News story

Double success for Queen Mary spinout making the Internet better for everyone

Technology company, Actual Experience, which  works with consumers and business to improve the experience of their IT, has achieved a double success, completing a £4m financing round with one of Europe's largest investment managers and winning another prestigious industry award for innovation.

17 December 2013

Ben Burns and Prof Jonathan Pitts (centre left and right) from Actual Experience accepting the award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UK IT Industry Awards.

The company has developed innovative technology that evaluates whether the IT services used by businesses are enabling or hindering their staff and customers, and is based on ten years of Networks Group research from Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

Internet and corporate applications are delivered over complex digital supply chains and underperformance here can have a huge economic impact.

Actual Experience's unique technology benchmarks how good the digital experience should be, quantifies how good it actually is, and continuously assesses the health of the digital supply chain to identify the reasons for the gap between the two. This enables businesses to locate the underperformance that people notice, helping them focus their support resources where they will have the greatest impact.

Since last year, when the company won the 2012 IET Innovation Award for Information Technology, the customer base has more than tripled, including blue chips in Germany and the US. To support continued expansion, both in the UK and internationally, the company has recently completed a £4m financing round with one of Europe's largest investment managers – Henderson Global Investors.

Rob Giles of Henderson Volantis said: “We are absolutely delighted to have taken this investment in Actual Experience and look forward to working with one of the most exciting technology companies we have come across in recent years. Their product is both revolutionary in the management and improvement of digital services and easy to consume – delivering fast take-up across an exceptionally broad target market.”

The company recently scooped another prestigious industry award for technology excellence when it won the UK Innovation and Entrepreneurship category in the 2013 UK IT Industry awards run by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Jonathan Pitts, Professor of Communication Engineering at Queen Mary, who co-founded Actual Experience, said: “We are thrilled to win this award which recognises our breakthrough in Digital Supply-Chain Management. We've created a business information tool that helps baseline, benchmark and improve the delivery of digital services for enterprises and consumers worldwide. Our customers can manage their suppliers better and focus investment where it’s needed most.” 

In the past few weeks, Actual Experience has been contracted by Ofcom (the UK communications regulator) to investigate the state of ‘Digital Britain’ and help to improve people’s experience of using the Internet.

They are recruiting volunteers to run their free analytics software. Users will see the same analytics as Ofcom, live in their home – enabling them to see how well their broadband can support the nation’s most popular applications. They will also be able to compare their experience against a national standard for broadband excellence.

This data, from hundreds of users, helps Actual Experience, Ofcom and broadband providers deliver better service for people all across the UK.

For more information and to get involved, sign-up at

For media information, contact:

Sarah Birdsall
Interim Head of PR