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Successful British engineering firm recently shortlisted for innovation award and as one of UK’s most influential manufacturers.
Lontra, the fast-growing Midlands firm, today announced at the Innovate UK conference in London that it has passed the half way mark in its current multi-million fundraising round. The money raised will be used to support research and development at its Coventry site to secure new licensees for its ground-breaking Blade Compressor®.
The funds will support expansion into lucrative new markets in automotive supercharging and industrial air compression. The move provides investors with an opportunity to back a firm that this year granted global engineering business Sulzer a license to manufacture pumps based on its technology in a deal worth tens of millions of pounds in revenue over the next 20 years.
CEO and founder Steve Lindsey, recently shortlisted by The Manufacturer magazine as one of the most innovative and influential manufacturers in the UK said:
“I’m delighted to have been given the chance to showcase our technology at Innovate UK. Our technology is proven, licensed and in production. The Blade Compressor’s registered design is a fifth more powerful than its nearest competitor; this is a step-change in efficiency where many industries chase a few per cent gain. We are nearing the end of our fundraising round and are seeking backers to help us take this proven technology into new and even larger markets where our machine’s very high reliability and efficiency will make a significant impact.”
Funds raised are funding a multi-million pound research and development effort to extend Lontra’s proven and patent-protected technology into new markets. Lontra’s Blade Compressor® is a replacement design for the industrial pumps and blowers that consume 10% of European industrial power. It represents the first clean sheet design in nearly 80 years for a market worth well over £20bn per annum, where today’s machinery is still based on designs dating to the 1935 Screw Compressor, Roots Blower (1867) and Vane Compressor (1588).
Lontra has granted an application license to Sulzer for the £600m per annum municipal and regulated waste water aeration market. Pumps incorporating the Blade Compressor technology are equally applicable to the industrial waste water aeration market, which is three times as large at £1.8bn per annum. Future R&D will adapt the Blade Compressor® technology to match the needs of the industrial blower market with a view to seeking licensees for non-water applications of the same machines for industries ranging from cement, fabric and carbon black manufacturing to power generation worth a combined £2bn per annum.
To date Lontra has secured £5m toward the development of the technology and the business: £2.9m equity; £1.1m development finance/IP license revenue from partners; and £0.94m from public R&D grants. Equity investors to date include Imperial Innovations, Seven Mile Capital and MidVen, together with angel investors. Board members and their associates have invested £1.4m.
Lindsey is supported and mentored by Executive Chairman Peter Watson OBE. The former engineering director for British Rail was also Chief Exec and Chairman of AEA Technology where he was part of the team that licensed the Lithium Ion battery to Sony, technology that is today used in nearly all laptops and mobile phones. Lontra’s UK business development is run by the ex-Sales Director of leading compressor service company Motivair and the firm has a strong and growing representation in the US.
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