Nottingham smart textiles firm weaves in additional investment to support expansion plans

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Foresight Group LLP has announced a further £749k equity investment into Footfalls and Heartbeats Limited through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), leading a £1.5m round with additional backing from the University of Nottingham and several new and existing High Net Worth Investors.

Footfalls develops and manufactures patented smart sensor fabrics that can measure various data points including relative pressure, in addition to absolute pressure through its fibre optic technology which have applications in a range of fields from compression bandages in the medical sector to sports apparel used by athletes.

The new investment is to be used by the Company to continue staff expansion as well as the continued development of advanced technology to develop new and exciting products.

In October 2018, Foresight made MEIF’s original investment of £249k into the Company as part of an initial £800k round having been impressed by the opportunity and the strong management team. Since then the Company has continued to grow its customer base and develop new innovative products for a global market that is increasingly demanding intelligent fabrics.

Chairman of Footfalls, David Whelan, said: “Our ethos and drive is to change the world, especially in the field of healthcare. However, we realised we couldn’t do this alone.  With not only the help of a substantial investment of £1 million from Foresight, but also with their continued support, advice and encouragement, we are really starting to make exciting headway in the world of smart textiles.”

This investment round will fund the expansion of the team adding further expertise in electronics, fibre optics and business development and will enable the Company to streamline existing product lines and roll out its next generation products, particularly within the medical industry.

Jordan Lavender, Investment Manager at Foresight, added: “We have been delighted with the commercial progress Footfalls has made since our initial investment late last year. The management team continues to work with this revolutionary technology and Foresight is excited to support this local technology company.”

Ken Cooper, MD at the British Business Bank said: “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund was created to support the ambition of companies like Footfalls and Heartbeats, providing funding to bring forward innovation and support growth. It’s great to see MEIF investment driving product development and employment in technology-backed companies.”

CEO of D2N2, Sajida Rose said of the investment: “Nottingham has always been a centre for innovation, from the MRI machine to HP sauce, and it’s that ingenuity that helps drive our economy forward. D2N2 is pleased to see this investment by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund into the latest example of Nottingham innovation, the benefits of which will hopefully be felt far wider than just our region.”