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Finance Wales Invest 1.5m in Warwick Audio Technologies

University of Warwick spin-out company Warwick Audio Technologies (WAT) has secured a £1.5 million investment to develop their innovative FFL, ‘flat flexible laminate’, loudspeaker technology.

WAT was set up with support from the University’s technology transfer office, Warwick Ventures, and funding from Porton Capital Inc and the Birmingham-based Mercia Technology Fund. The company plans to launch its first commercial product using the technology this year.

At between 0.25 to 1mm thick, the speaker developed by WAT is lightweight and flexible enough to fit into most contoured spaces, making it ideal for applications such as car interiors where space is at a premium. Its unique directional quality means it could also be used in advertising display panels, or public address systems.

The investment has been led by Finance Wales which has committed £600,000 equity in the business. The original investors, Porton Capital Inc. and Mercia Technology Fund are also investing, putting Warwick Audio Technologies firmly on track to bringing the FFL technology to market.

“This investment puts Warwick Audio Technologies in a really strong position to make the FFL technology a major market success,” says Warwick Audio Technologies’ CEO, Steve Couchman. “Already we are having discussions with a range of potential partners representing leading brands, each of whom has seen a different, innovative end use for the product. We believe the potential for growth is enormous.”

The spin-out company plans to establish an engineering and prototype manufacturing headquarters facility in South Wales as part of the investment.

John Mihell, Early Stage Investment Executive at Finance Wales, said: “Warwick Audio Technologies has developed a novel technology capable of transforming the way speakers can be used in different environments. Our investment will support the commercialisation of this exciting project and the further development of the technology in Wales.”

David Calvert, of Warwick Ventures, said: “Warwick Audio Technologies’ loudspeaker technology has really caught the imaginations of both investors and potential business partners. We’re very excited by this company’s prospects.”

Tim Hazell, of the Mercia Technology Fund, said: “Given the difficulty in the current climate for early stage technology companies to raise further funding, it is testimony to the efforts of the management team and the enormous potential of the technology that this fund raising round has been so successful.”

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