Tribosonics secures £1.1m Seed investment from Mercia

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Smart sensors company raises £1.1m of NPIF investment to boost growth

A Sheffield company whose smart sensing technology helps industry to reduce costs has raised £1.1m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Tribosonics embeds sensors within bearings and other moving parts to create ‘intelligent components’ which can monitor friction and wear and tear. The results help companies to extend plant life, prevent critical failures and reduce energy use.  Tribosonics’ technology can be used in manufacturing, power generation and transport – for example to create smart factories, or in critical parts such as the bolts on wind turbines and the bearings within a ship’s propeller.

The investment will allow the company to expand its 23-strong team with the addition of 10 new staff over the next 12 months, and invest further in product development. As part of the deal, Sarah Sandle who is VP Strategy of Rolls-Royce, joins the company as Chair.

Tribosonics was founded by Dr Phil Harper, a specialist in tribology or the science of wear, friction and lubrication, and who is now the CTO. In 2018 he was joined by serial entrepreneur Glenn Fletcher, the CEO, who worked with him to develop and commercialise the company’s unique technology. Tribosonics has developed applications for a number of blue-chip clients.

Glenn Fletcher said:

“We are delighted to receive the backing of Mercia and NPIF. Mercia has a great track record in backing innovative tech companies. We are a proud Sheffield business, flying the flag for Northern innovation, cutting edge engineering, and transformational IOT solutions.

“This investment will provide the resources to significantly enhance our technology platform and to expand our very talented team as we rapidly scale our commercial activities globally, using our unique sensing technology to create a more sustainable and valuable future.”

Will Schaffer, Investment Manager at Mercia, added:

“Tribosonics is at the forefront of Industry 4.0, allowing businesses to unlock data from industrial systems. The solutions that it is developing have huge potential to advance systems design, improve productivity and reduce costs. As friction accounts for 23% of global energy use, they often have the added benefit of reducing carbon emissions. The investment will help Tribosonics to accelerate product development and to deepen customer relationships.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said:

This investment demonstrates how NPIF is able to support high-growth businesses in the North, despite the difficulties of social distancing and uncertain economic times. Investment like this is providing vital funding to enable ambitious organisations to expand and create new job opportunities. With more businesses like Tribosonics able to take up investment we should see the economy in the north rebounding strongly.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.


For more information, please contact:

Alison Dwyer
Head of Marketing and Communication
Mercia Asset Management PLC
+44 (0) 330 223 1430
[email protected]

Pauline Rawsterne
PR Agent
Turquoise PR
+44 (0) 161 860 6063
+44 (0) 780 163 9816
[email protected]

About Mercia Asset Management PLC

Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Capital Solution’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.

Mercia has a strong UK regional footprint through its eight offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia has almost £0.8billion of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over £90.0million across its direct investment portfolio.

The Group raises its own Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.

Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –

  • Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
  • Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
  • EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560

About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
  • The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit
  • The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
  • The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at

About Tribosonics Limited

  • Tribosonics ( ) is located and forged in Sheffield, serving Global markets
  • It is on a mission to use continued and sustainable innovation to reduce the energy lost due to tribological contact in industry (wear, friction and lubrication).
  • Tribosonics is an award winning scale-up which develops and manufactures innovative ultrasonic sensing technology
  • It is IP-rich with a market-leading innovation capture and IP commercialisation process
  • At the forefront of industrial digitisation, it uses its unique embedded ultrasonic measurement technologies to extract powerful data from systems to unlock significant value
  • Thus providing value creation opportunities for industries including Automotive, Marine, Polymer Processing, Oil & Gas, Off-shore wind, Nuclear and Mining
  • For more information please contact:

Christina King
Chief Commercial Officer
+44 (0) 7399 249914
[email protected]

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Safiya Marzook

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