25th June 2012 – LumeJet, the Coventry-based engineering company, has just raised £1.87 million in a major funding round. The new investment will be used to develop and commercialise LumeJet’s ultra-high quality imaging technology and brings the total investment in the company to more than £4.5m.
The funding round has been notable as one of the largest Angel rounds in the UK, a reflection of the interest in this company and its technology.
LumeJet has developed a new enabling imaging technology that can provide high precision “printed” solutions for a variety of specialist markets and will launch an LED based printer product later this summer. LumeJet believes the printer produces the best quality printing ever achieved from a digital file.
The LumeJet technology has been designed from the ground up to exploit the proven, continuous tone quality of Silver Halide (AgX) media and its extended colour gamut (larger than CMYK inks). This produces vibrant, smooth and colour accurate images. It also exploits the inherent micron-sized (1/1000th mm) grain resolution of the media for ultra sharp text and graphics.
While the technology was originally developed to work on photographic (AgX) media, with the advent of modern chemical design combined with the ultra high precision of the heads, it now has far wider applications. Light of various wavelengths, spot size and power can be used to effectively “print” on a whole range of photo or thermally activated substrates or coatings. Relevant sectors include Labelling, Packaging and patterning of electronics such as OLED Displays, all of which offer multi billion £ market opportunities.
LumeJet was launched in 2010 with private angel investment and co-investment from Midven’s Early Advantage Fund. The injection of new capital will see the company grow substantially over the next 3 years, with a forecast of over 100 new jobs being created by the end of 2014. LumeJet intends to ship 1000 machines over the next 5 years from its West Midlands site.
Christopher McCann, Chairman of LumeJet, said, “Completing this fund raising in the current climate is a major milestone for the company and a tremendous vote of confidence in our management team led by Paul Anson.”
Midven originally introduced Paul Anson to LumeJet as the Investor Director before being appointed CEO. Paul Anson, a core team member of Qi3 Accelerator, said, “Attracting investment to High Value Manufacturing propositions can be difficult, but our new and existing Angel investors see potential of the LumeJet technology. Now we can get on and deliver a digital printing system that will change the market completely for some sectors.”
LumeJet was successful in securing angel investment from Wren Capital, Qi3 Accelerator, Martlet, LBA EIS Roundtable Syndicate Fund, private investors from LBA and Cambridge Angels and a number of independent investors. Nathan Hill of Qi3 Accelerator said “We pride ourselves in rolling up our sleeves to support early-stage companies. Paul stepping up as CEO demonstrates the commitment our team members are prepared to make. I am thrilled that we and our regular co-investors have been able to cornerstone this round for new investors”.
“I have built up many good investor relationships via Qi3 Accelerator as a lead investor in other large syndicated deals”, Anson said, “and these have been critical, together with the fantastic support from existing shareholders. Wren Capital and Martlet making significant early commitments was a key success factor. ”
Anthony Clarke, Managing Director of LBA said, “When Paul Anson came to LBA it was clear that LumeJet was a strong opportunity with the potential for explosive growth and this is reflected in the very significant financial contribution from LBA members and our EIS Fund. Paul’s belief in the business, due to his past successes in the printing industry, started as an angel investor in the company and led to his current position as CEO. A great example of the Power of Angel investing.”
The investment round received essential support in fund raising from Cormorant Corporate Finance and received further investment and support from Midven’s Early Advantage Fund, which has invested the maximum permitted by its constitution. Harrison Clark LLP provided legal support with tax advice from James Cowper LLP.
Notes for editors:
About LumeJet Ltd www.lumejet.com
LumeJet Ltd was established in January 2010 to explore and exploit highly developed platform technology acquired from a Warwick University spin-out. The technology has been developed over 12 years by Dr Trevor Elworthy, a former Kodak Research Scientist, who had a vision for developing an inkjet type of printer that actually ‘sprayed’ light onto photographic paper to produce high quality print.
In November 2009 the technology was a finalist in the UK Government i-awards for Best of British Inside, in recognition of its potential to become a core enabling technology.
In 2011 LumeJet successfully completed the development of its new Digital Print Head. This included high speed Ethernet communication with individually-addressable pixels for calibration, finer temperature control and improved optics.
Background notes on the investment syndicate members
About Cambridge Angels cambridgeangels.com/
The Cambridge Angels is a group of angel investors who have proven experience as successful entrepreneurs in technology and bio-technology. Members invest in and mentor high quality start-up and early-stage companies in these sectors in Cambridge, across the UK and sometimes internationally.
About London Business Angels www.lbangels.co.uk/
LBA is one of the most experienced private angel networks in the UK. Since the early 1980s the network has been connecting innovating fast growth small and medium sized enterprises with investment through our network of business angel investors. LBA, part of Angel Capital Group, is professionally managed by a highly experienced management team, leveraging over 15 years’ experience in the early stage investment marketplace as established leaders in the development of new angel-led early stage investment initiatives, and nearly 30 years’ investing experience through the LBA network. LBA is a founding member of the British Business Angels Association, the industry’s best practice trade association, and is also a member of EBAN, the European Business Angels Network.
About The London Business Angels EIS RoundTable Syndicate Fund (2012)
The London Business Angels EIS RoundTable Syndicate Fund is the culmination of 30 years’ experience of pioneering innovation in the UK Angel investment market. This HMRC Approved EIS Fund offers LBA Investors a way to acquire a portfolio of investments, while taking advantage of the personal tax relief offered by the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
About Martlet www.martlet.org.uk/
Martlet is the investment arm of the Marshall of Cambridge group, providing small (initially £10K to £100K) sums of capital for early-stage technology start-ups that are located in the UK, with a bias towards Cambridge and East Anglia. Martlet will almost always co-invest with angels and small seed funds, and has the capacity to follow in subsequent investment rounds.
We focus on companies that have completed the proof of concept stage, and usually will have achieved some sales/grant revenues. In all cases, there must be a strong and demonstrable commercial demand for the technology under development.
As part of the Marshall Group (encompassing aviation, aerospace and commercial/consumer vehicles), with approximately £1 billion of sales, employing over 4000 people, our investees may have the opportunity to work with our operating companies.
About Midven Limited/Early Advantage www.midven.com/
Midven Limited is a privately owned commercial venture capital fund manager with a successful track record of investing in and exiting from small and medium-sized enterprises in the Midlands. Midven manages five funds representing £61m under management. The funds have invested in a wide variety of sectors, including software, bio technology, healthcare, engineering, manufacturing and distribution. Midven’s £8m Early Advantage fund provides investment for small, high growth businesses at start-up and early-stage in the West Midlands.
About Qi3 Accelerator www.qi3.co.uk/accelerator
Qi3 Accelerator is a team of active angel investors which specialises in supporting companies by rapidly commercialising their products; achieving early sales without the expense of full time staff or the payment of high upfront fees. Qi3 Accelerator is suitable for entrepreneurs who know that they need expert and enthusiastic input from our commercial and engineering teams in addition to financial capital. We invest primarily in the domain of High Value Manufacturing and engineering, including the sustainability, security and healthcare sectors.
Experienced investors Nathan Hill, Paul Anson and Tim de Vere Green lead the Qi3 Accelerator team, supported by investment analysis and other skills sourced from Qi3. We work with an Accelerator Club formed from a number of trusted Associates, who offer extensive business, technical and engineering expertise. This allows us to form a flexible ad hoc team to evaluate propositions and then support the business. The Qi3 Accelerator team is linked to several formal and informal Business Angel networks.
About Wren Capital www.wrencapital.co.uk/
Wren Capital specialises in early stage investing across a variety of sectors. Our portfolio currently includes companies in the healthcare, energy, food & drink, and high-tech engineering sectors. Our involvement is tailored to the needs of each business and we aim to be a supportive value-adding investor. We generally follow a co-investment model and have links with a number of universities, business schools, angel networks and a trusted network of high quality investors who share our investment philosophy.
Background notes on the support providers
Cormorant Corporate Finance LLP www.cormorantcf.com
Cormorant is an independent corporate finance advisory firm, that specialises in advising fast growing, privately owned entrepreneurial businesses on their strategic direction and corporate finance requirements. Cormorant focuses particularly on the media and technology industries. Established in 1998 Cormorant provides owners / directors with long term, objective corporate finance and strategic business development advice; including strategy, mergers, acquisitions & disposals, joint ventures & partnerships, debt and equity capital raising, balance sheet structuring and exit strategies.
About Harrison Clark www.harrison-clark.co.uk
Harrison Clark is a leading law firm providing a complete spectrum of City-quality legal services to business and private clients. Harrison Clark’s work in all aspects of law is nationally and internationally recognised. The firm has been a member of MSI Global Alliance, one of the world’s leading international legal and accountancy associations, since 2007 and in 2011 Harrison Clark was again recognised for the quality of its work through listings in Tier 1 of the prestigious Legal 500 and Chamber and Partners lists of the major firms in England and Wales.
About James Cowper http://www.jamescowper.co.uk
James Cowper is a 13 partner firm of accountants and business advisers, based in the Thames Valley but with a client base across the UK and internationally. James Cowper specialise in providing advice on tax, accounting and other business issues to entrepreneurial companies and their shareholders, with a particular specialisation in the technology sector. In 2011 James Cowper were voted Tax Team of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards, particularly for their work on Enterprise Investment Scheme and other venture capital tax reliefs.