Sunday, September 20, 2020

Northern Powerhouse cash for Sheffield IoT provider

A Sheffield tech business has secured a £250,000 investment from The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) to help develop its headquarters, staff base and product portfolio.

Founded last year in Sheffield by Dr. Joe Handsaker, Elements is an Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider for small and micro manufacturers.

The business is developing software solutions that re-purpose consumer technologies for use in manufacturing, with a specific interest in exploring opportunities for wearable technologies in the sector.

Elements’ revenue model is to sell low-cost hardware, including smartphones and off-the-shelf proximity sensors for tagging manufacturing materials and to then charge a monthly subscription service fee for the products.

This platform will enable small-sized manufacturers to improve their productivity without huge expenditure or the burden of an overly-complicated Material Requirements Planning system.

The £250,000 funding will support the company’s product portfolio by creating advanced prototypes and validating its market offering.

To date, the investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance – which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers – is the only external finance the company has raised.

It will also be used to secure a premises in Sheffield and hire four new technical and sales staff members.

Ashwin Kumaraswamy, Investment Director at Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Small and micro firms make up 90% of the UK’s manufacturing capacity.

“Joe and his team of young entrepreneurs have found a way to help them deploy the latest technology to digitize production and enhance quality and productivity.”

Sean Hutchinson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, added: “By supporting businesses with the funds to boost headcount and move premises, we are creating a more prosperous regional economy for the future, and in turn helping to reduce the historic regional disparities between the North and the South.”

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