The first spinout company set to emerge from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has closed its seed investment round, raising £1.5m.
novosound, which won the 2017 Converge Challenge, has developed a technique to mass-manufacture printable ultrasound sensors. This method overcomes the limitations of existing technology, improving a manufacturing process which hasn’t majorly changed in more than 40 years.
Par Equity, the Edinburgh-based venture capital firm which has a strong track record in investing in early stage companies, is the lead investor with Kelvin Capital co-investing alongside. The investment will drive novosound’s growth plan, allow it to expand its already-experienced team, and bring its product to market.
Further investment was secured from Gabriel, the Scottish Investment Bank, the EOS Technology Investment Syndicate and Investing Women.
Commonly known for its use in maternity wards and other hospital departments, ultrasound imaging can also be extensively applied in industrial settings as a safe non-destructive testing (NDT) technique.
During a recent visit to the US, novosound met with large-scale industrial companies, and after receiving positive feedback, the team is working to convert these opportunities into development contracts and production orders.
Dr. Dave Hughes, novosound’s co-founder and chief technical officer, said: “The manufacturing of ultrasound sensors has not changed in more than four decades, limiting their effectiveness in certain industrial settings. Our revolutionary sensors have the potential to disrupt the $2.6 billion non-destructive testing market by enabling continuous, safe monitoring of petrochemical infrastructure, unlocking a huge commercial opportunity for novosound.”
Marcus Henderson, investment manager at Par Equity, said: "At Par Equity, we invest in high-growth innovative technology ventures that have the potential to deliver significant returns to our investors. novosound is a great example of this type of venture as Dave Hughes, Richard Cooper and the entire team at novosound have developed a truly revolutionary ultrasound technology with wide ranging applications and benefits in multiple industries.”
Professor Ehsan Mesbahi, vice-principal (academic) at University of the West of Scotland, said: “Our university prides itself on its longstanding and close links with industry. Our academics and researchers are playing a key role in the development of a range of technologies that will have significant impacts nationally and globally. novosound securing the funding it needs to roll-out its cutting-edge sensor and imaging system technology, is a clear illustration of what that collaborative relationship can achieve.”
Eleanor Mitchell, entrepreneurial growth, grant appraisal and management director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “novosound is an innovative, ambitious, forward-thinking company that’s hungry for growth and it’s fantastic that they’ve secured this seed investment. Our strong support to the University of the West of Scotland team enabled the attraction of Richard Cooper as the commercial lead and included introductions to global players in non-destructive testing to help direct development of the team’s product and business plan. We look forward to working with the company as it progresses its plans for global growth.”
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