Regional funds like the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund are helping small firms to attract bigger investments, as one recent case shows.
Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), a Sheffield business that has developed post-processing machinery for 3D printed parts, secured a £750,000 investment in February this year from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
The Mercia team – consisting of Will Clark and Megan Noble – have worked with founder Joseph Crabtree and the firm’s advisers since then to provide support and help it build its board. The company has now completed a £4m Series A funding round led by DSW Venturing and Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund.
AMT aims to be the world leader in automated 3D post-processing technology. Currently, up to 60% of the manufacturing costs of a 3D printed part are attributed to the manual post processing that consists of cleaning and polishing the part, which erodes the benefits of using 3D printing.
AMT aims to unlock the use of 3D printing for high volume production of industrial parts and allow for fully automated manufacturing workflow. Its first commercial solution, PostPro3D, transforms a 3D printed part into a sealed, smoothed and performance enhanced part suitable for end use in applications such as medical, consumer sportswear and aerospace.
Will Clark, Fund Principal, said: “3D-printed components can require high levels of post-production finishing, which slows production and adds in cost. Joseph’s vision is to automate these processes to create a complete digital manufacturing system, which would encourage the uptake of 3D printing across a much wider range of products. We have been impressed by Joseph’s laser focus in developing his AMT business in Sheffield. The investment by NPIF earlier this year has been the catalyst for the latest funding round.”
Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities. We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to unlock the North’s growth potential by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.