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VC invests £1.25m in low carbon firms

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A venture capital group, the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) has made a series investments worth £1.25 million in early stage companies across the region.

LCIF, which is operated by the University of East Anglia and supported by the European Regional Development Fund, has made early stage investments in Weeding Technologies, iSotera, Breathing Buildings, Trident Energy and Teraview. Law firm Mills & Reeve acted for the fund.

To date, LCIF has raised almost £5 million for East of England SMEs which are developing low carbon processes and products. Mills & Reeve corporate finance partner Zickie Lim, said: “Early stage VCs such as LCIF are vital to providing SMEs who are developing innovative energy efficient technologies with the support they need to help boost the region’s economy.”

The latest round of investments will assist:

•           Weeding Technologies on the development of its groundbreaking weed killer Foamstream, which is made from 100 per cent natural, renewable plant oils and sugars and uses a combination of hot water, steam and natural foam to kill weeds

•           Cambridge-based lighting network company iSotera to develop its intelligent LED lighting system which is both energy efficient and faster, cheaper and safer for contractors to install

•           University of Cambridge spin out Breathing Buildings to develop and commercialise its innovative e-stack natural ventilation system using the principles of low energy mixing ventilation in winter and natural upward displacement ventilation in the summer

•           Trident Energy, an independent developer of enabling technology for the offshore renewables industry, to develop a low cost, high reliability generator that converts linear motion directly into electricity

•           Teraview, a company at the forefront of global developments in terahertz light, to create terahertz instruments which can generate, detect and manipulate radiation to characterise a wide range of materials

LCIF initially invested in Teraview in December 2011 with  a further investment in 2012. The company has received further funding from the Technology Strategy Board to help transition its technology from the lab into production environments.

John French, CEO of LCIF, said: “2012 has been a busy year for LCIF and Mills & Reeve’s expertise in the early stage investment field has been invaluable in bringing these transactions to a successful close”.

Mills & Reeve corporate finance partner Zickie Lim, said: “Early stage VCs such as LCIF are vital to providing SMEs who are developing innovative energy efficient technologies with the support they need to help boost the region’s economy.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 December 2012 16:00 )