Optical experts eye growth with cash from Envestors

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A British optical coatings company, whose products enable fighter pilots to monitor their planes' performance without looking away from where they're flying, and protect surgeons' eyes while they conduct laser surgery, has completed a £560,000 fundraising led by Envestors Limited, the UK's leading private investor network.

Artemis Optical Limited (www.artemis-optical.co.uk), originally part of France's Thales electronics group, will use the debt and equity funding to upgrade its equipment and plant, recruit sales and technical staff and increase marketing spend. 

Photonics - light manipulation - is worth £10.5bn a year to the UK and the Plymouth-based manufacturer of high-precision, thin-film coatings for the defence, civil aerospace and medical analytics markets expects this to grow at 6.5% annually. 

A leader in helmet-mounted displays, Artemis is responding to global defence cuts by developing its precision laser protection, conductive coatings and aviation products for growth markets such as ice detection, 3D imaging and printing and gas analysis for healthcare. The company is active in the EU's Clean Sky initiative aimed at minimising the environmental impact of aviation.

"This is a brilliant UK manufacturing company developing advanced solutions for tomorrow's challenges," said Nick Taylor, Director and co-founder of Envestors, which raised £160,000 equity funding from a small group of its members to add to a £400,000 asset finance facility arranged by Artemis.

Nick Hurst, Artemis Chairman, said: "Nick and the Envestors team really understood our business and provided support and insight, plus the funding, to ensure we're equipped to capitalise on the big opportunities ahead."

Since 2004, Envestors has helped UK companies raise over £80 million and grown its network to over 2,000 investors. Its newly launched digital platform Myedash.com™ enables sophisticated investors to identify, interact and finance growth of high growth businesses in a secure environment.