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Case Study: Magnomatics

Published: July 2013

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Left to right: Finance Yorkshire Investment Director Andrew Burton, Magnomatics’ Business Development Manager David Latimer, Fusion IP CEO David Baynes and Magnomatics’ CEO Chris Kirby

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The Magnomatics team

The Company

Established in 2006 as a spin-out company from the University of Sheffield, Magnomatics Limited has a range of patented products, including high efficiency, ultra compact motors and generators, as well as magnetic transmission systems.

A clean technology company with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Magnomatics works across sectors including automotive, marine and aerospace.

The Challenge

Chris Kirby, CEO, said: “We were coming out of our proof of concept phase, and through significant customer engagement, had demonstrated benefits to multiple markets.

“We needed finance to further production engineer our innovative products to demonstrate their robustness and suitability for series manufacture. Our goal was to create a platform of unique cost-effective electro-mechanical products that would be applicable to the global markets that we had identified, with an initial focus on hybrid electric vehicles in the automotive and marine sectors.

“Through consistently delivering technology assessment projects for our customers, we had grown with very little investor support for the first six years of Magnomatics. We had reached a stage where, to develop further, we required external funding to enable us to grow our engineering team and mature our products so that we could win larger contracts.”

The Solution

Chris said: “We approached Finance Yorkshire because we were aware they were interested in supporting companies like ours, involved in green, high technology. We believed our expansion plans fitted their remit for potential investment.”

Finance Yorkshire provided £1.1million Equity Linked Investment which attracted a matching £1.1million co-investment from new investor IP Group plc, together with additional funding of approximately £350,000 from existing investor Fusion IP.

The funding round has helped Magnomatics to more than double its workforce and advance its products. From 12 employees at the beginning of last year, the current workforce is in excess of 30, the majority of which are experienced and highly qualified engineers.

“The funding meant we could take our proven technology and prepare for production - driving down costs, demonstrating robustness and engaging with our customers at a more advanced level,” said Chris.

The Investment Rationale

Andrew Burton, Finance Yorkshire Investment Director, said: “We have great faith in Magnomatics’ products and its people. Chris is a chartered engineer who has previous experience of forming – and successfully selling – a spin-out company and David Latimer, brings with him a wealth of know-how and skills from his previous CEO roles at companies of all sizes. 

“This is a substantial co-investment which has led to the creation of a number of high level new jobs and will hopefully help take the company to an ever-increasing global customer base.”

Future Expectations

Business Development Manager, David Latimer, said: “We are already working in Japan and the US as well as Europe but want to grow our global customer base further.

“We aim to become a major Sheffield company that helps bring the region’s strengths in engineering design and advanced manufacturing to the world stage.”

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Editors Notes…

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