FreeFlow Technologies gears up for production following £1.65m funding round led by Kelvin Capital
East Kilbride-based FreeFlow Technologies (FFT), which has developed a light power to weight e-Bike motor, is moving into production following the completion of a £1.65 million funding round led by investment syndicate Kelvin Capital.
The new investment will accelerate the production of units from its Scottish production line in 2022, ready to be sold into the fast-growing e-Bike sector.
Chaired by Martin McCourt, former Global CEO of Dyson, the business completed a previous funding round in November 2020 securing £1.85m which saw them move to new headquarters and R&D facility in East Kilbride and adding senior technical positions and assembly engineers. The company also raised £1.8m in October 2018. The latest funding will see additional staff recruited across electrical and software engineering, process engineering and design.
The latest funding round, led by Kelvin Capital, brings the total raised by FFT to £5.3m. The latest round was also supported by Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise and many private individuals.
Over 70 cycling brands from specialist handmade through to global currently have FFT’s ETS (Electronic Transmission System) unit on their radar for integration into their e-Bike ranges. In November 2021 FFT announced its first OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) partnership with British gravel bike maker and wooden frame specialist Twmpa Cycles at Rouleur Live, the international cycling exhibition.
FFT’s “novel” patented e-Bike transmission system is more lightweight, compact, with the motor and battery easily assembled into the bicycle frame rather than an oversized attachment as is common with current electric bikes. This achieves a look that makes the e-Bike look, and ride like a normal bike, a key requirement for brands and their end customers. The system also connects the independent bike shops around the world to FFT as the ETS system can be serviced in store, this give bike shops a new revenue in parts and labour
FFT, founded in 2012 in Glasgow by e-Bike innovator Neil MacMartin following 15 years in his family bike business, has a senior management team made up of experts in design, development, financial planning and cycling industry experts.
The growth of the global electric bike market continues to increase apace with the sector expected to exceed £11.8bn in 2023 from £4.9bn in 2018 according to the Confederation of the European Bike Industry and The Light Electric Vehicle Association.
Martin McCourt, chairman of FreeFlow Technologies, said: “FreeFlow Technology will soon be on sale, incorporated into a number of leading bike brands, and we are thrilled to have had such enthusiastic support from our existing investors as well as several new ones.
David Hemming, managing director of FreeFlow Technologies, added: “Despite the impact of Covid on societies around the world over the last two years the demand and adoption of e-Bikes continues to grow significantly, which is being reflected in the number of cycle manufacturers reaching out to us. One of the major appeals of the FreeFlow system for e-Bike designers is that it is very much ‘plug and play’ and can work in harmony with a brand’s existing battery or switch suppliers. It has also been commented that it makes an e-Bike look and feel like a normal bike which is a big attraction for consumers.”
John McNicol from Kelvin Capital, commented: “The rise in the number of people taking to cycling and e-biking was already rising before the impact of Covid and that has increased significantly in the last two years. The impressive progress made by FreeFlow Technologies to move to production, its increasing reputation in the global cycling sector and its impressive management team means that Kelvin Capital is delighted to continue to back the business.”
Fraser Lusty. director at Equity Gap, said: “Equity Gap investors are pleased to be continuing their backing of David and the team at FreeFlow. The investment allows them to accelerate their product partnerships and the first adoption of the technology from e-bike users which is a very exciting and pivotal time for the company.”
Scottish Enterprise director of growth investments Kerry Sharp, said: “Scottish Enterprise is proud to have supported Freeflow’s growth journey as it moves from development phase into manufacturing of its e-bike transmission system technology which it aims to supply to major brand e-bike manufacturers from its base in East Kilbride.
“Supporting every key stage of the business lifecycle is a vital part of our approach whilst also ensuring innovative companies are capitalising on climate change opportunities for a growing and greener Scottish economy.”