A Basingstoke business helping gas network companies to prevent leaks has received the first equity investment from the newly re-launched Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, financed by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and managed by The FSE Group.
Utonomy’s innovative technology works by remotely controlling the pressure levels of gas within the pipe network. Without this technology, pressure is controlled through manual adjustments made only twice a year in line with the move from summer to winter, due to the inaccessible nature of the infrastructure. This results in pressure being inaccurate for demand levels most of the time.
This £75,000 investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is the company’s second EM3 investment following an initial £150,000 from the original funding escalator in early 2017. The monies invested have helped to leverage significant private and public sector funding, resulting in a total £3.5million raised across the two funding rounds.
The new £10million Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator was launched in June following the end of the previous escalator, which had been supporting businesses across the area since 2014.
Utonomy CEO, Adam Kingdon, says: “the funding and support we have received from The FSE Group over the last 18 months has helped us attract further investment and move the business forward considerably. Since receiving our first EM3 investment we have been successful in obtaining grant and loan funding from Innovate UK and secured our first customer with a contract worth almost £0.5million. We are now gaining traction across the sector and look forward to making further progress with this new round of funding.”
Ralph Singleton, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “Since our first investment Utonomy has made tangible progress; staffing levels have more than doubled, additional funding has been secured, required regulatory certification has been achieved and the first contract has been won. The company is now in a strong position to really take advantage of the opportunities ahead and we are delighted to be supporting them as they continue on this journey.”
Kathy Slack, Director, Enterprise M3 LEP, adds: “Great ideas are at the heart of Enterprise M3 LEP’s funding programme and we are delighted to support Utonomy’s forward-thinking, clean growth solution to eradicating gas leaks. There is clear commitment to growing the company and we look forward to seeing it progress with our additional investment.”
The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which includes an expansion loan scheme, a trade finance loan scheme and an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the EM3 area.