Turquoise, the UK merchant bank specialising in energy, environment and efficiency, has announced an investment by Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2) in Weeding Technologies. This forms part of a £800,000 second-closing of a capital raising to be completed over the coming months.
Weeding Technologies sells market-leading herbicide-free weed control machines to municipal organisations globally. Their technology – Foamstream – uses organic-certified foam and hot water to kill weeds, providing an effective alternative to chemical herbicides, which are alleged to be carcinogenic and have been subject to both over $10bn in successful compensation claims and to increasing legislation globally.
The company has over 750 customers in North America and Europe, including San Francisco Parks & Recs, Princeton University, University of California Berkely, Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC. In addition to weeding, the machine can be used for graffiti and gum removal and sanitisation of outdoor areas, and is effective against all viruses including COVID-19 and verified to European standards. In December, The Company signed a new dealer in the USA – Russo Power Equipment – who will supply Foamstream in the Greater Chicago area, and also in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Company plans to extend its dealer base in the USA in 2024, adding dealers in Florida and Georgia, where there are almost year-round weeding seasons.
Francis Wright, Managing Director at Turquoise, commented: “Weeding Technologies is making strong progress, and has just signed another dealer in Chicago in the USA, expanding Foamstream’s geographical availability even further. The technology is cost effective, reliable and easy to use, providing the amenity market with a safe and effective alternative to herbicides. The technology is already selling to customers in 23 countries, and we expect significant growth over the coming years.”
Leo de Montaignac, CEO of Weeding Technologies added: “This investment supports our continued expansion, particularly in North America, which has become The Company’s biggest individual market. It will also accelerate new product development, including the roll out of hybrid power across our range, to increase our addressable market. We’re delighted that LCIF2 and other investors are supporting our growth plans and recognise the significant environmental and commercial opportunities that Foamstream presents.”
LCIF2 is funded by European Regional Development Fund, with the UK’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as the Managing Authority.
LCIF2 is managed by Turquoise and is a venture capital fund investing in eligible small to medium sized businesses based in England, particularly the areas covered by its local government backers, developing products and services which will have a beneficial environmental impact.
LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), following a successful bid by Norfolk County Council and the University of East Anglia. ERDF is an investment programme part financed by the European Union. LCIF2 is part of the UK government’s portfolio of business support products.
LCIF2 has received £10.9m (for co-investment alongside private monies) from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is the Managing Authority for this funding. Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk /european-growth-funding.