A new company, Verran Electronics Ltd, has been launched in Camberley, Surrey to develop a range of products in the mains borne signalling market – sending data over mains electricity wiring. The company is backed by 3i and Barclays Bank, who, between them have put up UKP2m, with 3i opting for a UKP750,000 equity package. Ray Johnson and Nigel Brown, who are respectively Verran’s chairman and managing director, join the new company from Verran Micro-Maintenance, a third-party repair and maintenance organisation which carries out work for companies such as Boots, Dixons, British Telecom, Amstrad, and Plessey. The new company’s marketing director, Chris Fawkes, has run a high-tech marketing consultancy for the past six years and was a founder director of the advertising agency, Primary Contact; while Bob Lane, the financial director held senior positions with Sony Broadcast, and RH Technical Industries prior to joining Verran. The first Verran Electronics product is due out this spring, but the firm will say only that it will be a device using mainsborne signalling which will increase the communications options open to both micro and mini users. No further details about either the technical or marketing aspects of the device were forthcoming – but without some reassuring words from Verran, the whole idea of subjecting their precious micro to the risk of a burst of mains voltage in its tenderest parts will put the fear of God up many users.