Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund invests £1.5m into workforce support robot-maker Inovo Robotics
07/11/2018 Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund invests £1.5m into workforce support robot-maker Inovo Robotics
First modular collaborative robot (“cobot”) intended to focus on batch manufacturing tasks
Development of proprietary light-weight modular cobot
Developed by former defence robotics engineers
The Fund supports disruptive technologies with high performance engineering capability and proven investment management
LONDON, 05 November 2018: Foresight Group (“Foresight”) announces the £1.5m growth capital investment into Inovo Robotics Limited (“Inovo” or the “Company”) on behalf of the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund.
Inovo is developing a low-cost collaborative robot (“cobot”) that can integrate into existing workforce processes. Inovo’s modular design means the cobot can be easily adapted to varying customer requirements.
Henry Wood and Jonathan Cheung, previously senior engineers at Northrop Grumman, founded Inovo in 2016. Both founders possess deep technical expertise and experience of delivering complex engineering development projects and, between them, they have more than 30 years of combined experience in robotics and engineering.
Andy Bloxam, Senior Investment Manager, Foresight Group, commented: “Inovo represents an opportunity to invest in a fast-growing segment of the robotics sector. We look forward to working with Henry and Jon to continue this.”
Several areas have been identified where Inovo could benefit from collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering. These include design and development of the electric motor and transmission as well as thermal modelling of the drivetrain. Williams Advanced Engineering is keen to support Inovo given the highly complementary nature of the two businesses.
Craig Wilson, Managing Director, Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “We are looking forward to working with Inovo as they develop their innovative technology. Alongside the investment, the teams at Williams Advanced Engineering will relish linking up with Inovo to deliver enhanced products for the market.”
Alongside the investment, Foresight will be introducing an experienced Chairman with considerable commercial expertise to the Company.
Henry Wood, Co-Founder, Inovo Robotics, commented: “We are very pleased to be working with Williams Advanced Engineering and Foresight. Foresight will bring a wealth of financial and strategic experience to the company going forwards.
Jonathan Cheung, Co-founder, Inovo Robotics: “We are also very much looking forward to working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering on various technical aspects of the product where they have world class expertise and a strong network of potential end users.”
Inovo currently has offices in the UK on Surrey Research Park and in Hong Kong, on the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (“HKSTP”). Having a presence in the Far East puts Inovo close to its supply chain, largely in Shenzhen, and the fast-growing Chinese market. The first cobot prototype is currently in development with first customer trials scheduled for mid-2019.
About Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund (“the Fund”):
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 into at least ten qualifying UK SMEs, 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 more thank £2.5 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 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 is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Seoul and Madrid.
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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