South West Investment Fund Supports Innovate Mining Tech With £175,000 Equity Investment

South West Investment Fund Supports Innovate Mining Tech With £175,000 Equity Investment

A university spin-out that has developed technology to support the mining industry has received £175,000 equity from the British Business Bank’s South West Investment Fund. 

The investment, via appointed fund manager The FSE Group, is part of a £300,000 funding round which includes investment from Mylor Ventures Angel Network (MyVAN). 

Kernow Mining Optimisation (KMO) Fleet is a spin-out from University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines and is now putting to commercial use its extensive research and development work around how technology could be used for monitoring and optimising mining activity.   

The £200m South West Investment Fund covers the entire South West region and provides loans from £25k to £2m and equity investment up to £5m to help a range of small and medium-sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead. 

Mining is fundamental to the transition to net zero. Large mine operators have long been relied upon to provide the materials needed for green technologies. However, this is increasingly unsustainable and as demand grows, smaller operators are becoming a crucial part of meeting the shortfall in production. 

Large companies have been able to invest in expensive, sophisticated tech-enabled equipment to help reduce CO2 emissions and improve profitability but many of the smaller companies operate without the technology that can help them optimise their operations. 

KMO Fleet’s low-cost, easy-to-enable and use technology has been developed by the team’s leading experts in the field of mining to provide a technologically enabled fleet management solution to mining operators of any size.  

Matthew Eyre, KMO Fleet CEO, said: “Our technology means smaller mines can now access the same benefits as large operators, positively impacting environmental and productivity outputs across the sector. We are delighted to have secured this investment from the South West Investment Fund via FSE, which means we can recruit additional staff and increase marketing activity to support the rollout of our ground-breaking solution.” 

Anna Staevska, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, added: “Mining remains a growth industry and with this innovative technology, KMO Fleet is well positioned to help the sector move towards decarbonisation. The funding round is enabling the company to quickly expand services and capitalise on its first-mover-advantage. We look forward to working alongside this knowledgeable management team as they grow the business.” 

Rob Misselbrook, CEO of Mylor Ventures, commented: "MyVAN is delighted to invest in KMO.  This opportunity exemplifies our investment strategy - excellent management with very strong domain expertise and networks, global markets, SEIS compliant and technology de-risked by Innovate UK.  We are looking forward to working with Matthew and the team to progress the business." 

The purpose of the South West Investment Fund is to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across the South West. The fund is increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for South West smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and helping to break down barriers in access to finance.