FreeFlow Technologies secures £1.85m in oversubscribed funding round
Glasgow-founded FreeFlow Technologies (FFT), the developers of the world’s lightest power to weight e-Bike motor, has secured £1.85 million from a heavily over-subscribed funding round.
The new funding round was led by investment syndicate Kelvin Capital and supported by Equity Gap, Foresight Williams and Scottish Enterprise. The company raised £1.8m in an earlier funding round in October 2018.
The new investment will support a move to a new headquarters and R&D facility in East Kilbride and further strengthen the team with senior technical positions and assembly engineers recruited.
FFT’s “novel” patented e-Bike transmission system is more lightweight, compact and provides a higher power density than other products, 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 company has also developed an unprecedented mechanical transmission system for fixed wheel bikes that allows the rider to freewheel, whilst retaining the smooth ride quality of fixed wheel.
There are already a number of brands working on frame designs to incorporate the new FreeFlow Technologies ETS (Electronic Transmission System) into bikes for launch into the market in 2021.
Founded in 2012 in Glasgow by e-Bike innovator Neil MacMartin following 15 years in his family bike business, FFT has a senior management team made up of experts in design, development, financial planning and cycling industry experts.
Chaired by Martin McCourt, former CEO of Dyson, FFT is poised to meet the demand from a number of large global bike and automotive brands by delivering a market ready product in 2021.
The rapidly growing electric bike market was worth £4.9bn in 2018 and is expected to grow to £11.8bn in 2023 according to the Confederation of the European Bike Industry and The Light Electric Vehicle Association.
Martin McCourt, chairman of FreeFlow Technologies, said: “The e-Bike market is booming as many sections of society seek alternatives to public transport and take a greater interest in their personal health. Great trends that truly benefit our citizens and our environment. The FreeFlow drive system transforms the look and riding performance of e-Bikes. Now an e-Bike can look like a normal bike, and ride like one!”
David Hemming, managing director of FreeFlow Technologies, added: “Before Covid hit the world the e-Bike sector was forecasted to grow by double digits each year for the foreseeable future however the global pandemic has changed the way people think about bikes across all walks of life. The needs of exercise and wellbeing and the need for a viable transportation options to and from work that is an alternative to public transport are now high on the public’s mind.
“The COVID pandemic has also accelerated the cargo/last mile delivery sector as well with many companies looking to get deliveries from suppliers to end consumers with increased urgency and efficiency. This sector is also on a huge growth curve with e-Bikes being seen as a significant part of that solution, particularly in urban areas of the world.”
John McNicol from Kelvin Capital, said: “The events of 2020 has brought an unexpected rise in the number of people cycling and, in particularly e-Bike sales, something that hasn’t been seen since the 2012 Olympics. Kelvin Capital is delighted to back FreeFlow Technologies with this investment round. It is a business bringing innovation to a well-established market with an impressive management team including the ex-senior exec team of Dyson and business leadership from major cycling brands such as Cannondale, Rapha, Marin Bikes and Whyte Bikes.”
Chris Wiles, senior investment manager at Foresight Group, commented: “The e-Bike market has grown much more quickly than we had initially expected, and we are delighted to see FreeFlow close this substantial funding round to finalise development and bring the product to market in 2021.”