Foresight invests £2.1 million into £2.9 million Series A investment round into energy tech pioneer Synaptec

  • Synaptec’s innovative technology can reduce downtime and allow easier and cheaper monitoring of the increasingly complex electric power grid
  • The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund invested £2 million alongside £100,000 from the newly created Foresight Scottish Growth Fund
  • The funding will be used to scale-up production, grow international sales and exploit future data analytics opportunities

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Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) and Williams Advanced Engineering (“Williams”) are pleased to announce a £2 million investment as part of a £2.9 million growth round into the disruptive technology business Synaptec Ltd (“Synaptec” or the “Company”). The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund led the round alongside £100,000 from the newly created Foresight Scottish Growth Fund financed by the Scottish Growth Scheme through a combination of Scottish Government funds and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and £800,000 from existing shareholders, including The Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, Equity Gap and the University of Strathclyde.

Synaptec was founded in 2015 as a spinout from the University of Strathclyde and is led by Philip Orr, Managing Director. The innovations developed by Synaptec are based on work Philip and his co-founders conducted at the University of Strathclyde’s Institute for Energy and Environment, one of Europe’s leading power engineering research groups.

Electric power grids are becoming increasingly complex to manage due to a growing proportion of energy being provided by renewable sources. New methods are required to measure and maintain a stable electricity supply for customers. Synaptec addresses this problem by passively monitoring the grid using existing optical fibre networks. It avoids expensive auxiliary equipment for communications, GPS or power at measurement locations and can operate over a range of 100km. Synaptec’s systems are safer to install, have a smaller footprint and lower environmental impact than alternative sensors.

Synaptec offers the first secure and scalable system for wide area fault detection, monitoring and analytics of electric power grids that is cost-effective at scale. It has already seen demand for its systems from international customers.

The investment round led by Foresight will be used to scale-up manufacturing, engineering and business development capabilities.

Commenting on the investment, Andrew Bloxam, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight said: “Synaptec offers a truly disruptive technology that addresses a global problem. The experienced management team has already achieved a considerable amount of success over the past three years of development and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support the business as it scales.”

Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures, Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “With Synaptec combining innovation, technology and reduced environmental impact, it is a company that very much aligns with the objectives of Williams Advanced Engineering. We look forward to working with Synaptec to help commercialise their technology to enhance energy network performance and resilience.”

Philip Orr, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Synaptec, added: “The backing of Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering brings both financial acumen and world-renowned expertise in engineering design and manufacturing to Synaptec. Their support is a significant moment in the continuing growth and success of our highly interdisciplinary engineering firm as we continue to disrupt the instrumentation market and revolutionise how critical electrical infrastructure is managed and controlled. The technical fit between Synaptec and Williams is excellent, and we will be drawing upon their know-how to scale up our manufacturing capacity and rapidly develop new product offerings. This investment represents an exciting new phase of growth and development for Synaptec and will enable us to make a positive and lasting impact on the global energy transition.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said“Synaptec is a great example of an innovative Scottish company which has developed technology that brings solutions to challenges within the power industry. The Company has global growth ambitions and this investment round demonstrates the strength of belief in the technology and the team. Scottish Investment Bank is delighted to provide funding alongside co-investment partner Equity Gap and new investor Foresight Group and also to bring the wider support mechanisms from Scottish Enterprise to support the Company’s next stage of growth.”

Stuart Mackenzie, Commercialisation Infrastructure Manager at the University of Strathclyde, said: “The University is delighted to participate in this latest milestone in Synaptec’s growth.  Synaptec is a fantastic example of the contribution Strathclyde technologies can make to industry, and of the types of companies the University is looking to create and support through its role in the Glasgow City Innovation District, where Synaptec is based.”

ENDS

For further information contact:

Amy Smith, Communications Executive, Foresight Group asmith@foresightgroup.eu/020 3763 6978

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund

Foresight and Williams announced the unique collaboration represented by the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund in November 2016. It combines the Williams Advanced Engineering team’s expertise with Foresight’s successful investment track record.

The Fund enables investors to qualify for relief under the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) for investment into early stage UK SMEs with strong intellectual property in their own specialist fields.

The Fund plans to make investments of up to £3 million into at least ten qualifying UK SMEs per investor, supporting the next generation of engineering technology success stories in the UK.

About the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund

The recently established £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund under the Scottish Growth Scheme contributes up to £2 million of equity to investment rounds of up to £10 million in growing Scottish SMEs. Investing over the next five years, the Fund aims to support economic growth and job creation in Scotland, also attracting additional private sector investment, by backing exciting growth companies across a range of sectors.

The Foresight Scottish Growth Fund (Scottish Growth Scheme – Foresight Group Equity Finance LP) is financed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund from the 2014-20 European Structural Funds Programme in Scotland. It is part of the Scottish Growth Scheme, a £500 million package of financial support for Scottish businesses backed by the Scottish Government, which aims to help businesses grow.

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has £2.9 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.  Foresight was recently a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year. Foresight was recently names ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Seoul.

www.foresightgroup.eu

About Williams Advanced Engineering

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited operates a technology and engineering services business and is part of the Williams Group.

In 2010, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations, leading to the establishment of the Williams Advanced Engineering division, which has now become Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence, health and energy sectors. Working in close collaboration with its customers, Williams Advanced Engineering helps meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century and improve performance, with its expertise in aerodynamics and thermodynamics, electrification, advanced lightweight materials, simulation and vehicle integration.  The Company was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2018.

For more information see www.wae.com, follow on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

About The Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital and loan funding.

SIB manages a suite of co- investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, and the Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s Life Sciences Fund and is a participant in the Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme with funding secured from Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme alongside the European Investment Fund.

SIB also provides funding into LendingCrowd, Scotland’s marketplace lender providing loans to SMEs.  SIB’s team of Financial Readiness specialists help companies to prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance.

Spektrix raises £5 million from Foresight to fuel growth and innovation

London, 11 February 2019: Spektrix and Foresight are pleased to announce a £5 million growth capital investment into Spektrix Limited, the UK’s leading provider of cloud-based ticketing, marketing and fundraising software for the arts.

The investment on behalf of Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 4 VCT plc will be used to accelerate product development and support Spektrix’s international expansion, particularly in North America where it is already working with nearly 100 arts organisations. As part of the investment, Foresight has taken a minority equity position in the company.

Founded in 2007, Spektrix was an early pioneer in bringing cloud technology to the arts. It is now the UK industry’s leading SaaS solution, encompassing ticketing, marketing, fundraising, analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM). It has been recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies by the Sunday Times TechTrack 100 and FT Future 100, and in 2018 helped almost 400 organisations to sell more than £500m of tickets.

The software delivers key digital business capabilities to arts and entertainment organisations, enabling organisations like London’s Barbican Centre, New York Theatre Workshop and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music to deepen customer relationships, understand sales trends in real time, and power audience development.

Michael Nabarro, co-founder and CEO of Spektrix, commented:

“The goal of Spektrix is to empower arts and entertainment organisations with the tools they need to excel in the evolving arts economy. This injection of growth capital gives us additional resources to expand strategically, increase the pace of innovation, and fully realise our ambitions for the sector on both sides of the Atlantic.

“This is the first external investment we have taken as a company and that is partly testament to Foresight’s reputation and approach to managing relationships with its portfolio companies. Foresight fully supports our aims and will work with us to do more of what we already do – but faster and better.”


Matthew Evans-Young, Investment Manager, Foresight Group, commented:

“Throughout the process we have been impressed by the ambition and quality of the team, and their commitment to the Company’s mission of transforming how organisations engage with their audiences. The success which Spektrix has achieved to date, without external funding, means we are excited to support them as they look to replicate their impressive track record of success and innovation — at home and internationally — in the coming years.”

Advisers on this deal included:

  • Legal advisers: RW Blears LLP and Withers LLP
  • Financial and tax due diligence: Kingston Smith
  • Commercial due diligence: Luminii Consulting
  • Technology due diligence: Cloud Origin
  • Management due diligence: Catalysis Advisor


ENDS

For more information contact:

Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Foresight bthompson@foresightgroup.eu  / 020 3667 8155

Alex Phennah, Senior Marketing Manager, Spektrix alex.phennah@spektrix.com / 020 7785 6967

NOTES TO EDITORS

Foresight Venture Capital Trusts

Foresight VCT Plc and Foresight 4 VCT Plc are venture capital trusts managed by Foresight Group. They invest in fast-growing UK companies across a range of sectors – partnering with them to support long-term growth and strengthen R&D.

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has some £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR). Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards and was a shortlisted finalist for Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year at the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards.  Foresight VCT was recently named Best Generalist VCT at the 2018 Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards. Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Rome, Madrid, Seoul and Sydney. www.foresightgroup.eu 

About Spektrix
Spektrix is the leading provider of cloud-based ticketing, marketing and fundraising software for the arts. Founded in London in 2007, Spektrix now helps almost 400 organisations in the UK, Ireland, US and Canada strengthen their marketing capabilities, take greater control over revenue generation, and re-engineer business models to meet the challenges of the evolving arts economy. 

Sophisticated, real-time analytics and marketing tools allow arts marketers to be truly responsive to audiences, build deeper customer relationships, and grow revenue streams.  

Customers include the Barbican Centre – Europe’s largest arts venue, Nederlander Theatres in London’s West End, Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham, Bristol Old Vic, Round House theatre in Washington DC, and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  For more information please visit www.spektrix.com.

Foresight backs Fertility Focus with £1.25 million growth capital investment

Manchester, 24 January 2019

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) is pleased to announce a £1.25 million growth capital investment into Fertility Focus Limited (“FFL” or the “Company”) a leading fertility monitoring technology company that has developed OvuSense, a registered medical device that enables women to predict ovulation.  The investment was led by Foresight on behalf of Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 4 VCT plc as part of a larger £2 million funding round, supported by new and existing investors including private High Net-Worth Individuals (“HNWI’s”).

Based in Warwick, FFL was established in 2005 to commercialise the intellectual property developed by a team from Bristol University that identified the ability to determine and predict ovulation with a high degree of accuracy by monitoring subtle changes in body temperature. Leveraging this knowledge, FFL developed OvuSense, a vaginal sensor that monitors core body temperature.  When combined with the proprietary algorithm available on the Company’s smartphone App, OvuSense is able to predict ovulation up to 24 hours in advance in real time and detect ovulation in advance with 99% accuracy. 

OvuSense is unique in that it remains highly effective in women with irregular cycles and who suffer from ovulatory conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and as such the technology is specifically targeted at the over 4 million women who have difficulty conceiving.

FFL’s management team is led by CEO Robert Milnes, an expert in his field with more than 29 years’ experience in medical devices, with 20 years focused on women’s health, and non-exec Chairman Steve Godber, ex Vickers Medical and Forum Bioscience.  

Foresight’s investment will primarily be used to invest in sales and marketing and will also fund a clinical trial to further prove the benefits of OvuSense as a tool to diagnose ovulatory issues.  

Rob Jones, Investment Manager, Foresight Group, commented: “We have been impressed by the rapid progress FFL has made since launch of the second-generation OvuSense product with strong sales traction in the US and UK. FFL is a well-run business that has developed an innovative, clinically supported and IP rich product in OvuSense. We are looking forward to working alongside Rob Milnes and the wider management team on the next stage of the Company’s growth.”

Rob Milnes, CEO, OvuSense, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Foresight to grow our team and accelerate our sales and marketing activity. The investment marks an important stage in our development. With Foresight’s deep experience and support, FFL is well prepared and equipped for further growth.”

Advisers on this deal included: 

Legal advisers: Shakespeare Martineau 

Financial and tax due diligence: Smith Cooper 

Commercial / e-commerce diligence: 5X Thinking 

Management due diligence: Catalysis 

 
ENDS


For more information contact: Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director Foresight bthompson@foresightgroup.eu  / 020 3667 8155



NOTES FOR EDITORS

Enclosed Picture caption: (From left to right) Dr Al Pirrie, Kate Davies, Laura Underwood, Rob Milnes (CEO), Shazia Shakir, Craig Citron, Caroline Price

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”): 

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has some £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards and was a shortlisted finalist for Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year at the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards.  Foresight VCT was recently named Best Generalist VCT at the 2018 Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Rome, Madrid, Seoul and Sydney. 
www.foresightgroup.eu