University of Warwick spin-out company Warwick Audio Technologies has secured a £1.5 million investment to develop its innovative loudspeaker technology which can be bent to fit contoured spaces like car interiors.
Warwick Audio Technologies (WAT) has developed "flat flexible laminate" (FFL) speakers and plans to launch its first commercial product using the technology this year.
WAT was set up with support from the university’s technology transfer office Warwick Ventures and funding from Porton Capital and the Birmingham-based Mercia Technology Fund.
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 and Mercia Technology Fund are also investing.
Warwick Audio Technologies chief executive Steve Couchman said: "This investment puts Warwick Audio Technologies in a really strong position to make the FFL technology a major market success. 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."
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."