NPIF Maven Equity Finance (“the Fund”), part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (“NPIF”), and managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), has invested £750,000 in Lancashire-based Extreme Low Energy (“ELe”), a proven technology platform, which stores and efficiently distributes low voltage DC power, and which targets a number of different sectors.
The investment was delivered by MSIF working with Maven Capital Partners to support the delivery of NPIF.
The funding will enable the firm to double its staff numbers in the next 12 months, expand its range of applications for the technology, which include powering infrastructure, monitoring and security systems and applications within crop growing industries, and create a dedicated research and development function to accelerate the delivery of the new products.
ELe has developed a proven platform technology for the storage and efficient distribution of low voltage DC power, The ELe DC micro-grid systems typically require 50% to 70% less energy than existing alternatives and the firm is set to commercialise this technology across several large value global market applications. Its value proposition lies in the fact that its technology reduces the total energy consumption of a DC device.
ELe has already successfully deployed low energy DC power distribution infrastructures and ICT equipment into the UK and African Education Sectors and the UK modular housing market and is seeking to expand into a broader range of markets, including monitoring security systems, computer servers, crops grown under LED lights and power infrastructure in developing countries.
The firm was co-founded by experienced entrepreneur and investor Mark Buchanan in 2014. Building on his experience in computer engineering and renewable energy, Mark recognised that while power supply is globally standardised on Alternative Current (AC) transmission, many of today’s everyday electrical products such as computers and air-conditioning run on DC power and as a result, require bulky, inefficient, energy wasting transformers. Identifying the potential energy and carbon savings that could be achieved by eliminating the wasteful AC/DC conversion process, Mark created a ground-breaking patented DC power infrastructure offering and is working on various ultra-low power DC devices. The business’ DC power infrastructure technology typically runs on 50-70% less energy than existing AC alternatives.
Backed by a highly skilled and experienced senior management team, Chairman Mark Frost takes an active role in setting the strategic direction at ELe, as well as mentoring the leadership team and providing technical and intellectual property expertise and guidance. Co-founder and Technical Director, Mark Buchanan has spent his career working across technology and energy platforms for over 24 years, working as an IT contractor for companies such as Unilever, GEC Alstom and Compaq.
Mark Buchanan, Co-Founder and Technical Director of Extreme Low Energy, said: “We are really excited about the opportunity to commercialise our low energy solution technology and support the paradigm shift in how people think about energy infrastructure. The funding from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance will allow us to accelerate the growth of our business and achieve our ambitious growth targets, eventually establishing Extreme Low Energy as a significant supplier within the energy sector.”
“It’s great to be recognised and supported through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. NPIF – Maven Equity Finance has offered us great business support and guidance through the funding process so far and we are looking forward to continuing to work together.”
Simon Thelwall-Jones, MSIF Investment Director said: “We are delighted that NPIF has backed Extreme Low Energy, a fast-growing company with some really exciting patented technology. We believe that the potential addressable markets for the company’s various product offerings are global and Mark is supported by a group of fellow directors/shareholders who have considerable experience of successfully building a global technology business previously. We really do think that this business is one to watch for the future.”
Sue Barnard, Senior Relationship Manager at The British Business Bank, said: “Extreme Low Energy is a great example of the level of innovation taking place in the Lancashire region and we are glad to be able to support the firm as it strives to make a mark in the energy sector. With the support of our fund managers and partners, we plan to build on the momentum we’ve achieved in the first year to support even more small and medium businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region.”
Andy Walker, Head of Business Growth at Lancashire County Council, said: “Energy is one of Lancashire’s economic priority sectors and we welcome any investments which give a boost to local firms working in the sector. Firms like Extreme Low Energy also encapsulate Lancashire’s proud tradition of embracing innovation to help find solutions to big problems, and we look forward to seeing how their technology positively impacts on both society and the environment as it gets adopted.”
The Northern Powerhouse 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.