Particular, we are confident that matters will be solved. They are genuine experts in our industry. They have knowledge about startups other legal firms wouldn’t be privy to which is very valuable. How have *particular helped your business?When we closed our first investment round. We had heard from others that had been through a similar process that this wouldn’t be a stress-free experience. However, Asif and the team made it enjoyable. Because of the culture Matthew has created at Particular, Asif took the time to help us understand the ins and outs of the process. Particular invest in you - educating you and giving you the knowledge you need to understand and navigate the intricacies of the law with confidence. They understand the landscape and take time to help you benefit from their knowledge and experience.They work with us going forward as partnership. *particular in (loosely) 4 Words?Transparency – You always know where you are - they don’t sugar coat things.Supportive –  We don’t think of them as our lawyer - they are part of our business. We credit them with our success. We credit them with the successes we have had, and will have. There is a sense of inclusion; they are not just business experts.They leverage their knowledge and understanding of you and your business to offer you a ‘made to fit’ service - personal for you.Expert.Personal – ‘our safe place’.

*PARTICULAR PEOPLE