Seven-figure funding boost for ambitious Edinburgh sensor firm

CFO Andy Laing.
CFO Andy Laing.
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An Edinburgh-based infrared sensor specialist has secured seven-figure funding spearheaded by a renowned venture capitalist.

Pyreos, which was spun out of German industrial giant Siemens in 2007, has secured £1.7 million from the syndicate of new investors led by Jon Moulton’s family office Perscitus alongside existing shareholders.

The tech firm said the latest investment brings the total it has raised since 2015 to almost £7m, “and sets the basis for more ambitious product development”.

The funds will be used to boost commercial expansion, building on its recent sales growth and the start of field trials and mass-production by several customers.

Pyreos describes itself as the world’s only supplier of thin film pyroelectric sensors used for passively sensing infra red light, “and are typically very small, fast, sensitive, energy-efficient and accurate”.

The sensors are mainly used for gas and flame sensing, food safety, and for monitoring oil and fuel in engines, with Pyreos seeing these growth markets as having a combined accessible value estimated at $1.2 billion a year in 2018.

Its existing shareholders include Seraphim Capital, London Business Angels, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, the Scottish Investment Bank and Siemens Technology Accelerator.

The latest funding follows what Pyreos describes as a busy year, growing revenues by 50 per cent, with exports comprising about 80 per cent of sales thanks to major markets including China, Korea, the US and India.

It added that products launched in the last year containing its chips include an oil analyser developed by Parker Kittiwake, on sale to shipping operators and navys worldwide, and several fire-detection and CCTV devices made by South Korean customers. Field trials are under way for “several” other applications with many customer product developments in the pipeline.

Chief financial officer Andy Laing, formerly of Archangels, said: “We’re delighted to welcome a new set of professional investors with the appetite to support further growth and product development. This funding sets the basis for more ambitious product development in the future.

“Our sensors are also already used in a wide array of industrial applications.”

The lead investor in the syndicate is one of the investment vehicles owned by Moulton, who founded private equity vehicle Better Capital.