A tech spin-out from the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has seen customer traction rise and attracted £1.3m in their second funding round after using a Business Productivity Grant to create a ‘fit bit for UK manufacturing.’
The two founders were research engineers at the AMRC – a world leading R&D facility that numbers McLaren, Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce as its partners – when they came up with the idea of affordable analytics software that would harness production data to empower technically excellent manufacturers with world class productivity levels, enabling them to thrive in the global marketplace.
At the start of 2020, they’d just set up their company and raised their first investment round. They soon found that installing their software was prohibitively time consuming, and COVID-19 added to the challenge as they could no longer visit clients for installation. They applied to the Business Productivity Programme for support to develop a physical device that they could ship to clients to install themselves.
“Applying for the grant was quite straightforward compared to other application processes I’ve been through,” says CEO Chris Iveson, “and the turnaround was quick. Within 30 days, we were good to go.”
CEO Chris Iveson
Since the device was launched in May 2021, the benefits of the investment have been clear. “Installation time has gone from around four days to a matter of minutes,” says Chris. “It’s reduced the up-front costs for manufacturers, so they’re more inclined to give it a go because the risk is lower.”
This has enabled FourJaw to demonstrate customer traction, directly contributing to their second raise of £1.3 million in 2022. The original team of three has grown to 16 people, and they have customers in India, Canada and New Zealand as well as the UK. Moving forward, Chris and CTO Robin Hartley plan to continue growing their team and customer base, developing their software, and building towards an expansion into the international market.