Region: Yorkshire and Humber
Programme: Future Fund
What do you do when you’re in the middle of a funding round and a pandemic hits? Ambion Heating faced a great deal of uncertainty when investors it was engaging with chose not to pursue new investments for the time being. Instead, the company looked to the Future Fund for an injection of capital that would keep its business on track.
Read what it had to say in this Future Fund case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Richard Davies, finance director of Ambion Heating: Ambion Heating is a Yorkshire-based manufacturer of computer-controlled infra-red heating, technology that provides a low-carbon, low‑cost source of heat which is over 50% more efficient than conventional gas central heating.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply to the Future Fund?
We were part way through a funding round when the coronavirus hit. The virus created a great deal of uncertainty with the investors we’d been engaging with, and the message from other investors was consistently that they were focusing on supporting their existing investments and not likely to consider new investments until the end of 2020.
Additionally, several projects we’d either started or were due to complete early in the second quarter of 2020 were put on hold, which had a severe impact on revenues for the business.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The process took a little over a month to complete, and both we and our investors made use of the Future Fund helpdesk during that time. The helpdesk team were always incredibly helpful and able to resolve our queries quickly.
Without this injection of capital, we wouldn’t have been able to engage some key strategic partners, whose involvement could have a material impact on our business in the future.
Richard Davies, finance director of Ambion Heating
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
Having a really close working relationship with your investor is key. We worked through the loan process together from start to finish and kept each other informed of any communications we’d received. The process was fairly seamless.
How has the Future Fund helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received the money?
The Future Fund has effectively replaced the funding round we’d started earlier in the year. It’s a really important time in the home heating market, with lots of consultation and engagement taking place.
The money from the fund has enabled us to engage some key strategic partners to support us towards influencing relevant government bodies and get the message out there that the future of home heating should include computer-controlled infra-red and not just rely on heat pumps as a technology.
We’re only at the start of this journey but we’re confident in our product and hope to continue to grow our customer base, creating much-needed jobs in the local area and support the UK’s economic recovery in the long term.