A Durham based remote technology company is poised to assist in important compliance issues and reporting for even more care homes and social housing providers, following a significant investment into the company.
North East Venture Fund (NEVF) which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia, along with the Finance Durham Fund, established by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham have announced a new funding round worth £400,000 into Durham based Plexus Innovation.
The funds will mean the owners Ian Murray and Steve Todd can focus on growing the team, accelerating the development of their next generation products and boosting market penetration with its ‘must-have’ GUARDIAN® technology.
GUARDIAN® is a remote, automated measurement and alert system that focuses on environmental data including temperature. Designed and manufactured in the UK by Plexus Innovation, GUARDIAN® is already making a huge difference to those who have invested in the technology.
Ideal in reducing the risk of Legionella and ensuring temperature in water or refrigeration units is at an optimum level to protect health, GUARDIAN® technology comprises of a combination of hardware, with remote monitoring software.
And now, due to the investment from Mercia through the NE Venture Fund and Maven Capital Partners (Maven), which manages the Finance Durham Fund, Ian and Steve are in a position to enable growth of this exciting technology much further in the marketplace.
James Allsopp, investment manager at Mercia, said:
“Plexus Innovation is already doing excellent work in the care home and social housing sectors, working with names like believe housing and Careline Lifestyles. Given the impact of COVID-19 on these industries, this funding can only go on to ensure that the GUARDIAN® technology will be implemented on a wider scale, protecting even more vulnerable people in the North East.”
In care homes GUARDIAN® remotely identifies risk from medical fridge and water services compliance issues, enabling early intervention by specialist staff and the provision of enhanced duty of care to residents. In social housing GUARDIAN® assists in reducing risk to tenants from the water born disease, Legionella.
Recognising the importance of these functions, particularly in the current pandemic, Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven, said:
“Plexus Innovation has developed an innovative proprietary product that addresses legislative issues, pushing the entire sector into the 21st Century. “GUARDIAN® fills a void in the market and is already attracting high profile clients. This means the market opportunity is significant. We look forward to supporting Ian and Steve through the coming years.”
Ian, who along with Steve is on a mission to make remote technology across the services industry the norm, rather than niche, said:
“We are already successfully rolling out our innovative GUARDIAN® technology across a range of sectors including care homes, social housing, education, healthcare and hotels. Our current clients have had uninterrupted compliance management delivered remotely throughout a number of lockdown scenarios.
“The remote measurement and alert system, which provides a digital alternative to manual checks, is therefore now proven to be cost effective and reliable at providing accurate measurement. It provides real-time data with a full audit trail, issues alerts, reduces risk and detects a range of key issues not possible via manual measurement.
“We are obviously elated that this investment means we can now roll out GUARDIAN® even further, helping more compliance and facilities managers; operational and maintenance teams, and nursing and care professionals to do their job better.”
Sarah Slaven, interim Managing Director at Business Durham, which oversees Finance Durham said: “We are delighted to be investing in Plexus Innovation, it is an excellent example of the kind of innovative and dynamic company Finance Durham was set up to help. The investment will create new jobs in this exciting sector and enable Plexus to take advantage of the opportunities that do and will exist to build a stronger, more resilient economy”.
Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “Our long-term ambition as a council is to preserve a thriving environment for businesses to grow while creating and safeguarding more and better jobs. Through the support from Finance Durham, we can ensure enterprising businesses with dynamic ideas have the right means to expand, allowing them to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area as their business grows. Plexus Innovation have developed a technology that will benefit the care sector, and the county, for many years to come.”
The NEVF can invest up to £1.0million for firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start enterprises.