Tech group Pyreos aims to treble sales in key US market

Pyreos chief executive Andrew Wallace said there were 'huge markets' in the US and other key territories
Pyreos chief executive Andrew Wallace said there were 'huge markets' in the US and other key territories
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Edinburgh tech spin-out Pyreos aims to treble sales in the United States and is eyeing growth in other key markets as it prepares to launch new applications for its passive infra-red sensors.

The company – which develops high-end technology used in devices such as motion sensors, gas detectors and food safety – will begin its US drive next week in California as part of an alliance of firms attending the Photonics West trade show with Scottish Enterprise.

The three-day event beginning 16 February in San Francisco is the largest of its kind in North America, attracting some 1,300 suppliers and more than 20,000 visitors.

Product manager David Armstrong will lead the team from Pyreos, which employs 30 people from its base at the Scottish Microelectronics Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Armstrong said: “What sets Pyreos apart from its competitors is its technology – its sensors work in the mid infra-red spectral range, which allows them to detect the “fingerprints” of chemicals and other substances instead of just their “shadows”, which is all that many competitor devices do because they operate in the near infra-red spectral range.

“It’s important for our business to showcase our products to the US market, where we have ambitions to triple our existing turnover during the next two years.”

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The company has yet to release its latest figures for 2015, although sales will likely be in line with the previous year’s turnover of roughly £500,000. Exports account for 85 per cent of all sales, with US customers generating 17 per cent of total turnover.

Andrew Wallace, who joined Pyreos as chief executive in February 2015, said there were “huge markets” in the US and other key territories such as China, Germany and South Korea for the company’s technology. Demand is highest in industries such as food production, automobile analysis and semiconductor manufacturing.

However, the firm is set to launch a number of new applications in the coming months, including a key announcement expected in May at the Sensor+Test trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany.

Pyreos has further strengthened its management team in preparation for expansion. In the wake of a £2.5m fundraising earlier in 2015, two new non-executives joined the board in October, followed by the appointment of Archangels investment executive Andy Laing as chief financial officer in December.

The technology used by Pyreos was developed by Siemens, which invested £7m and 75 man-years of research before the Scottish company was spun out from the German industrial giant in 2007. Siemens remains a main shareholder in Pyreos, which has more than 130 patents covering its intellectual property.

Other backers include Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Braveheart’s Strathtay Ventures, the Scottish Investment Bank and Seraphim Capital, each of whom backed last year’s funding round.