Barclays supports Edinburgh tech company as it taps into ‘internet of things’

Barclays has provided a £500k term loan to help innovative Edinburgh company NetThings fund commercial trials of its new energy management system.

The company is one of the first in the UK  to benefit from Barclays’ new ‘Innovation Finance’ product targeted towards high-growth and innovative businesses. The funding product is part of a wider commitment from the bank to support UK scale-ups through its new ‘Barclays High Growth & Entrepreneurs’ proposition – a direct response to Britain’s scale-up gap which will help the UK compete on the global stage.

The funding will enable NetThings to trial its new energy management system,Click,with a major hospitality group which includes national chains of pubs, restaurants, hotels and coffee shops.

The company is also pending a second trial with a national chain of high street betting shops.Clickenables cost-effective management of large estates of small commercial outlets where energy consumption is high and has the potential to deliver tangible savings by eliminating waste.

George McGhee, CEO of NetThings, said: “As an early-stage company, it was hugely encouraging for us to secure the support of a major bank such as Barclays. The local team in Edinburgh demonstrated from the start that they fully understood our market proposition and recognised the potential of the business to achieve rapid growth.”

Jamie Grant, Head of Business and Corporate Banking in Scotland at Barclays, commented: “As part of our plans at Barclays to enhance our high-growth offering to the market, we are extending our lending capabilities and credit appetite in the technology sector for ambitious, entrepreneurial businesses like NetThings.

“In addition to our existing venture loan, we have launched Innovation Finance; this enables us to offer greater support to the market by allowing earlier lending to the most promising of high-growth companies and preferential pricing for all qualifying high-growth companies, allowing more funds to be re-invested into the business.”

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed an agreement with Barclays to finance lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in the UK. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments which will be deployed by the European Commission and the EIB Group.

The loans will be backed by a guarantee of the EIF, enabled by the InnovFin initiative with financial backing from the Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Under the new programme Barclays will offer innovative companies additional financing at more favourable rates as part of the bank’s commitment to supporting high growth businesses in the UK.

The new agreement allows Barclays to provide £100m finance to innovative companies in the UK over the next 2 years.

NetThings, backed by Archangels Investors Limited and Scottish Enterprise, aims to create the ‘next big thing’ in real-time monitoring and control, with its low-cost and flexible internet-of-things platform, designed to simplify connecting and controlling things over the internet. Although initially targeting the energy and building automation market, the company’s technology is also relevant to other high growth sectors such as connected car, home medical, assisted living and security.