D3O secures £13m in new funding

Posted on 8 Apr 2015 by Victoria Fitzgerald

D3O, the UK-based smart materials company, has reveal it has raised £13m in funding from its existing investor Entrepreneurs Fund and new investor Beringea.

The cash is set to support further expansion of the company’s impact protection products and international market growth.

Beringea will invest a total of £9m from its UK and US offices, while the Entrepreneurs Fund, D3O’s largest current shareholder, will invest a further £3m, with other existing shareholders supplying the balance.

D3O has a unique patented technology used to make a soft, flexible and distinctive orange-coloured material with high shock absorbing properties used in impact protection products.

The new funds will bolster further growth, innovation, international expansion and new facilities in the UK and abroad. The new facilities will include an innovation and development centre in the UK, which will be the global knowledge hub of the company.

US expansion will include a new sales and marketing office and in Asia D3O will open a dedicated testing and production facility for greater proximity to its Asian customers.

Stuart Sawyer, CEO of D3O, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding from our new investor Beringea and we embrace the continued long-term support of the Entrepreneurs Fund, who have always believed in the company’s ability and global opportunities.

“Innovation and talented people are the lifeblood of our company and the new funds will enable us to invest further in R&D facilities and recruit even more highly talented individuals to join the team.

“This investment will allow us to place more emphasis on product development and international marketing, which will enable us to maintain our market leading position in impact protection solutions.”

Alex Hardmuth of Entrepreneur’s Fund, said: “The recent adoption of D3O’s innovative materials in the oil and gas industry as well as in American Football are only two examples that testify to the company’s performance.

“We have seen substantial growth over the last four years and believe this funding will unleash D3O’s next phase of growth.”

Trevor Hope, chief investment officer of Beringea in the UK, said: “D3O is a great example of a British company with a core of deep scientific and technical expertise in the increasingly important and valuable smart materials industry.

“The company’s materials and design skills have already attracted a number of high profile industrial and retail partners and we are excited to support the company, its materials and the D3O brand as it grows to become a major international force.”

The firm addresses a range of markets such as footwear, electronics, sport, workwear and military protection.

Recently, D3O has introduced significant enhancements for safety in the oil and gas industry, with the introduction of a new flexible, comfortable and protective glove design, and has changed the face of protection for American football with a new helmet liner system designed to reduce brain trauma.

D3O impact absorption technologies also feature in the STX Stallion lacrosse helmet by Schutt Sports which last month won a Manufacturing Leadership Award for New Product Innovation.

The company delivered revenues of £10m in 2014, marking the second consecutive annual increase of 50%. Over 90% of D3O revenues are export, with 40% of sales in the US. This international approach helped the company achieve a Queen’s Award for Enterprise last year.