No disguising business success for Chameleon after investment

Left to right: Finance Yorkshire’s Andrew Burton, Chameleon Director Mike Woodhall with Alex McWhirter, Chief Executive of Finance Yorkshire

A North Yorkshire technology firm which develops in-home energy devices which help customers monitor and reduce their energy consumption has become the first business to benefit from a new type of investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Chameleon Technology (UK) Ltd’s bespoke In-Home Display units (IHDs) communicate wirelessly with new digital or 'smart' meters and measure and analyse energy use and environmental impact for homes and businesses, allowing consumers to improve their carbon footprint and energy efficiency.

Founded by Directors Gary Martin and Mike Woodhall in 2010, the company is based at its head office in Follifoot, near Harrogate, where its range of IHDs are designed exclusively by the in-house team, with global operations in Hong Kong and Sydney.

The firm - which employs ten staff at its Yorkshire headquarters and will finish the year with a fourfold increase in turnover – was looking to explore other markets and grow the company and product range further.

Chameleon is one of the first companies to have opted for a Finance Yorkshire new product called ‘Loans with Profit Participation’, which can be single drawdowns or tranched investments, can last less than five years, offer a repayment holiday and secured behind existing bank and finance facilities.

A strong professional team was put in place to secure the £750,000 deal including Rosedale Advisory Ltd and Leeds-based boutique commercial law firm 3volution LLP, who acted as lead adviser to Chameleon, and Walker Morris LLP for Finance Yorkshire.

Finance Yorkshire Chief Executive Alex McWhirter said: “The way that we have designed our Loans with Profit Participation benefits companies and owners in a number of ways including fixing the minimum cost of the loan and linking repayment terms to the success of the business – meaning that if profits are lower, companies and business owners repay when these improve.”

“The capital holiday and term of loan are both matched to the sector and stage of company, there are no personal guarantees and existing facilities do not have to relinquish security – which in turn enables co-investment on similar terms, if needed.”

Finance Yorkshire Investment Director, Andrew Burton, said: “Chameleon was an ideal choice for this type of investment – an excellent management duo leading a respected technical team who have secured an enviable position in the UK and overseas IHD market, driven by legislative pressure on utility companies to encourage users to monitor and manage energy consumption.

“As one of the leading IHD suppliers, Chameleon is at the forefront of the development of the emerging international standards, with the ability to design and manufacture high quality products.”

Mike added: “Ours is an exciting and dynamic industry and this investment will help us to achieve our growth and product goals with our existing and potential customers, in the UK and internationally.

“Longer term, we are looking to increase our reach into other international markets for current products, as well as continue to develop our future product range.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or ring 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire