Business Growth Fund (BGF) today announced its investment of £3.85 million of growth capital in Glasgow based technology business M Squared Lasers. BGF will take a minority stake in the business and will join the existing board.
M Squared Lasers designs and manufactures lasers and photonic optical instruments for applications in remote sensing, frontier science, bio-photonics, defense, microscopy, spectroscopy and metrology.
The Company was founded in 2005 by Dr. Graeme Malcolm and Dr. Gareth Maker who had previously founded opto-electronics company Microlase in 1992 as a spinout from Strathclyde University. Microlase was acquired by Coherent Inc. in 2000.
The former chairman of Bookham Technology, Peter Bordui, recently joined M Squared’s board as chairman.
With an office in San Jose, California, the company sells lasers to and collaborates with a range of blue chip partners across Europe, North America and Asia, including Thales, Philips, Osram, Stanford University and the Max Planck Institute.
BGF’s £3.85 million equity investment will fund the company’s research and development programme as well as its commercial growth. Dr Graeme Malcolm, co-founder and CEO of M Squared Lasers, commented:
“We are seeing considerable expansion in the potential applications for lasers, not least in the defense and medical industries where detection capability is critically important.
“For us this offers real growth potential. BGF’s investment will allow us to further develop our laser technology and fund our sales and marketing efforts. In particular, we are looking at new market opportunities in remote sensing, and will specifically focus on developing our Firefly laser product, which has a clear application for the security and defence, oil and gas, and food and drink industries.”
Duncan Macrae, Edinburgh based Investment Director at BGF, commented:
“M Squared’s laser technology represents a genuine step change. Its products are smaller than others on the market, can be calibrated in minutes rather than hours and can be maintained and upgraded remotely via a web browser. Customer referencing has been overwhelmingly positive and we are very pleased to be backing such an innovative Scottish business and a first class management team.”
Mr. Bryant, who has 30 years' experience in Industry, primarily as the Managing Director/CEO of manufacturing businesses, will join the board of M Squared Lasers as a non-executive director and will work closely with the management team.
The investment process was led for M Squared by Dr John Nicholls, an experienced photonics entrepreneur, who recently joined the M Squared Lasers team as Group Director of Strategic Business Development.