FreeFlow e-bike firm lands £1.7m deal and ex-Dyson CEO

FreeFlow will use the funding to expand to accelerate commercialisation of its e-bike system. Picture: contributed
FreeFlow will use the funding to expand to accelerate commercialisation of its e-bike system. Picture: contributed
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A Glasgow-based e-bike company has secured a seven-figure funding package and gained two high-profile board members in a deal to help commercialise its product.

FreeFlow Technologies has agreed a £1.7 million investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, a collaboration between investment manager Foresight and technology and engineering business Williams Advanced Engineering, which it will use to expand its operations and accelerate commercialisation of its e-bike system.

As part of the investment, Martin McCourt, former chief executive of Dyson, will join FreeFlow’s board as chairman, while Neil Edwards, who spent five years as group operations director with Dyson, will join as chief technology officer and director.

McCourt served as Dyson chief executive for 15 years and is chairman of a variety of companies, including in the electrical heating sector.

FreeFlow is developing a patented e-bike system which aims to be lightweight, compact, and provide higher power density than existing systems.

Founded in 2012 by Neil MacMartin following more than 15 years’ experience in his family’s Glasgow-based bike business, FreeFlow designed its technology to make e-bikes more efficient when powered, but allow them to be ridden as a manually-operated bike when unpowered.

Chief executive James Shepherd said: “We’re excited to be partnering with a world-class team on the development and launch of our compact, high performance e-bike system, into the rapidly growing global e-bike market.”

John Holden, director at Foresight, said FreeFlow’s “innovative” technology suited the group’s investment plan. He said: “The fund’s strategy is to support innovative UK businesses with disruptive technologies.

“FreeFlow is a great example of engineering innovation in a relatively new and fast-growing market. We look forward to working with the FreeFlow team as they grow their business and helping with the commercialisation of their product.”

Craig Wilson, managing director at Williams Advanced Engineering, which previously worked in the e-bike market with Brompton Bicycle, added: “We have experience in the e-bike market already, having worked on the Brompton Electric.

“This marks a further positive development to our work in electrification and technology development on two wheels as an additional aspect to our company’s diversification.”