Published: Dec 02, 2020
Focus: NPIF Maven Equity Finance
Lancashire-based manufacturer of innovative connected electrical solutions Extreme Low Energy Ltd (ELe®) has pioneered a new Eco Off-Grid Leisure Kit to meet the surge in demand for staycations, following a £750,000 investment from NPIF - Maven Equity Finance, which is managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
In addition to the new product line, the firm has also increased revenue by 220 per cent in the last 12 months and grown the team by more than a third.
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneur and investor Mark Buchanan, ELe® offers an effective energy and carbon saving alternative to traditional power supplies that require bulky, inefficient, energy wasting transformers. Its patented DC power infrastructure works on various ultra-low power devices, with the micro-grid systems typically running on 50 – 70 per cent less energy than existing AC alternatives.
ELe® has already successfully deployed low energy power distribution infrastructures into the UK and African education sectors, as well as UK offices, warehouses and social housing markets.
After receiving the £750,000 equity investment from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance in 2018, the firm began the next phase in its growth journey which included expanding the team, technology and product development capabilities.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company saw an influx in demand from the leisure industry for energy efficient power solutions for remote locations, such as glamping pods and shepherd huts. In response, ELe® developed and launched their new range of Eco Off-Grid Leisure Kits: Spruce Kit, Willow Kit and Oak Kit which provide low energy lighting, heating and power to remote locations, retrofit kits are also available. Operating on solar and battery power technology, the equipment utilises SMART technology, including wireless switches and Alexa voice control.
Since the new product line was launched in September 2020, ELe® has already taken orders for over 20 kits from Leisure POD manufacturers and customers deploying remote facilities, delivering over 300 per cent uplift in sales compared with the same period in 2019. Additionally, the firm pressed on with recruitment plans during the pandemic and has welcomed two new full-time members of staff, taking their total headcount to nine, with plans in place to grow that by a further five people in the next 12 months.
ELe® is also looking to expand into new sectors and is currently working on a response to the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to help make schools more energy efficient. The housing market is another key area of growth for the firm with government and council Net-Zero targets driving developers and housing associations to implement gas-free energy efficient heating and hot water solutions, which is anticipated to develop even further over the next 12 months.
Mark Buchanan, founder and CEO of Extreme Low Energy Ltd, said: “I am extremely proud of what we have managed to achieve in recent months, especially considering the wider market conditions, with exponential growth in terms of product development and our team. The support from NPIF and Maven has been fantastic. Investment has enabled us to bring our new product to market three to six months sooner than planned, allowing us to serve a demand which continues to grow. I am excited to see what the future holds for ELe® and as a team we look forward to working with both Maven and the British Business Bank on achieving even greater success"
Ryan Bevington, Fund Manager at Maven Capital Partners, said: “Extreme Low Energy Ltd is a brilliant company. They are innovating at a time that is needed most and pioneering solutions to the country’s most pressing environmental issues. The growth to date has been impressive and the future looks equally as bright, so we are happy to be a part of that and will continue to provide support wherever possible.”
Sue Barnard, Senior Relationship Manager at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF is all about supporting trailblazing companies and Extreme Low Energy Ltd is a great example of the level of innovation taking place in the Lancashire region. With the support of our dedicated fund managers and partners, we plan to build on the momentum we’ve achieved so far and support even more SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region.”