Foresight makes £249,000 MEIF investment into smart textiles business Footfalls and Heartbeats Limited

NOTTINGHAM, 28 November 2018: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) announces a £249,000 equity investment into Footfalls and Heartbeats Limited (“Footfalls” or the “Company”) through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”).  

Based in Nottingham, Footfalls has developed a revolutionary and proprietary process for manufacturing smart fabric, which uses nano-scale interactions within the textile to make the fabric itself the sensor. This technology can be used in medical applications such as bandages or within sports apparel and shoes, monitoring the pressure being exerted on a specific body part and transmitting data in real time, wirelessly to a receiver.

Investment from the MEIF will be used for continued development of product prototypes with several world leading commercial partners in the fields of healthcare and sports. Footfalls will also continue to develop its intellectual property, as well as purchase additional production equipment.

Footfalls was founded in 2012 by Simon McMaster, who has worked with the University of Nottingham (“UoN”) over a number of years. UoN is considered a world leading institution in the field of Fibre Optic Technology and has established a partnership with Footfalls to develop and exploit new technologies.  The UoN has also invested in Footfalls and as a result is a major shareholder.

Commenting on the investment, Footfalls Founding Director, Simon McMaster, said: “These are exciting times and we are delighted to have Foresight’s backing.  With their investment we can move forward with our plans to bring more prototyping in-house with the purchase of a bespoke, one-of-a-kind, knitting machine and the employment of additional staff to join the existing, multidisciplinary team.  This investment will allow Footfalls to deliver the various development agreements in shorter time frames. It will also help us to achieve our patent and commercial licensing goals.”

In support, Jordan Lavender, Investment Analyst at Foresight Group, commented: This innovative game-changing textile manufacturing technology developed by Footfalls & Heartbeats is precisely the type of opportunity MEIF was created for, where funding from other sources is hard to come by. We look forward to seeing the Company develop and grow as we share the journey with this enthusiastic team.” 

Grant Peggie, Director, at the British Business Bank, added: “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to support companies such as Footfalls and Heartbeats to bring innovative new products to market. It is particularly good to see the that MEIF is working alongside the University of Nottingham to develop technologies that could have a global impact. Midlands’ universities are key drivers of innovation and growth across the Midlands Engine area and we would encourage all Universities across the Midlands to explore MEIF as a potential source of investment for small, innovative companies.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

 

ENDS

 

For further information, contact:

Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Foresight Group bthompson@foresightgroup.eu | 020 3667 8155

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):

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 over £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 and has been announced shortlisted finalist for Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year at the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Rome, Madrid, Seoul and Sydney.

www.foresightgroup.eu

 

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF):

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, and provide funding to SMEs from £25,000 to £2m, so that they can finance their growth and development.

The MEIF is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The MEIF is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.

The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the MEIF. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017. www.eib.org

The funds in which MEIF invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb

 

About the British Business Bank:

The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank is currently supporting more than £5.5bn of finance to over 78,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2018).

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

  • The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
  • The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website