Penryn based marine manufacturing company, Workfloat (also trading as Scaffloat), has secured a £140,000 equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) as part of a £200,000 funding round led by appointed CIOSIF fund manager, The FSE Group.
The CIOSIF investment, along with match-funding from private investors, will be used to support the overall growth of the business, enabling further product development, increased marketing activity and expansion into overseas markets as well as the creation of new jobs within the company.
Workfloat has two fully-certified, key offerings using its patented float technology: self-propelled bespoke pontoons designed to integrate with scaffolding structures, and easily transportable workboats for versatile use within commercial marine engineering.
The marine platform market is currently dominated by a choice between heavy-duty, non-mobile products, or those offering mobility but that are less robust with limited capabilities. Workfloat serves this identified market-gap by providing a solution that is both mobile, resilient and fully functional. The company also provides marine management services to ensure its clients get the most out of its products.
Demand for Workfloat’s innovative solutions is strong with the company recently supporting prestigious projects including maintenance for Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, Network Rail bridges, Highways England assets and the Environment Agency.
Toby Budd, CEO and Founder of Workfloat, commented: “Over the past three years we have worked hard to create a cost-effective, transportable work platform to overcome the issues with the current market offering. Our products are gaining traction across the UK and overseas and this funding will allow us to maximise the opportunities available to us, continuing to grow our business globally whilst maintaining our roots firmly in the South West. Having CIOSIF on board as an investor, with the added benefit of the FSE team’s corporate finance and governance experience, will be extremely beneficial in scaling and professionalising our operation.”
Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds, Cornwall at The FSE Group, said: “Workfloat has a credible management team led by Toby whose experience in the marine sector, as well as in successfully building and exiting a portfolio of small businesses, places the business in a strong position for growth. The business is well-supported by credible private investors who understand the commercial marine space and the team continues to develop innovative, award-winning products to address a known gap in a niche market. CIOSIF and FSE are keen to invest in this important Cornish sector and we look forward to working with Workfloat as it continues to grow.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is operated by appointed fund managers The FSE Group.
Sarah Newbould, Senior Investment Manager from the British Business Bank, said: “This is the fund’s latest investment in Cornwall’s marine sector and will result in direct job creation within the business and benefit Workfloat’s manufacturing supply chain which is mostly based in Cornwall. We’re delighted that CIOSIF has helped attract additional outside investment and wish Toby and his team all the best.”
John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Workfloat have developed a versatile and innovative product with a wide range of applications, from construction to commercial diving, surveying, aquaculture and even film work. That diversity is a real strength of the business and we look forward to its continued growth.”
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2