Following a period of growth and relocation to County Durham the business has secured further funding to support its growing list of international customers
Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”) has led a £2.5 million funding round in Power Roll, a developer of ultra-low-cost and lightweight flexible film for energy generation and storage. The transaction comprised two investments from Maven managed regional funds including a £500,000 investment from the Finance Durham Fund, established by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham and a £250,000 investment from the North East Development Capital Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. A further £1.75 million was invested by existing shareholders.
Newly headquartered in County Durham, Power Roll originally secured investment from the Finance Durham Fund last year to open a new manufacturing facility. The business has since relocated to Jade Business Park in Seaham to support the construction of a solar film pilot plant. Today’s transactions will enable the business to embark on a programme of growth to support its growing list of UK and international customers as well as invest in the development of the newly opened manufacturing plant in Durham.
Power Roll has developed a unique, flexible, lightweight solar film capable of producing ultra-low-cost green electricity that is up to 10 times cheaper to make than existing flexible solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The film is suitable for non-load-bearing rooftops, building integration, transport, portable applications, off-grid projects and IoT sensors, and can also be used for energy storage and to manufacture capacitors.
The solar panel and capacitor markets are large and growing due to the increasing global demand for renewable electricity and electronic devices. The global solar energy market is expected to reach over $220bn in 2026 with the thin flexible solar panel market expected to be worth $10bn by 2023.
The business has an experienced management team which includes, Neil Spann, Managing Director, prior to joining Power Roll was Head of Group Finance at Eaga plc and prior to that trained and worked at Arthur Anderson and Ernst & Young. Dr John Topping, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, is a research scientist, with over 18 years of scientific consulting experience, specialising in coatings, printed electronics and the development of process manufacturing. John has worked on research projects for the MoD, UK Space Agency and Pilkington Glass and was previously a research fellow at Oxford University.
Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “Power Roll is an innovative and growing business and we’re delighted to provide further funding following the company’s strong growth. Neil and the team have worked hard to open the new facility at Jade Business Park and it’s been a great move for the business as they continue to expand their customer reach and invest in the technology of their product. We look forward to working with Power Roll as they embark on their next phase of growth.”
Neil Spann, Managing Director, Power Roll, said: “We are in a very exciting phase of Power Roll’s development and are on track to meet key milestones as we scale up our technology. Our pilot plant is nearing completion and will enable us to produce a flexible solar film using a roll-to-roll manufacturing process with a view to further scaling in the UK and internationally. We very much appreciate our investors’ support and are looking forward to settling into our new home on Jade Business Park.”
Cllr James Rowlandson, Portfolio holder for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to provide funding to Power Roll as they invest and grow in County Durham. Finance Durham was set up to help exactly this type of innovative and dynamic company and as we emerge from the pandemic it is important to continue to support businesses to develop and thrive, especially those that are at the forefront of new green technologies while helping to create and safeguard jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with the company to establish its new manufacturing plant at Jade Business Park through our business support team at Business Durham.”