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£3.2m of investment secured to drive double digit growth for a third consecutive year at Hyperdrive Innovation

Emma Neal

04 May 2016

Fresh investment follows high-profile contract wins for the UK’s leading independent developer of lithium-ion energy storage technologies.

Ahead of launching two new innovative modular battery systems later this year, Hyperdrive Innovation has secured investment of a total of £3.2 million from venture capital firms Hamilton Capital Partners and Rivers Capital alongside R&D grant funding from InnovateUK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Sunderland-based Hyperdrive designs and manufactures on a single site and supports developers of electric vehicles and stationary energy storage, to bring new products to market by delivering superior system performance. Hyperdrive’s batteries incorporate patented battery management technology which can be adapted for use with different cell chemistries to provide electric power.

The company will use the funding to further develop its product range and make significant productivity improvements in battery pack manufacture.

Managing director and co-founder, Stephen Irish, said: “The diverse nature of projects we are involved in demonstrates that we are able to act as a partner for any OEM that needs to introduce cutting-edge battery technology and management systems to electrify its products.

“The future of low carbon transportation globally depends on companies such as ours working with vehicle manufacturers on innovative low carbon powertrains. We expect this year to bring a further step change as Hyperdrive Innovation continues to accelerate electrification in the low-carbon vehicle sector and the continued development of more sophisticated energy storage systems.”

Formed in 2012, Sunderland-based Hyperdrive Innovation recently secured a substantial Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) grant in collaboration with Nissan, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Newcastle University and Zero Carbon Futures. The consortium is working together on key areas of battery development covering pilot projects, product diversification and process improvement.

The latest private investment in the company was secured via the North East Angel Fund, managed by Rivers Capital Partners and a syndicate of private investors headed by Andrew Lapping of Hamilton Capital Partners. Dr Michael Dickens, Fund Manager for the Angel Fund led the investment via the Fund’s latest FBNE fund extension.

“We have supported Hyperdrive from the very start. Seeing its potential at a very early stage, the Fund provided initial seed capital in 2012. Stephen and his team are dedicated and focused, which is what really attracted us to working with them. It is a pleasure to be able to commit further funds to the project as the business continues to go from strength to strength.”

Andrew Lapping, managing director of Glasgow’s Hamilton Capital Partners, said:

“Clean tech businesses with cutting-edge engineering expertise are crucial to the future of the automotive and energy storage industries worldwide. We are delighted to be investing in Hyperdrive Innovation in what promises to be an exciting year for the company.”

Hyperdrive is a development and manufacturing partner for OEMs seeking specialist expertise to electrify cars and commercial vehicles, off-highway vehicles, industrial robots and stationary energy storage solutions. It has also successfully electrified an autonomous marine vehicle and last year supplied batteries for Europe’s fastest road legal electric vehicle.

In addition, Hyperdrive Innovation is taking leading roles in a number of ground-breaking R&D projects, including work with Abingdon’s Oxis Energy on the Ultra-Low Temperature Battery (ULTB) project. This project is exploring the feasibility of a novel high energy density battery chemistry with innovative packaging and control electronics, capable of operating the Antarctic – one of the harshest environments in the world.

Such a battery would allow the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to significantly increase scientific measurements made in the region, without increasing transport costs or emissions. Hyperdrive Innovation is also involved in projects to develop two substantial off-highway vehicles with electric powertrains.

Hyperdrive is a founder member of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), which has been established to support the growth of the sector in the region, and is actively recruiting in engineering and operational roles. The company is seeking experienced battery distribution partners and has capacity at the Sunderland plant to ramp up production to 10,000 battery packs a year.

Imogen Holland, partner at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team advising Rivers Capital on the latest investment into Hyperdrive. Holland has previously provided legal advice on a number of investments from the fund.


£3.2m of investment secured to drive double digit growth for a third consecutive year at Hyperdrive Innovation

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