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- The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund led a £5 million round
- 3D Computer Vision and Data Analysis technology greatly reduces manual input thereby improving speed, cost, accuracy and health and safety aspects of delivering subsea surveys
- Set to revolutionise the way energy companies manage their offshore infrastructure
Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, is pleased to announce a £3.9 million investment into disruptive subsea surveying company Rovco Ltd (“Rovco” or the “Company”). The investment comprises £2.0 million from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund and £1.9 million from Foresight VCTs. The investment was part of a larger round totalling £5 million which included funds from existing shareholders.
Established in 2015, Rovco is changing the way underwater work is performed and pushing the boundaries of subsea technology. Investing heavily in the development of an artificial intelligence driven data platform and live 3D vision systems for subsea robotics. The Company has the resources and expertise to deliver challenging projects across the globe delivering the highest quality data.
The Company has developed its SubSLAM technology to improve the data collection of underwater vehicles undertaking the difficult task of subsea infrastructure inspection, aiming ultimately to make the piloting of such vehicles fully autonomous. More efficient survey processes for offshore infrastructure inspections offer huge potential for reducing the size of crews and time needed on vessels out at sea. The innovation represents a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, time-efficient and safer future for the industry.
Rovco has already received a strong reception from companies operating in the areas of offshore wind and oil and gas, and the technology has the scope for application far beyond subsea and offshore operations.
Foresight’s investment will support the growth of the Company’s commercial and operational capabilities, leveraging existing relationships to expand globally. Williams Advanced Engineering and Rovco have already identified several opportunities to collaborate on enhancements to Rovco’s SubSLAM camera system.
Commenting on the investment, Andrew Bloxam, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight, said: “Rovco has developed technology offering game-changing improvements in an industry that really needs it. It is a large international market and Rovco has already generated early interest from some prominent customers, which hints at a substantial opportunity, and we are delighted to be able to support the team as they seek to capitalise. It is great to support another company which epitomises the spirit of the Foresight Williams collaboration.”
Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures at Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “We are proud to back Rovco whose pioneering SubSLAM camera technology has the potential to transform productivity in subsea surveying. I am confident that Williams’ expertise in design, development and manufacture will help to accelerate the commercialisation of the SubSLAM camera system”.
Brian Allen, CEO of Rovco said: “We are very excited to be working with Foresight and Williams. These funds will be used to further commercialise our technology, to strengthen management, and to accelerate growth. The subsea industry has been extremely receptive to our computer vision and AI tech so far, and the offshore wind industry has been an incredible early adopter. This is an exciting time for the company as we enter 2020 with a new investor and extremely strong forward order book.”
For further information contact:
Ben Thompson, Foresight Group firstname.lastname@example.org/020 3667 8155
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About Foresight Williams Technology EIS 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 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.
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 35 years.
Foresight has over £4 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 28 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.
Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards 2018, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year. In 2017, Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.
Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Seoul.
About Williams Advanced Engineering:
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.