A CYBERSECURITY software startup founded in Horwich will be creating over 20 new roles after receiving a £2m funding boost.

Technology firm PPC Protect aims to become Bolton's second ‘Tech Unicorn’ – a technology startup business valued at over $1bn - following in the footsteps of electricals retailer AO.com.

The business has received £2million in seed funding from investor Fuel Ventures, which it plans to use to provide over 20 roles and expand their operations globally.

PPC Protect, founded in 2016, already provide services for household names including Nike and McDonald’s.

The firm provides protection again online advertising fraud, so called ‘click fraud’, whereby cybercriminals use fake clicks to ensure online advertisements cannot generate income for the business.

Neil Andrew, founder and CEO of PPC Protect said,“We’re delighted to have raised not only our investment goal but more on top and are looking forward to growing our team within the area and beyond.

"As one of the UK’s fastest growing cybersecurity companies, we’re proud to be putting the Lancashire tech scene firmly on the map.”

MP for Bolton West welcomed the news. Chris Green said: “This is fantastic news for our town and I commend PPC Protect for their ambition and also their investment in our community.

“Bolton is a brilliant place to set up a business with our great transport links and university and I’m not surprised that so many world-class businesses chose to call the borough home.

“I’m looking forward to following PPC Protect’s story over the next few years and watching their much-deserved success.”

PPC Protect's expansion is happening at a time where internet-based companies have seen a surge in demand.

Cllr Martyn Cox added: “I welcome anybody who’s making an investment in Bolton and prepared to take a risk.

“The one thing we do need at the moment is employment. The pandemic has shown that some industries that used to provide jobs for many are struggling, such as retail which is a huge employer.

“We need to make sure that there are jobs in the pipeline.

“During the pandemic we’ve seen a big trend for online shopping and digital is a growing sector.

“It’s great that a business is investing in people.”