Leeds spin-out breaks into new markets

Leeds spin-out breaks into new markets

A University of Leeds spin-out is looking to expand into new markets after securing over 100 clients across the globe.

escubed limited, which began as a University of Leeds start-up in the university’s business incubator in 2008, has since grown into one of the UK’s leading particle characterisation businesses.

The company was originally founded by Simon Lawson, Susanne Patel and Simon Biggs who worked together at the University of Leeds. 

As the company grew, Lawson resigned his position at the university to focus all his efforts on the business, taking over the role of chief executive officer.

Since then, the company has gone on to employ 10 staff and is expecting to grow its headcount by 30% this year after securing a funding package by Yorkshire Bank.

The funding has helped the company expand its operations after being hit by the struggling oil and gas sector, allowing it to penetrate new markets.

Lawson said: “We launched the business in 2008 to meet a growing need from industry to access state-of-the-art equipment and expertise that ordinarily only resided within a university environment and was difficult to access. Whilst providing services to all sectors our initial target market was pharmaceutical testing.

“With recent growth being driven by the oil and gas sector, the downturn in the industry negatively affected revenue and growth in 2015. However, recently we’ve been able to invest in other areas, and we’re now only the second lab in the UK to be accredited for ‘particle size analysis’ by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, which opens up a whole new revenue stream for the business.

“Funding from Yorkshire Bank has been helpful in giving us the breathing space we need to focus on expanding the business and investing in new characterisation facilities to bolster the value and future of our company.” 

The company secured a £50,000 overdraft facility from Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Leeds which will help free up capital to expand into new markets, while also allowing them to develop their R&D activities.