A group of 22 Bristol-based entrepreneurs have invested their money in a growing business that is looking at new ways of using advanced materials, including the development of an “electronic nose”.
The group, all members of Bristol Private Equity Club, have invested a total of £222,000 into Anaphite, based in Unit DX in St. Philip’s, as part of a total fundraising package of £425,000 by the business.
Anaphite was founded to look at ways to exploit the potential of graphene by Sam Burrow and Alexander Hewitt after they left university. Their impressive work so far in the Unit DX incubation space has also attracted grants totalling over £500,000 over the last year from Innovate UK.
Chief operating officer Alexander Hewitt said: “The fact that people with a wealth of diverse business experience believe we can succeed, makes us excited and optimistic about the future. They see the scalability of the business and the potential impact it can have.
“We will be specifically using much of the funding from BPEC to develop our work in using advanced materials in gas sensors. We are developing an ‘electronic nose’ that could be used to detect hazardous gases; to monitor harmful pollutants in our cities; in food safety by indicating when food has gone off; and in health care by detecting certain gases in breath.
“The rest of our funding will be used to further our work on batteries. We are using a powerful material called graphene for this, as it has got high electrical conductivity, high strength and high thermal conductivity so we are looking at how it can be used to prolong battery life and improve charging speed, so that devices do not have to be charged for as long or replaced so often.”
Bristol Private Equity Club has matched the pilot Regional Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) Innovate UK Grant that is part of a programme managed by SETSquared in Bristol that is designed to encourage angel investment into South West businesses.
Jerry Barnes, founder of Bristol Private Equity Club said: “This is an exciting business that has got so much potential to develop materials that will influence life in many areas in the future. The fact that so many of our members were interested shows the fantastic potential of Anaphite.
“We look for Bristol businesses that have scalability and can make a real difference to the way we live our lives in the future.”