Odqa Renewable Energy Technologies
Region: South East
Programme: Future Fund
Before COVID-19 struck, this Oxford University spin-out was aiming to secure seed funding so it could further its work to provide the world’s cheapest on-demand solar power. With investors reluctant to take on more risk, the company applied to the Future Fund for additional investment that would allow it to continue its operations with a degree of security.
Read what the company had to say in this Future Fund case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Gediz Karaca, CEO of Odqa Renewable Energy Technologies: We are a venture-backed University of Oxford engineering spin-out creating the world’s cheapest on-demand solar power. The company is based in Oxford and is transferring knowledge from aerospace into the solar thermal industry.
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’re still in the research and development phase and this will take a couple of more years until we commercialise our technology. COVID-19 brought lots of uncertainty and this affected investors’ appetite for risk, especially those who are investing in hardtech (engineering technologies), which is inherently riskier.
We were planning to raise £3.5 million in seed funding before the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, we’ve postponed that funding round and will use the Future Fund convertible loan to further develop our technology and increase the value of the company.
The money we received via the Future Fund, along with significant measures we put in place to contain costs, has given us the breathing room to be able to restart the study, report results and get back on track with a new financing round.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
Making an application to the Future Fund was extremely fast and efficient. All in all, it took around four weeks to complete and we didn’t need any support during the process.
Thanks to the Future Fund, we’re able to continue and even increase our pace in creating cutting-edge engineering innovation to deploy in green energy transformation projects across the world.
Gediz Karaca, CEO of Odqa Renewable Energy Technologies
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
If the business has good investors and agrees on the commercial terms, the application is very straightforward.
How has the Future Fund helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received the money?
Since we are in the research and development phase, our company relies on the investments we raise from the investors. If we didn’t receive access to the Future Fund, we would have probably had to accept lower valuations from investors to survive, or even default.