Location: Llandrindod Wells
Programme: Future Fund
About to secure additional funding to continue building its fuel cell electric vehicles, Riversimple Movement’s business was suddenly under threat once COVID-19 hit. But applying to the Future Fund for investment helped extend the company’s runway at this crucial time.
Read what it had to say in this Future Fund case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Hugo Spowers, managing director of Riversimple Movement: Riversimple Movement is a pre-revenue business that designs and builds highly efficient hydrogen fuel cell cars.
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?
COVID-19 has caused the business significant delays both in terms of supply chain and funding. We were shortly to launch a funding round to secure additional financing as we prepare for volume production but COVID-related constraints put this on hold.
In the short term, we needed funds to continue to build our zero-emission vehicles, which will go to paying customers in a trial later this year, part-funded by the UK Government’s OLEV. We were also concerned about paying our suppliers on time – they too are affected by the economic downturn and feel particularly exposed with pre-revenue clients – and we wanted to progress our Innovate UK grant-funded clean-energy project in Milford Haven.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
We applied on 20 May and signed the convertible loan agreement (CLA) on 2 July. We did have some questions during the process and were grateful for the support on hand, which was personal and proactive.
The Future Fund has given us the runway necessary to secure additional funding at a critical time. It has boosted the confidence of existing staff and enabled us to stick to our plan for hiring new staff.
Hugo Spowers, managing director of Riversimple Movement
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
The application process is straightforward and decisions are made quickly. The support team were accommodating and helpful with a ‘can do’ attitude.
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 given us the runway necessary to secure additional funding at a critical time, as delays due to COVID-19 were threatening our business. It has boosted the confidence of existing staff and enabled us to stick to our plan for hiring additional staff – something we’ll need to be able to keep up with our planned output.