A Chat with Gavin Wheeldon, CEO at Indoor Location Services Platform: Purple

Now in our tenth year, Purple works with businesses to turn their physical venues into intelligent tech-hubs. Our technology enables organisations across sectors including healthcare, retail, hospitality, leisure and transport to enhance visitor experience, optimise safety and ultimately drive its revenue.

Our variety of ‘built-in’ services provide businesses with a complete view of what is happening in their space, enabling them to make informed decisions and drive meaningful interactions.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The original idea for Purple was born out of frustration with the poor quality of public WiFi services, but this soon grew and now our aim is to become the ultimate tool for businesses looking to maximise their existing tech.

By connecting data sources – like WiFi, sensors and bluetooth beacons – to our cloud-based platform, we can make the tech work harder and help businesses keep up with the pace of digital innovation without significant further investment.

Starting with just one type of WiFi hardware, we’ve continued to invest in new technologies and now offer 157 hardware types, with an average of 748,000 users connecting to WiFi through Purple every day.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Backed by Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, Purple embarked on a rapid growth trajectory in 2015. Since then, we’ve expanded into 110 new countries, with over 600 customers using Purple solutions worldwide. Originally based in Ashton-under-Lyne with a team of just 12, over the past 10 years, we’ve expanded into a global team of 115.

In 2016, we reached 10 million WiFi users and, at present, have seen more than 15 billion visits across over 50,000 venues.

Earlier this year, we welcomed former Executive Vice President for Cisco, Chris Dedicoat, to our board as a non-executive director. His extensive industry experience, spanning more than 25 years, will help us to drive forward our vision to transform venues worldwide into highly intuitive, intelligent spaces.

This month, we launched our asset tracking platform, aimed at helping the NHS reduce the £300m of medicine wasted every year and speed up operation waiting times. The launch strengthens our ‘Intelligent Healthcare’ offering, which also features a wayfinding platform to help increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve patient experience for healthcare organisations in the UK and USA.

What can we hope to see from Purple in the future?

The current economic landscape is increasing the pressure on businesses across all sectors. Most recently, we carried out some research into the future of retail, and technology can provide an answer to all challenges faced.

The organisations that thrive will embrace technology to provide a more intelligent and personalised experience.

We’re extremely excited about what the future holds for Purple. We’re a global team of innovators and our fully remote working model helps us to recruit the very best talent, ensuring we’re always ahead of the curve.