Direct Investments

Acoustics firm set to revolutionise in-car audio with £7m fundraise

Warwick Acoustics – the Mercia-backed company whose patented loudspeaker technology is set to revolutionise in-car audio systems – has raised a further £7m in a funding round led by Mercia and including NFU Mutual and a range of private investors.

The funding will enable the company to invest in a new state of art manufacturing facility and ramp up manufacturing capacity. It follows its success in securing its first production contract with a leading global luxury vehicle manufacturer.

Warwick Acoustics’ electrostatic speakers provide superior sound quality compared to conventional speakers and, due to their slim profile, offer greater flexibility to designers in terms of cabin layout. They are also more sustainable. Being 90% lighter and 90% more power efficient than conventional speakers, they help to extend the battery life and range of electric vehicles. They are manufactured from upcycled and easy to recycle materials, and, unlike conventional loudspeakers, use no rare earth metals.

A spin-out from Warwick University’s engineering department, the Nuneaton-based company has already used its technology to launch a range of premium headphone systems, which have won over 30 industry awards and retail at prices up to £50,000.

Warwick Acoustics’ first automotive system production contract, which was announced in June last year, will initially be for two vehicle programs. The company has also secured development contracts with a number of other car companies, and is in talks with other leading global brands.

Dr Mike Grant (pictured), Warwick Acoustics’ CEO, said: “I’m delighted that we have concluded our latest fundraise, and in doing so am able to welcome NFU Mutual to the shareholder register. The support we have received from these major institutions is a testament to the hard work and outstanding commercial progress that my team have been able to make over the last eighteen months. 

“This raise provides the business with an outstanding foundation on which to move forward and complete the initial commercialisation of the technology for the automotive market. Completing the journey into production on our first significant and highly complex system production automotive contract will be a springboard for the business to accelerate its financial performance and realise fully its potential on a global scale.  We are excited by the potential opportunities ahead of us that this funding round will enable us to address.”

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management PLC, added: “We have supported Warwick Acoustics since 2009, as the business resolved technical challenges and progressed in the commercialisation of its technology. Its headphone systems have received global acclaim as best in class products, and the automotive production agreement signed last year was a landmark achievement. The company is now gaining significant commercial traction and attracting interest from the leading players in the premium automotive market. We look forward to continuing our support for the team to help themrealise the disruptive, world-beating potential of this business.”