Companies Looking for Investment
Zog Energy is a UK domestic energy supplier which currently supplies gas only. Zog targets those customers wanting to switch to a cheaper gas supplier. This has successfully grown a profitable company from zero to over 8,500 customers in four years. To grow further the company needs to also supply electricity so that it can attract the 90% of switching customers who only want a dual fuel supplier. Zog currently operates the most successful customer experience in the domestic fuels industry and is confident that this experience can be extended to include electricity. Investment of £750k is needed to develop the software interfaces into the electricity supply systems, increase staff numbers to maintain the existing successful customer experience for a larger customer base and to support marketing.
Despite targeting only the 3% of switchers interested in gas supply only, Zog Energy has been a profitable company over all four years of its existence. The company has gained its customer base by offering cheap gas, simple tariffs and the best customer experience in the industry. Zog has done this by intelligent use of IT and focusing staff on customer support. A rigorous monitoring of cash flow has ensured that the company has not strayed from profitability.
Further growth requires that Zog gets into the domestic electricity market. An electricity licence has been obtained. Zog’s existing software systems now need to be linked into the electricity supply systems and additional staff are needed to provide customer support functions. The company has been consistently rated as having the best customer experience in the energy supply industry by its customers. Offering a cheap product is not viewed as an excuse for providing a poor customer experience. Additional funding will ensure the customer experience keeps pace with growth.
The comparison site Energy Helpline states that gas only switches account for around 3% of total switches made. The supply of electricity in addition to gas vastly increases the target market for Zog Energy which will increase its market share and profits.
A tethered and autonomous drone that powers continuous flight up to 120m using high voltages, providing telemetry up and secure HD video and high bandwidth data streaming down the tether. This Drone can fly for 24 hours or more providing a platform for multiple applications. With interchangeable multifunctional payload ‘pods’ to meet any operational requirements including; CCTV camera with thermal imaging and Infra-red, mobile phone or radio antennas, various sensors, or broadcast quality cameras.
Market Worldwide drone sales for commercial use are set to reach £6bn and tethered drones £1.6bn by 2020. TDS will initially target the UK market but will quickly enter the world market with international interest already received. The price point is circa £60k per platform with forecast sales of circa 100 per annum worldwide by 2020.
Already a flying prototype and CAA licensed, R&D with academic partners and collaboration opportunities with established MOD suppliers. Commercialisation and product launch at Farnborough Air Show in July 2018.
None manufactured in the UK. Others, Israel, France and USA have flight ceiling limitations 50 to max 100m due to the tether and power constraints. All are more expensive, on average over $100k and being built primarily for the military or law enforcement markets.
Funding Requirement & Growth Strategy
Seeking £300k, c.£85k already invested under SEIS (from British Robotics Seed Fund) with a further £65k available under that scheme, and £150k under EIS. Targeted client sales plus a lease / rental revenue model.
Given the attractive range of applications available, there could be opportunities within a 3-5-year window to sell a commercially mature tethered drone platform business to a large player in the security hardware or autonomous systems markets.
The company was formed 7 years ago when its founder, Milon Miah, identified two opportunities. Firstly, there were many restaurants that didn’t offer a delivery service. Secondly, there appeared to be a case to improve upon existing delivery services. These opportunities clearly existed. In the last 12 months we’ve delivered food worth over £300k, up from £200k in the preceding 12 months. 35,000 meals have been delivered over the last three years.
From these numbers you can tell we are well and truly past the start-up phase and we’re now looking for funds to roll the business out to new territories. We need to put in the administrative support to cope with growth in the business and we also wish to explore some limited investments in technology to automate some of the administration and customer liaison. For example, we collect data on food costs and delivery times using WhatsApp which works fine but does not allow us to easily make use of the data we collect and requires us to call customers if there is a delay in their order. We’re looking for an investment of at least £100,000.
Our relationships with restaurants varies. In the case of the independent local restaurants they pay a signing on fee to join our service and then we have an agreement on the discount or mark-up that will be charged versus their menu price. For the larger franchised fast food operators we are hoping to get more formal agreements in place, but they are waiting for Takeaway Taxi to expand before they commit.
We also have an ambition to offer more services to restaurants. We already have the ability to offer a Just Eat type of service to our restaurants where customers will be able to place orders but then collect the meals themselves. Marketing is something we hope to help our restaurants with as we already deliver leaflets to many households, have a lot of traffic coming to our website and are very active on social media.
As we all know there are several well-known companies offering food delivery services, Deliveroo is operational in two of the cities we work in. Where we are different is that we do not expect the restaurant to pay a commission for us to deliver their food. We don’t believe that the highly competitive restaurant industry can afford to give up such a large share of their margin. Our belief is verified when we speak to restaurant owners. We are making the consumer pay a larger share of the cost of their food delivery. The bigger delivery companies get all the publicity but there are lots of restaurants that won’t pay their charges.
We are also taking a different approach to how we reward our staff. We don’t want the industry to be a minimum wage high staff turnover industry. As we grow and cover our overhead costs more easily we hope to pay drivers more.
We are currently operational in three local cities. Ipswich, where it all started, Colchester and Bury St Edmunds. We would like to expand to up to ten further towns over the next couple of years. Those towns could be distinct areas such as Ipswich, or could be suburbs of London. In Bury St Edmunds we operate a franchise model which has proved very successful both in terms of the volume of sales and the earnings of the franchisee.
Milon has spent at least 100 hours a week working on Takeaway Taxi since it started. Prior to starting the business he owned his own restaurant. In the early days he did all the deliveries and he still pops out now and again to keep his finger on the pulse. He developed all the processes the company uses so food is delivered quickly and professionally. Jonathan Fieldsend joined Takeaway Taxi in 2016 having retired from an investment management business he part owned and at which he was a director. He is a qualified accountant and Associate of the Society of Investment Professionals. Jonathan doesn’t work 100 hours per week but he has put the structures in place to set Takeaway Taxi up for its next growth stage. He has also invested in the equity of the business.
Dotmatix has developed an effective system of monitoring and controlling fermentation for both craft and home brewers.
The system allows remote real time display of present gravity (or alcohol content) on a smartphone or tablet together with the display and control of fermentation temperature.
The benefits to brewers are to reduce the need for multiple manual readings per day (and especially at weekends) and to provide rapid feedback in the event that there is a problem with the brew.
The measurements are made without contact with the fermenting beer, so there are no sterility issues.
Detailed fermentation diaries generated by the system in real time help to ensure consistency, spot problems and identify the impact of process changes. Optionally, the brewer can record manual readings such as pH and other useful notes.
The commercial system has been trialled in a craft brewery for over 12 months, and is installed in a demonstration brewery at East Anglia’s largest maltster. This product is ready for commercial launch.
The home brew product is at prototype stage.
Dotmatix are looking to raise £150,000 SEIS investment to build the team and complete development of the home brew product.
ZOA Robotics is pioneering the development of a low-cost robotics platform, enabling the automation of power, telecoms & industrial plant inspections, using highly mobile four-legged robots.
Inspections are labour intensive but difficult to automate, as sites require a high degree of mobility to tackle uneven ground and stairs. The Company is building a turn-key Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) solution for Plant and Maintenance Managers, delivering inspection reports and trend analysis to support Operation & Maintenance decision making.
The Company is reducing the cost of legged robots by a factor of 10, leveraging machine learning for locomotion, autonomy and data-analysis. Low cost hardware + machine learning enable the Company to offer a complete service as a commercially attractive package.
The Company’s founder is a proven entrepreneur with previous experience in the robotics industry and, along with his experienced technical team, has already created impressive initial prototypes of the product at reduced scale, and are now building full-size robots.
The Company believes that a market-ready first version of their product can be ready within twelve months.
The company has received commitments for full SEIS allocation (£150,000) and is raising a further £300,000 under EIS for a total raise of £450,000 for 27% of the Company.
Sketchbook Games believe that video games are one of the most powerful storytelling mediums and aim to use them to create unique, moving experiences. They’re currently working with renowned games writer Rhianna Pratchett on the multi-award winning Lost Words, an atmospheric adventure about a young girl aspiring to be a writer while dealing with the loss of her gran. The game is set between the pages of her diary and a fantasy land and ties the narrative into the gameplay in an unusual way, by having the player running on and interacting with the diary words themselves.
The studio have raised £225k so far and are looking for a further £250k in order to release the game across PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android platforms.
GlazeAlarm is a disruptive internet of things (IoT) home automation security product that allows glazing manufacturers to compete in the security space for the first time. A patent pending wireless, shock and humidity sensor system, the GlazeAlarm is installed within a double-glazed unit (DGU) during manufacture and will notify the user immediately upon a breakage of the glass via their chosen smart device. Capable of integration with most existing home security systems or as a stand-alone security solution, GlazeAlarm will be the most robust and tamper-proof glass break solution in the market, which importantly alerts the user before an intruder enters their property.
Another crucial function of GlazeAlarm is targeted at DGU manufacturers. By regularly reporting stress, temperature and humidity metrics within the glazed unit, GlazeAlarm is constantly monitoring the integrity and insulating efficiency of their units. This information is hugely valuable as it not only measures the long-term performance of every unit they produce but also monitors the integrity of each unit from the manufacturing plant to the point of delivery and final installation in the end customer’s property.
This funding round offers an EIS investment opportunity in an IoT home automation product at a very late stage in development just before launch. The Company is seeking £500k to take the GlazeAlarm into production and on to profitability. The product sits across the huge glazing, security and home automation industries and since the ‘soft launch’ of our prototype in late 2014 at Glasstec, the company had garnered significant distribution interest with some of the largest global players in the industry.
All prototyping and most testing are complete and the actual GlazeAlarms themselves are already at production stage. This fund-raise is intended to take us to full production for the whole ecosystem in approximately six months from its completion. The funds sought will be used for the following in rough chronological order;
- final development of the Base Station
- begin pre-launch legal work
- take delivery of 12 x ‘pre-production’ Base Stations and 350 x production GlazeAlarms
- deliver the above to a selection of our potential distributors for their internal testing
- complete final development of the controlling app, wireless repeater and external siren
- instruct tooling for the Base Station and the repeater/siren
- enhance and strengthen our IP portfolio on current products and begin protecting future technologies
- execute a couple of key hires prior to first salesWe have been working with a couple of local DGU manufacturers and DIY retailers who are awaiting the product and who already have allocated space in their showrooms to promote the GlazeAlarm. They will provide the early springboard for our sales launch and we will use these to finalise the supply chain and after-sales logistics and to iron out any unforeseen wrinkles in the process. A short but profitable ‘trial’ sales period will hopefully be followed by a launch with one the many larger industry players around the globe with whom we are currently in discussions. This will give us the blueprint and funds for a full scale global roll-out, which we anticipate could be within 12-15 months from completion of this funding round.