Case Study: Power Roll


Power Roll operates at the cutting edge of green energy, aiming to significantly increase the worldwide uptake of solar power and support the transition to net zero. Its disruptive technology relies on a novel architecture called “microgrooves,” similar to a hologram, designed to produce solar power on virtually any surface, all over the world.

Maven has invested in Power Roll at various stages of the company’s development, laying the foundations for long-term success. Our first investment helped to fund the business’ new pilot manufacturing plant in County Durham to service its growing list of UK and international customers. Earlier this year we provided additional funding to help the business scale in order to commence commercial production of its patented, next-generation solar energy solutions.

In this video, Neil Spann, CEO of Power Roll and Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven, discuss the importance of working collaboratively when there is a common vision for driving the business forward and how a supportive investor can provide management teams with the right platform for growth.



Neil Spann: Here at Power Roll, we've developed and we're now scaling a completely new way to harness green energy from the sun. We use microstructures smaller than human hair, using earth abundant materials and high-speed roll-to-roll manufacturing processes, that means that we can generate energy on virtually any surface.

We've proven the science of our technology, and it is groundbreaking. It's patented in over 100 countries around the world now, but we've needed investment to grow and in particular to build a pilot manufacturing facility here and County Durham, so we were looking for investment to build that manufacturing facility and then to prove that concept as we then drove on to the next stage of our growth strategy.

Our next step is to build the first scale commercial factory here in the North East, making a million square meters of our solar film every year. We're looking to grow that plant to a gigafactory and it will be the first Gigafactory for solar ever in the UK. And then internationally, we're looking to scale the business by licensing our technology overseas, where we're partnered with companies in Japan, in India, in Europe, to set up plants, create green jobs in those areas, and take off our solar film to to the market.

Michael Dickens: Power Roll was the right fit for Maven as it was the perfect mix of technology which had been proven; a management team with the drive, experience and commitment to take this business to the next stage. The market dynamic, as there is no doubt to drive to renewable energies and also the market size share. This product can go on almost any roof, any surface, anywhere in the world and assist with generating electricity, which is obviously renewable.

Neil Spann: We'd obviously heard about Maven as being an investor in exciting North East businesses and through one of our advisors, we were introduced to Michael and the team. We were based essentially at lab scale, and we were looking for a bigger premises to build our pilot factory. And Maven helped us in terms of facilities by introductions into Business Durham, and also the funding opportunities here in County Durham, which really did help pull a package of measures together, which made the premises we're in today, Jade Business Park, you know, that compelling proposition.

Michael Dickens: Maven's approach to the investment into Power Roll has been to support the business once it's hit key commercial, technical and developmental milestones, to ensure that the business at each point of their progression has sufficient capital to take it to the next stage.

Neil Spann: The ongoing relationship with Maven is really like a partnership and collaboration. We work very closely with Michael and his team and we're really pleased that we've had to following rounds with Maven and both of those have worked very smoothly, have been completed quickly, and that's really helped us to scale into pilot manufacturing, and it's helped us build this facility here in County Durham, where we now employ 40 people making demonstration rolls of our film, and basically this is a really important milestone for the business as we then scale to full scale manufacturing here in the North East and globally, so it was very critical to get that pilot factory up and running, and, you know, we're very excited about the potential moving forward.

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