Decorte Future Industries secures £92k Pre-Seed (DFI) funding from TechStars

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Our intelligent clothing company is currently wrapping up its pre-seed, having raised £310k so far, of which $120k Techstars equity funding and £220k equity-free. We’re now preparing as part of the Techstars programme for a £1m seed round, which we will open soon.

Cambridge intelligent clothing startup funded by Techstars London 2020

Yesterday at a press conference, held digitally for the first time, Techstars London revealed its new 2020 batch of 10 companies to receive $120k investment, $1m in perks, and take part in its signature three-month accelerator programme. The programme received more than 1100 applications from all over the world. As usual, the largest worldwide accelerator selected fewer than 1% of companies that applied.

The grand reveal of the ten companies chosen for the Techstars 2020 cohort included the Cambridge-based intelligent clothing company Decorte Future Industries, or DFI, which first emerged from stealth as reported by BBC One in February 2020. The deep-tech company – which builds clothing that is always-fitting, monitors your health and gives the wearer digital superpowers by allowing them to control devices and robotics through their clothing – once more appeared in the news in May, after they secured the most competitive Innovate UK grant in UK history to use their technology to combat Covid19 in Care Homes. 

Pitching during the Techstars press conference, CEO and University of Cambridge alumnus Dr Roeland Decorte said the company aimed to

“turn the human body itself into the most intuitive UI for interacting with the digital world”.

“Our intelligent clothing has three primary capabilities: body-adaptivity, biometric monitoring, and intuitive remote control of devices and robotics. So our clothing automatically adapts to any wearer’s body-shape or size, solving the primary problem in the $1.5 trillion clothing market, uses built-in sensors to enable preventative and predictive healthcare, and allows hands-free control of devices and robotics through intuitive gesture, touch and voice commands, for example controlling a drone simply by speaking and moving or touching your arm.”

Decorte spoke about the need to remove screens as the physical barrier separating the human and digital world, to allow “seamless human machine teaming”. “In effect”, Decorte said, “we seek to give the wearers of our clothing digital superpowers.” 

Decorte also revealed for the first time that the company had secured just under a quarter million pounds in equity-free funding, next to their $120k Techstars investment, and that they were now getting ready to close their pre-seed round. In his pitch, Decorte said

“this means we’re an early stage company going into a period of massive change, where we’re growing, taking on new employees, and need to scale from essentially an R&D-focused group that arose from the University of Cambridge to one that interacts closely with, and takes feedback directly from our customer segments.”

Decorte commented:

“We were delighted when, after a rigorous but amazing interview process, we were selected by Techstars out of more than a thousand companies to join what we’ve already seen is an amazing cohort. The programme comes just at the right time for us, as we’re growing rapidly and need to build the most solid foundations for long-term growth: we’re ready to distil the advice of the hundreds of mentors in the Techstars network to do so.”

In his Techstars pitch, Decorte ended on a light note:

“our company’s overall motto is ‘human-machine teaming for all’, but my personal motto is ‘let’s make Iron Man look outdated’.”

The Techstars London Managing Director, Eamonn Carey noted,

“from making Iron Man obsolete to our other companies here, we’ve got a great batch this year”.

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Manoj Ranaweera

Manoj has founded, failed and successfully exited from a number of technology product companies as well as support organisations since 2004. Among them, Northern Tech Awards and were acquired by GP Bullhound and Accusoft, Inc respectively. Today, Manoj is building a trusted support network for technology companies. He is working with founding teams to help them accelerate including raising investment and M&A.

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