Glasgow firm behind 'next generation' wheelchair embarks on fresh fundraise

A Glasgow-based powered wheelchair specialist is looking to raise fresh capital as it takes its advanced design to market.

Freedom One Life, the Glasgow-based specialist in the design and production of advanced powered wheelchairs, is seeking fresh capital in order to take its next-generation Series 5 model to market.

Freedom One Life is aiming to raise equity funding via crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to supplement the backing it has received from existing investors.

Those backers are: Murray Capital; Ian Marchant, the former chief executive of power giant SSE; and Stuart Macdonald, the founder and managing director of cyber security firm Seric, who all continue to support the business.

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Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency, has also contributed more than £250,000 of grant funding.

Company founder Alex Papanikolaou, who has cerebral palsy and uses a powered wheelchair on a daily basis, was frustrated by constantly breaking down and being stranded by unreliable powerchairs. He decided to address the problem himself and founded the business in 2013.

The firm’s “next-generation” Series 5 model is the result of years of research and development and thousands of hours of testing.

Papanikolaou said: “In creating the Series 5, we have designed a powerchair that combines lived experience with industry leading design. Test drives in our powerchair leave huge smiles on users' faces.

“This fundraise will allow us to take the Series 5 to full commercial launch, including the manufacture of demo chairs for the well-established distributor market across the UK and Europe, as we seek to become a leader in a market that is expected to more than double in value to £9.2 billion globally by 2027.”

The firm has previously secured three funding rounds totalling more than £1.2 million.

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