Moving from research and development (R&D) to commercialisation is a rite of passage for early-stage companies. But bringing your innovations to market is no mean feat and requires a lot of financial firepower and expertise. Fortunately, UMi Go Further Index sponsor FactorTech is on hand to provide innovative short term secured lending as an equity substitute/bridging finance against high-grade receivables to companies in need of additional capital to reach their customers. Here, we speak to fast-growing ZPN Energy about their journey with Factortech over the last 18 months.

Innovation is an expensive business.  

For many start-ups, commercialisation is the stage at which their capital requirements are most intense. Headcount is typically growing exponentially, while things like equipment, production facilities, permits and licences, marketing and business management gobble up any and all cash reserves.  

Getting the right financial help at the right time is critical.  

Through its flexible funding solutions, FactorTech supports businesses on their innovation journey with access to capital secured against things like R&D tax credits and other government-backed   grant funding.  

For energy management specialist ZPN Energy, FactorTech’s credit line has proved vital in helping the company commercialise.  

Ian Stillie, CEO of ZPN Energy, says: “One of the things about commercialising an R&D company is you’ve got a lot of good ideas that could struggle to make money initially.  

“Normally in that kind of scenario, if you go down the traditional route with business angels and equity investment, the issue you’ve got is they take too much of the company.  

“That’s why we looked at FactorTech because they were able to provide structured funding that allowed us to use venture debt as a way of increasing equity in the company.” 

ZPN Energy is at the forefront of electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, manufacturing some of the most advanced rapid charging units in Europe.  

“We can give you 80% battery charge in less than 30 minutes, no matter which car,” adds Ian.  

Key to ZPN Energy’s offer is its battery storage units, which utilise the company’s proprietary power sharing technology to monitor energy usage and identify where to make improvements to prevent unnecessary consumption and load. 

This power sharing IP is also being deployed in horizontal markets, with ZPN developing applications for home energy management, building energy management and grid energy management.  

As the demand for electricity increases in line with the rapid reduction of fossil fuel consumption, the conventional grid, with its ageing electrical and structural infrastructure, will need help to power the forthcoming low carbon economy.  

Energy management and smart grid technologies will therefore become central in the future and ZPN is hoping to play a pivotal role in this area.  

Ian says: “The problem we solve is that the grid is limited. Our battery storage technology and our software will allow us to power up the electrification process and drive efficiency.  

“We think we’re ahead of the game.” 

Given the fact that global energy usage is set to double by 2050, Ian could well be right.  

To power the electric cars, homes and factories of the future with the next generation of renewable energies, a smart solution for energy management, storage and distribution is going to be vital.  

Over the last 18 months, FactorTech has provided ZPN Energy with a flexible finance secured facility that has allowed it to invest in its energy management system, EV charging points and the wider product line.  

The company is now preparing to scale-up rapidly and be a vehicle for the electrification revolution.  

Ian says: “FactorTech have been amazing for us. They’ve allowed us to get through a really tough period, which we’ve done.  

“We’re now positioning ourselves for a significant equity investment and international expansion in the last six months of this year.” 

Plotting expansion into Europe, the Middle East and Asia, ZPN Energy is now in a much stronger position to take investment than it would have been before working with FactorTech.  

This is very much the core of FactorTech’s offer – they will strengthen your hand when investors come knocking.  

Key takeaways: 

  • ZPN Energy has developed a rapid EV charging point that can deliver 80% charge to an EV battery in less than 30 minutes. The company is applying its energy management system to deliver smart grid solutions: https://www.zpnenergy.com/  
  • FactorTech has been supporting ZPN with flexible finance for the last 18 months secured against Innovate UK and HMRC funding.  
  • If you’re an innovative R&D company that needs capital to commercialise, get in touch with the FactorTech team to see how they could help: https://factortech.co.uk/ 

Related campaign: 

The Go Further Investment Index celebrates progressive businesses who are pushing through and achieving their aspirations through access to investment, impactful collaborations, and the foresight to inform and respond to the changing world around them.

You can read this year's Go Further Investment Index here.  

For more info visit www.gofurtherindex.co.uk.

Richard Dawson
Article by Richard Dawson
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