North East Venture Fund

IoT tech company raises further £480k for expansion

A remote technology company which has trebled in size in the past two years has raised a further £480,000 to help it expand into new markets.

Plexus Innovation, which is based in Durham, has secured £300,000 investment from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia; and £180,000 from the Finance Durham Fund, managed by Maven Capital Partners, established by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham.

Plexus Innovation’s GUARDIAN® technology remotely monitors and measures temperature, CO2, humidity and water systems, enabling insight-driven decisions, reduction of energy use and provision of real-time data for use in compliance reporting. The system also provides automated alerts to highlight potential health risks or failing assets that otherwise may be overlooked.

GUARDIAN® is being used by clients in sectors such as social housing, education, health and care, with clients including believe housing, North Star Housing Group and Careline Lifestyles.  The funding will enable co-founders Ian Murray and Steve Toddto accelerate product development and boost market penetration in other sectors including manufacturing, leisure and hospitality.

The latest investment follows a £400,000 funding round in 2020. Since then the company has tripled to employ an eight-strong team and is planning to create 2 new jobs in the coming months.

Alex Simpson, investment manager at Mercia, said: “Plexus Innovation is on a mission to replace manual measurements and make remote monitoring the norm. The initial funding round enabled Steve and Ian to build their team and establish their presence within the social housing and care sectors. The latest investment will enable them to roll it out to a much wider range of clients.”

Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “Plexus Innovation has developed an innovative proprietary product that addresses legislative issues, pushing compliance and asset management into the 21st Century. The remote technology is attracting high profile clients focused on Net Zero, business improvement and delivering better service to tenants, residents, patients, pupils or their own customers.  This means the market opportunity is significant.”

Ian Murray, founder of Plexus Innovation, said: “We are successfully rolling out our innovative GUARDIAN® technology across a range of sectors and our current clients have uninterrupted compliance management delivered remotely. Providing a digital alternative to manual checks, GUARDIAN® is proven to be cost effective, reliable and accurate. It provides real-time data with a full audit trail, reduces risk and detects a range of key issues not possible via manual measurement.

“This investment means we can now roll out GUARDIAN® even further, helping more finance, environment, compliance, healthcare, facilities managers and maintenance teams to do their job better. We will also enable an instant and significant improvement for those on the road to Net Zero.”

Cllr James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this innovative company as they continue to grow in Tanfield Lea Business Centre.  Through the support from Finance Durham, we can ensure enterprising businesses with dynamic ideas, like Plexus Innovation, have the right means to grow in County Durham.  Since we declared a climate emergency, we have been actively seeking practical support for our business community to enable them to reduce their carbon footprint, its fantastic to hear that Plexus are able to help companies meet their low carbon ambitions.”