By Antoine Pradayrol
Our 28th November pitch event at Browns Covent Garden in London broke another record in terms of attendance, and our eager audience of angel investors was treated with five high quality pitches from five ambitious companies in five very different areas of the green economy.
If you are interested in learning more about any of these five new attractive opportunities, or about our other five live deals – Thrift+, Coomtech, IndiNature, Utonomy and The Scottish Bee Company – or indeed about the follow-on investment opportunities in Piclo and Alusid, please click here.
Power Roll – Breakthrough technology for solar PV and energy storage
Ambition – Power Roll’s technology enables flexible solar PV and energy storage products to be simply and cost effectively manufactured, with the potential to generate and store energy everywhere and anywhere, on any surface.
Market and business model – Power Roll’s breakthrough manufacturing process uses ‘micro-groove structures’ to create enhanced films for two-terminal electrical devices. The microgroove structure is ultra-thin, highly flexible, lightweight and fully recyclable, with a minimal carbon footprint. This results in a disruptively low-cost technology with applications in different industry sectors, including solar energy generation and energy storage.
Source: Power Roll
In energy generation, Power Roll’s technology has the potential to greatly enhance the size of the market for thin and integrated PV, by creating a viable proposition where cost, weight and/or size would prohibit the use of other technologies. Power Roll PV is 20 times cheaper than existing flexible PV. Power Roll is initially targeting niche applications such as powering IoT sensors, to create short-term revenue streams. This early commercialisation will then allow a licensing model.
In energy storage, Power Roll has agreed a commercial JV in the capacitor market, to prove the technology feasibility and the potential for manufacturing at scale.
What it’s achieved so far – Power Roll has a strong, protected IP position, with its unique technologies patented across 19 separate families and granted patents in 51 countries. The company has attracted £8.6m in private investment so far. In energy generation, its technology is proven, with working demonstrators. In energy storage, the demonstrator is being tested and proven on a roll-to-roll scale, with a first JV signed to commercialise the initial energy storage application.
Team – Neil Spann is Managing Director, with a financial and commercial background, and significant experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. He previously held senior roles with EY, Arthur Andersen and eaga plc (Head of Group Finance and Investor relations). Dr John Topping, Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, is an experienced inventor with 20+ years R&D experience and 13+ years research experience at Oxford University.
Fundraise – Seeking £5m to continue scaling up the chosen applications to get to significant revenues.
Rapiere – Cutting lifetime carbon emissions from building projects
Ambition – Rapiere’s aim is to facilitate the full optimisation of the sustainability of building designs, by enabling a rapid and cost effective assessment of a building project’s lifecycle requirements in terms of energy, carbon emissions and cost.
Market and business model – Rapiere’s software, ECCOlab, is a unique all-in-one web-based tool dedicated to the building sector, which enables the rapid optimisation of building designs against three simultaneous objectives: energy, carbon emissions and cost. Its USPs are:
Rapiere sees a total addressable market of £600m+ across the UK, the EU, the US and China – with demand notably driven by new EU and UK legislation. The company’s model is software-as-a-service, with competitively priced enterprise licenses and no installation required. Target clients include architects, cost consultants, services engineers, building surveyors, contractors and developers.
What it’s achieved so far – Rapiere was founded in 2013 by GreenspaceLive, Architype, Chapman BDSP and Currie & Brown. The company has received Innovate UK grants and investment from the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, taken part in the Sustainable Venture Better Futures Programme, and is currently supported by the Circular London Accelerator. Bouygues, the major international contractor, has been a paying client since 2014, and Rapiere has made several other Beta sales.
Team – Ben Humphries, CEO, has 20 years’ experience in low carbon, sustainable architecture. Sinisa Stankovic, CTO, has 30 years’ experience as an Engineer and was a founder of Chapman-BDSP. Gareth Selby, Project Director, is a Qualified Architect and Engineer.
Exit – Management is open to different exit strategies including the sale of the company, the buyback of shares or an IPO.
Fundraise – Seeking £800k to finalise the product (final updates & testing), get the necessary certification accreditation, and unlock sales in the UK, EU, US, Asia and UAE.
SGMA – Non-petroleum coatings for food and non-food products
Ambition – SGMA’s aim is to get rid of plastics in food packaging and non-food products, thanks to its innovative sol-gel coatings and advanced materials.
Market and business model – SGMA have formulated, developed and tested advanced sol-gel coatings and materials, offering a sustainable solution to the global problems of single-use plastic and toxic chemicals. The products, which include no fossil-fuel based ingredients, are hydrophobic (repels water), oleophobic (repels oil) and antimicrobial (without biocidal toxic chemicals).
Non-food market segments include surface coating for paper, card, metal, fabric, wood, paint, brick, etc. In the food & beverage market, segments include dry food, fresh food, beverage straws, coffee cups/lids, drink cans, cartons, etc.
The company has several possible routes to market: a pure licensing model, for chemicals firms seeking to move from bulk to higher value advanced materials; the sale of in-house or outsourced product to packaging firms seeking to differentiate through sustainable solutions; or the sale of coated product to brand owners seeking to reposition their brands and meet new regulation.
What it’s achieved so far – SGMA has equipped a small laboratory in Kent where it has hand-produced litres of product. The product has been tested externally and two patents have been filed. SGMA has received media exposure thanks to the NexGen Cup Challenge, Paint the Future, and the UK Government 2019 “Women in Innovation” award. This has led to NDAs with materials, packaging and brand-owner partners and to field trials. Finally, the company has received a letter of intent from an EU packaging partner.
Team – SGMA was founded by Dr Fanya Ismail (PhD, Manchester University) to exploit her original sol-gel advanced materials research. She has grown the team to include Graham Hutchins (finance), former Innovate UK FD; Don Lawrence (operations) former BAe systems engineer, and Jeff Pedley (business development), former Shell.
Fundraise – Raising £1m to complete patents, achieve food & beverages certification in the EU and US, recruit the commercial team and build an Application Centre.
Zedify – Better deliveries for better cities
Ambition – Zedify’s ambition is to transform urban logistics and create the healthier, cleaner and more liveable cities of the future – by providing businesses with a green delivery service that is optimised in terms of both cost and performance.
Market and business model – Urban delivery is a massive, growing market, and within it, the ‘green’ delivery niche is one of the fastest growing. The market is ‘in flux’, with new models being explored, opening opportunities for new entrants.
Zedify have developed an innovative model based on the combination of a franchisor/franchisee model; e-bikes/e-trikes which enable faster and greener local delivery in city centres; and local consolidation hubs (depots), much closer to the points of delivery, hence a more optimised service.
Zedify is not a delivery company itself but a franchisor. What Zedify are selling is:
What it’s achieved so far – Zedify was founded two years ago and is revenue generating, showing rapid growth. It has eight depots operating, 250 national and local customers, and, in the past year, it has delivered over 300,000 items. Customers include TNT, Able & Cole and Freddie’s Flowers.
Team – Rob King (co-founder and CEO) set up a Cambridge-based bike delivery company in 2005, now Zedify’s Cambridge depot, and has founded two other successful companies. Sam Keam (co-founder and COO) had set up a similar company in Brighton.
Exit – Zedify foresees an exit in 3-5 years, with potential buyers including its own customers (e.g. an online retailer) and large delivery firms (e.g. DHL) willing to acquire a ready-made solution for green deliveries in cities.
Fundraise – Raising £300k, which will be used over the next 18 months to acquire more national accounts, grow the number of franchisees and develop technology.
Zeigo – Bridging the gap between supply and demand of renewable energy
Zeigo is an existing Green Angel Syndicate portfolio company. GAS members invested in the £160k pre-seed round which completed in April 2019 and Green Angel Syndicate are happy to support the company in its new funding round.
Ambition – Zeigo’s mission is to help corporations around the world replace fossil fuel energy with renewable energy by finding the right project for them and building a compelling business case around it.
Market and business model – Zeigo targets corporations worldwide within the Infrastructure, Consumer Goods, Technology and Data, Manufacturing and Transport sectors, with revenues over $100m and with targets to reduce carbon emissions. Zeigo reckons that in Europe only, these corporations represent an addressable market of $56m in renewable energy purchasing. This is a rapidly growing market.
Zeigo provides subscription-based services centred around its ground-breaking marketplace, enabling companies who want to buy renewable energy to access its large network of developers and suppliers. Clients search for projects in the marketplace; compare projects and build a business case in minutes; run tenders in a quick and seamless way; produce legally binding Heads of Terms; and connect with developers with one click. Outcomes include: Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), Green Energy Contracts, Renewable Energy Certificates and Guarantees of Origin.
Corporates pay an annual subscription fee depending on the level of access they want – and developers pay a success fee when they agree a Power Purchase Agreement with a corporate.
What it’s achieved so far – Zeigo launched its MVP in July 2018 and was a finalist at the Business Green Technology Awards. It raised £160k in pre-seed equity investment in early 2019 and now has a fully functional AI-powered platform. The company works with 70+ developers, and the platform features 280+ projects. Zeigo has acquired two paying clients in the first month of launch.
Team – Juan Pablo Cerda, founder and CEO, is an entrepreneur and expert in renewable energy and PPAs, with experience building and exiting a business in the sector. The team notably includes Natasha Morgan (Business & Growth), Michael Beesley (Digital & Design) and Joanna Lowry (Marketing & Communications).
Exit – Zeigo anticipates an exit in 3-4 years through an acquisition by a large utility, trading house, technology company or large consultancy.
Fundraise – Raising seed investment of £600k (EIS), to grow the team, technology and exposure, to establish Zeigo as a firm market leader in Europe and start its geographical expansion process.