£250k investment will boost tech firm’s recruitment and expansion plans

Adam Husband with Gary Brierley and Barry Lowe, foreground

A Nantwich tech company is planning to treble its headcount and expand its international reach after a £250,000 funding boost.

Tough Tech received the investment through NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The firm has developed Atlas, a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which can be used in commercial vehicles, trailers, earthmovers, mobile cranes, industrial and mechanical handling equipment.

It allows users to monitor tyre pressure on vehicles and machines anywhere in the world remotely, which can lead to significant improvements to safety and fuel efficiency.

The system can also extend the lifespan of tyres, some of which are valued at more than £50,000 each.

Tough Tech was founded in 2017 by directors Barry Lowe and Gary Brierley and now boasts customers across five continents.

The firm achieved sales of £1.1m last year, which was a 40% improvement on the previous year.

It said the funding will enable it to increase its staffing from the current level of four, to 12. The cash will also bankroll research and product development, as well as expansion into new market segments and territories including Africa and the Middle East.

A new version of Atlas underserved market for smart connected technology, particularly on commercial vehicle trailers.

Barry Lowe said: “We’re excited to launch our new product which has been designed and manufactured here in the North West. We’ve invested a lot in developing this system which we believe will revolutionise the vehicle and machine industry.

“Fleet managers will be able to see data from multiple vehicles anywhere in the world and in addition to TPMS, the Atlas system also offers, security, wheel loss, engine management, on board axle weight monitoring as well as further bespoke features for customers.”

He said 90% of the firm’s business is overseas and the company has identified opportunities with original equipment manufacturers and new market segments.

Adam Husband, investment executive at FW Capital, said: “We’re backing an experienced management team with a good track record and strong sales growth. Their offering aligns well with the business sustainability, helping their customers to reduce their waste and fuel consumption which is high on the agenda for many. Funding is vital to their expansion and I’m sure they will now go from strength to strength.”

Sue Barnard, at British Business Bank, said: “The investment will allow the business to expand its presence in Middle East and African markets, boosting Cheshire’s profile as a place for investment and business opportunities. NPIF was launched to help businesses like Tough Tech use funding to achieve its goals and take its business to the next level.”