A fire protection specialist has signalled its intention to expand operations in Scotland after raising £4.5 million in fresh funding from private equity investment manager Foresight Group.
Headquartered in Hull, iMist Holdings manufactures and installs protection systems designed for homes and residential buildings. The firm says its water mist solution has several benefits over traditional fire sprinklers including more efficient use of water, ease of installation and cost effectiveness.
Set up by managing director Tony Sims in 2015, the company opened its Scottish office in Alloa in 2018, noting Scottish Government intentions to mandate sprinkler systems in all new social housing of more than 10 tenants. Scotland currently accounts for about 30 per cent of iMist’s annual revenues.
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Given its “traction” in this country, the company said there is a strong business case for creating more jobs by hiring sales representatives and system installers to increase capacity and expand its market share. This forms part of its broader expansion strategy, with three new branch offices “in discussion” in other parts of the UK.
The fresh money has been raised from Foresight VCTs and the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund. The latter is a £20m investment vehicle established in 2019 under the Scottish Growth Scheme designed to support expanding small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland.
Mr Sims said “The partnership will allow iMist to grow and invest further in environmentally friendly fire suppression systems for legislative markets across the globe. 2021 will mark the start of this journey and the team could not be more excited for the future.”
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The company also hopes to gain product approvals to enter the US in the coming year, representing a “particularly large” market opportunity.
“We are delighted to support Tony, Alex and Nick and the wider team at iMist as they target a significant market opportunity,” Foresight investment manager Francesca Dickinson said.
“We are impressed by the business’ growth since inception and look forward to working with the team going forward.”