Touchscreen pioneer Peratech has arranged £1.2 million funding from Finance Yorkshire's Equity Linked Fund to expand its North Yorkshire operations, build new laboratory facilities and secure new contracts.
The company is the leader in Quantum Tunnelling Composite technology, invented by David Lussey, Chief Technical Officer. QTC Materials are used in switching and sensing systems and are already widely used in robotics, defence and telecommunications.
It was the flexibility of Finance Yorkshire's portfolio of funding options that helped agree the £1.2 million mezzanine deal - a loan investment deal with a small equity-linked exit bonus which suited the company's current requirements and future expectations.
"We're in a strong position in that we don't need the money now as we're capable of organic growth through the customers and contracts we currently have," said Chief Financial and Operations Officer Doug Balderston. "But the technology sector grows very fast so leaving it to organic growth alone puts us at a disadvantage because it risks being left behind by competitors. At the moment, we don't have any competitors, but that's not to say we won't have in the future.
"We have used equity or loan investments in the past, but the mezzanine investment deal helps take into account where we will be in the next three to five years and was therefore a better fit for our business model and strategy than perhaps a straightforward equity investment may have been."
"In the next three to five years, we expect to grow our customer base and increase the value of the business to in excess of £100m," said Balderston. "We already have a number of significant contracts around the world including Japan and the US which are being managed by our in-house team very effectively. However, we have a desire to grow further and attract more contracts and to do that we need to expand our operations and invest in resources, staff and research and development.
Peratech recently won in the Innovation category at the Queen's Awards for Enterprise for its QTC Technology. It also took the title of British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Regional Management team of the year award 2012 for the north east.
The Yorkshire Finance project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe's support for the region's economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15 million from Yorkshire Forward's Single Programme, and £45 million match funding from the European Investment Bank.