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EIS Crowd January 2016

Cleantech Investor Events is holding a Tech Investor Evening on Wednesday 26 January at Smith & Williamson’s offices in Moorgate, London. The event is organised in partnership with Crowd Tech Funders. There are five companies that are due to present at the event.

Sensurity (www.sensurity.com)

Northern Ireland-based Sensurity is a developer of Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS) and it claims that its system offers maximum detection with a minimum of false alarms. Bombardier and Hong King Airport has trialled the system.

The HALO system combines digital microwave and IR detection technology. This enables it to adjust to environmental conditions, such as standing water, vegetation and weather conditions. There is a fixed two metre Active Alarm Zone that is triggered when the centre of the link is crossed and there is no blind spot as in other systems.

The technology was developed from research into high frequency electronics at Queen’s University Belfast and the company is a spin-off from specific research to commercialise advances in microwave intrusion detection. The university has a stake in Sensurity through Qubis. Invest NI is also a shareholder.

Andrew Fulton was appointed chief executive last November. He was previously an executive at security company Tyco working in the access and CCTV product areas. Previously he founded CEM Systems with Sensurity’s chief technology officer George Redpath.

 

MotionLED (www.motionledtechnology.com)

MotionLED Technology is developing technology that projects high definition outdoor digital advertising. This advertising can be changed in real-time so campaigns can be kept up to date.

MotionLED is based in Berkshire and it has a subsidiary in Hong Kong. There are four product ranges. TracLED is focused on in tunnel or outdoor advertising for train lines. The former beams adverts onto train windows as they go through tunnels. This has to work in a tight space and within the requirements of the signalling system. The outdoor version has to work in bright sunlight.

The BusLED technology provides high definition digital displays made up of individual LED tiles on the outside of buses. This enables new campaigns to be launched more quickly than in the past. The LiteCast product is a web application that manages the bus displays.

The fourth product is AutoLED, which provides in-wheel advertising for motor racing cars, where it can be updated during different parts of the race, and public transport vehicles, where location based advertising can be provided.

Executive chairman Des Althorp and chief executive Graham Skelton are joint founders of the company and they have worked together for three decades.

 

B2M Solutions (www.b2msolutions.com)

Abingdon-based B2M Solutions was founded in 2002 and it has developed a real-time mobile intelligence platform that assesses how mobile devices are used and enables improvements to efficiency and productivity. Partners include BT and Motorola.

Elemez is a cloud-based mobile device analytics service that monitors and measures mobile device behaviour and disruptions. There are alerts that let the user know when behaviour or performance changes from normal patterns. B2M collaborated with Zebra Solutions (prior to its acquisition by Motorola) and Zebra has stated that it will install Elemez on all of its new field devices. mProdigy monitors and analyses mission-critical, ruggedised mobile devices. It monitors such things as device usage, battery usage and WLAN performance.

B2M founder Julie Purves is chief executive. Chief finance officer Warren Price is also a director of major shareholder Dolphin Head Group Holdings, a commercial property letting company.

The directors include Bill Flind who was previously finance director of BIW Technologies Ltd, which was acquired by Germany-based Conject in 2010. BIW’s project control and management software is used on large construction projects or for refurbishment and maintenance of existing sites.

 

Horowitz Biometrics (www.horowitzbiometrics.com/)

Horowitz Biometrics is developing voice recognition technology, although it is still at proof of concept stage. It was founded by Dr David Horowitz and has received grant funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The London-based company is seeking additional finance for further development.

The technology is based on the way ears identify a voice and recognise who it is. Human auditory based voice identification is combined with multi-channel biometrics, which may include iris identification and facebiometrics among other things. Horowitz claims that its universal domain solution means that it is easier to deploy voice biometrics because less specialist development and tuning are required.

Dr Horowitz started researching in voice recognition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and he worked there for a decade. He is technical director of the SpeechXRays project, which also has funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and combines voice and face recognition. The €5.3m (€4.1m from the EU) project is led by Oberthur Technologies and Horowitz Biometrics is one of the participants. Terry Marler, who is a former chief executive of Synergy Medical, is chief executive of Horowitz Biometrics.

 

Ancon Technologies (www.ancontechnologies.com/)

Canterbury-based Ancon Technologies has developed a drugs, chemicals and explosives detection technology. The system can detect a single molecule of these materials in the air, which makes it superior to competitive technologies. This will enable faster detection at airports and other border areas.

The company’s Nanoparticle Molecular Tagging (NMT) technology is able to count individual ions and it has been developed over a decade. There are UK and US patents. The way it works is that the sample chemicals are ionised and target ions passed through an electric field selector module. The ions are tagged with nano-objects and detected optically by laser and then individually counted. This means that the number of molecules can be measured in order to produce a value for concentration of the substance in the air.

A separate company called Ancon Research provides IP under licence to Ancon Technologies. Like Ancon Technologies, Dr Boris Gorbunov and Dr Robert Muir are the shareholders.


Chapel Down subsidiary Curious Drinks has raised the minimum £1m from a placing and crowdfunding offer and the maximum target is £3.65m. Curious Drinks is issuing A voting shares at 200p each. There was a £495,000 raised through a placing and, so far, a further £919,000 via the Seedrs crowdfunding site. The offer is open until 29 February. There are a number of incentives for subscribers to the offer depending on the level of investment. Stewart Gilliland, a former boss of the UK operations of Interbrew, will become chairman of Curious Drinks in March.

Kent-based Curious Drinks produces Curious Brew lager, Curious IPA, Curious Porter and Curious Apple cider. The cash will be used to build and equip a brewery near to the Eurostar station in Ashford and boost sales and marketing. Chapel Down will buy the brewery site and lease it to Curious Drinks. Chapel Down will end up with just under 50% of the A voting shares plus all of the B non-voting shares in order for Curious Drinks to be eligible for EIS relief and qualify for VCT investment.

The brewer’s revenues have grown from £182,000 in 2011 to £1.75m in 2014 and it has gone from loss to a profit of £86,000 over the same period. Sales in Waitrose more than doubled last year. Even so, in common with many other breweries raising cash via crowdfunding, Curious Drinks has a high valuation at the offer price. Curious Drinks was valued at £16m prior to any new shares being issued.

It is unlikely that Curious Drinks will require the maximum subscription level in order to carry out its strategy but it is unclear how much it could do with the current level of cash subscribed. The complicated share structure does not help – other than to ensure EIS compliance.

The ISDX-quoted English wine maker Chapel Down raised £3.95m in 2014 through a crowdfunding offer via Seedrs.

ANDREW HORE

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