NPIF Equity

Industry 4.0 pioneer raises £1.5m for smart sensor technology

A Sheffield company whose smart sensors allow industry to reduce wear and tear and cut energy costs has raised a further £1.5m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and Mercia’s EIS funds.

Tribosonics embeds sensors within the moving parts of machinery to monitor factors such as friction, pressure and temperature. It systems incorporate advanced analytics and provide data in real time to help companies improve process efficiency, extend plant life and reduce maintenance and energy use.

Tribosonics’ technology is used in the manufacturing, energy and transport industries. The company has attracted a global client base including ENGEL, a world-market leader in injection moulding, and automotive parts manufacturer Novares.

The investment will help the company to further develop its ‘sensing as a service’ solutions including polymerSENSE, which helps to reduce waste in the polymer and plastics recycling industry. Tribosonics has increased the size of its Sheffield team by 50% since late 2020, bringing the total to 30, and expects to create a number of new jobs in the year ahead.

The latest funding round brings the total raised to date to £2.6m and follows an initial round by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance in 2020.

Will Schaffer, Investment Director at Mercia, said: “Tribosonics is a pioneer of Industry 4.0, which will transform manufacturing through the use of connected machines. Its sensor technology offers huge potential to improve efficiency and reduce energy use, which is a key challenge for industry now. The company has maintained steady growth and built a strong blue-chip client base since the last funding round. The latest investment will allow the team to develop more novel solutions.”

Glenn Fletcher, Tribosonics CEO, said: “We’re on an exciting growth journey as we deploy our innovative, game-changing and IP protected sensing solutions to increase value for our customers and to make a significant contribution to decarbonisation across a number of industries. It’s important to have the right investors with us on the journey and Mercia has proved to be a great partner, providing not only growth capital but also invaluable support based on its experience and understanding of what it takes to grow a tech business. We’re looking forward continuing the journey, making a real difference and further enhancing our partnership with Mercia across all fronts.”

Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank, said: “Seeing companies like Tribosonics make such an impact on their chosen markets is testament to the North’s ability to create and grow innovative companies and clearly demonstrates the impact NPIF equity funds can have on businesses with skilled teams, ambitious growth plan, and world leading technology.  With further funding, Glenn and his team will be able to roll out a number of new changes, placing them and Sheffield as leaders when it comes to developing sensing systems. NPIF aims to help unlock growth across the North of England, and with this investment, Tribosonics is another example of a business accessing finance to achieve its goals.”

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.