Open Bionics attracts £1.5m investment from Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
11/01/2019 Open Bionics attracts £1.5m investment from Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
Open Bionics attracts £1.5m investment from Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
Open Bionics is building and developing the next generation of bionic limbs
The investment is part of £4.66m growth round to scale the business
Williams to assist in production engineering
This marks the Fund’s ninth investment
LONDON, 11 January 2019: Foresight Group (“Foresight”) announces the £1.5 million investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund (“the Fund”) into Open Bionics Limited (“Open Bionics” or the “Company”).
The investment has been made alongside an identical commitment from Downing LLP and Ananda Impact Ventures of £1.5m each and Rathbone Nominees to complete the £4.66m round.
Open Bionics is an award-winning designer, manufacturer and supplier of bionic limbs with ambitions to become a market leader in a range of bespoke prostheses and assistive technologies and a global supplier of prosthetic and orthotic products and services. Based in Bristol, the Company was founded just four years ago by CEO Joel Gibbard and COO Samantha Payne, since when the team has grown to 23.
Andrew Bloxam, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight said: “The Fund’s strategy is to support innovative UK businesses with disruptive technologies. Open Bionics is a great example of engineering innovation and disruptive technology that has potential to grow the market significantly. We look forward to working with the management team as they grow their business and helping with the commercialisation of this life changing technology.”
The Company’s first commercial product, its Hero Arm, uses 3D printing and simplified mechanical systems which has opened up attractive new markets for whom bionic functionality was hitherto too expensive. Combining this competitive pricing with commercial licences from Disney, Marvel and Pixar, positions the Hero Arm most favourably with children as young as eight and adolescents, changing their perceived disability into superhero status.
Joel Gibbard, CEO, Open Bionics commented: “We’re thrilled to receive this investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS fund. We’re excited to have support from Williams on scaling our manufacturing process as we begin serving the United States and other overseas markets.”
Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures, Williams Advanced Engineering, said:“Williams Advanced Engineering is excited to work with the team at Open Bionics and share our expertise in product development systems. Alongside the Fund’s investment, Open Bionics will benefit from the engineering and technology experience at Williams and the investment management and growth experience of Foresight’s team of investment professionals. Together this aims to be an ideal combination to deliver for the sector, its customers and the wider UK economy.”
Foresight and Williams announced the unique collaboration represented by the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund in November 2016. It combines the Williams Advanced Engineering team’s expertise with Foresight’s successful investment track record.
The Fund enables investors to qualify for relief under the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) for investment into early stage UK SMEs with strong intellectual property in their own specialist fields.
The Fund plans to make investments of up to £3 million into at least ten qualifying UK SMEs per investor, supporting the next generation of engineering technology success stories in the UK.
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has some £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).
Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.
Foresight’s ventures team, comprising experienced investment professionals, invests between £250k and £2m in growth capital and venture capital investments in UK SME’s.
Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards. Foresight was recently a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year. Foresight VCT was recently named Best Generalist VCT at the 2018 Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards.
Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Seoul and San Francisco.
Williams Advanced Engineering Limited operates a technology and engineering services business and is part of the Williams Group.
In 2010, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations, leading to the establishment of the Williams Advanced Engineering division, which has now become Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence, health and energy sectors. Working in close collaboration with its customers, Williams Advanced Engineering helps meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century and improve performance, with its expertise in aerodynamics and thermodynamics, electrification, advanced lightweight materials, simulation and vehicle integration. The Company was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2018.
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