‘The Strava for sailors’, cycling lighting innovation and green credentials grab Dorset Business Angels investor attention!

Feb 3, 2022

‘The Strava for sailors’, cycling lighting innovation and green credentials grab Dorset Business Angels investor attention!

Dorset Business Angels hosted their quarterly pitch event online, with some 65 attendees and 6 businesses presenting. 

The event kicked off with a brief but impactful presentation from Adrian Hale Smart Place Strategy & Programming Lead at BCP Council, entitled ‘Smart Place Investor Showcase’, the aims of which are to bring about solutions to improve the lives of BCP residents, the vibrancy of its communities and the prospects of local businesses.

A Bournemouth based Green Energy Data Services business grabbed investor attention.

The company has spent the last 4 years building the UK’s leading green energy switching site and is currently partnering with Sky, Tesco, Unilever, and IKEA.

The Angels listened as the founder explained, “High energy prices are now a political issue and that the UK Government has set itself a legally binding commitment to end its contribution to global greenhouse gases by 2050.  Big business is sitting up and taking notice. Analysis by Mckinsey puts the value of low carbon products and services to the UK economy at £1 trillion by 2030. Organisations such as HSBC, ASDA, Barlcays, IKEA, Capita and SKY are lining up to sell products like solar panels, EV charge points, battery storage and smart appliances in to homes but face a problem in that they lack the data and systems to market them effectively.”

The platform solves that problem and will provide businesses with everything that they need to sell low carbon technology to homes; data such as meteorological, energy, household fabric & energy performance, purchasing and carbon data. 

Management is seeking funding of £1.5M to take the platform from the beta testing to a full roll-out worldwide and to allow the business rapidly scale in-house development capacity.  2 expressions of interest were made.

‘Strava for sailors’

A company that has designed and built a product, described by some as ‘the Strava for sailors’ promises to capture, relive and share sailing experiences and adventures. An impressive pitch was made. The opportunity was identified that there is currently no modern way to achieve this and the business duo presenting, with a shared loved of sailing, explained that trying to collate photos, paper logbooks and extract GPS tracking files from onboard navigation systems is painful!

The solution being a mobile app and website offering an ‘easy to capture everything from your voyage in one place’ (photos, crew, the track, log etc), with collaboration from the crew being able to add photos and logs, easily shareable with friends and family, allowing the sailing experience to be summarised and shared.

Traction of the ioS app has been with closed beta testing to date, with 200 sailors onboarded, 25,000 nautical miles logged and 625 voyages captured, over 5 continents. Endorsements from users has been extremely positive, achieving national PR and a sailing Podcast describing the product as the ‘must have’ sailing app. 

The business model was explained as an annual subscription by users. The founders are seeking an investment of £150k to take the product mainstream and to cover team salaries, marketing and operation costs. The ambition is to achieve £225,000 ARR, with 9,000 premium subscribers by month 24.

5 expressions of interest were made by the investors.

‘cycling visibility’

Next to pitch, a company who explained their mission to create a new global lighting standard for everyone who wants to be seen, feel safer and stay active in low light conditions, with a product that lights up your world when you are cycling or scootering.

Cycling research and statistics were shared; 75% of cyclists surveyed say that visibility is a main concern while cycling.  Cycling represents just 1% of road traffic, however, cyclists’ share of overall casualties amongst all road users is high, accounting for 5.5% of fatalities, 14.5% of serious injuries and 10.3% of slight injuries.

The product developed provides 360 degree lighting for cyclists, with a lightweight system fixed to your bike helmet, with electroluminescent rechargeable light blades.  The founder advised that the business has UK & US patents granted and has a trade- marked name. The initial UK market potential was highlighted as having 7.5 million active cyclists.

The business is seeking investors to provide seed capital of £100,000 for a 10% equity stake.   3 expressions of interest were made.

‘carbon analytics platform’

A business that has created a carbon analytics platform explained how it enables business, local authorities, trade associations and households to use the platform to discover their carbon footprint, measure emissions, visualise and benchmark emissions, understand how to reduce emissions and start users on their unique reduction journey to net zero.

They highlighted how many organisations are worried about climate change and global warming, advising that 75% of local authorities have declared a climate emergency and are making bold carbon net zero pledges. BCP Council have pledged to be carbon neutral as a council by 2030.

Outlining their traction to date, the business outlined the numerous organisations that they are working with, including local authorities, West London Business, techUK and CommunityFibre.  Ambitions to go global were shared with expansion in 2022 in the UK, EU and a possible USA test. A dynamic team has been established, with much new, young talent attracted. 

The investor proposition was summarised as delivering a pressing market need, endorsed with outstanding client reviews, big data leading to multiple revenue streams and highly scalable with global opportunities

The investor ask is for £150,000, with £90,000 already committed. 3 expressions of interest were made.

‘asbestos detection’

Addressing a global problem, an asbestos detection device that will disrupt the current approach to asbestos monitoring and will be the only real-time warning equipment for the detection of airborne asbestos particles was introduced to investors.  Asbestos is still the biggest occupational killer in the world with 5,000 UK deaths every year. 

When airborne asbestos particles are detected, an alarm is sounded, and a post-event report can be downloaded.  The current lack of real-time analysis means that construction and demolition projects usually have to be put on hold if asbestos is suspected, whilst air filter samples are sent off-site for analysis.  Following a 4-year R & D program, early adopter trials are well underway, with leading global asbestos consultancies and the company anticipating launching the product in early 2022.

The directors are seeking to raise £2m over the next 12 month to enable product scale up, increase stock and support sales & marketing. 1 expression of interest was made.

DBA Zoom host, Frank Guinn concluded, “As ever, we had a good number of businesses applying to be part of our pitch process and we whittled down our selection to the 5 presenting.  The event was recorded, making it available for investors to view online after the event.”

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early -stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI). 

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors. 

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors, Investec Wealth and Investment and BCP Council. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels visit  www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk