14 March 2012
The South West Angel and Investor Network (SWAIN) are pleased to announce investment into Tradewind Turbines.
Tradewind Turbines operate out of Marsh Barton, Exeter and utilise low technology sails and high technology electronics to develop unique, portable and low cost wind turbines.
The company started in 2009 and since then have grown dramatically, employing sixteen people and looking to increase that to twenty five over the next few years.
The turbine is unique as it is easy to install, saving time and money (it can be installed in hostile terrain in under 4 hours), it is compact and lightweight, making it easily transportable and is very low maintenance with parts that are easy and cheap to replace.
For the general public, the turbine is virtually silent and moves at wind speed, meaning it should be more bird and bat friendly.
The turbine design has impressed NATO, the military and distributers with a North American distribution agreement having been recently signed. Perhaps even more evidence of the excitement being generated by the new turbine design is the finance that has been raised from family, friends, director’s loans and of course investors. In total the company has succeeded in raising just under £1million in equity.
SWAIN introduced Tradewind to Henry Warren who invested, became a non-executive director and as a keystone investor for the South West Cleantech Co-investment Fund was also able to funnel an additional £100k into the business from the fund.
In an interview with Clive Mitchell, Chief Financial Officer for Tradewind, Clive explained
“I am a co-founder of Tradewind. I have a finance background and spent over twenty years with Torex plc, until 1998, as Financial Director, as part of the management team that floated the business on the stock market before eventually selling the hire side to Jewsons to focus on the IT business. When an opportunity to get involved in the development of an interesting wind technology came along in late 2009 I grabbed it and thus Tradewind Turbines was born.
With over 1.5 billion people in the world lacking electricity there is a vast target market for our new turbines as they are easily transportable and unlike most turbines, can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of sail to take maximum advantage of light winds. Whilst we would love to sell our turbines in Britain the planning laws currently make this difficult. Perhaps in the future we will look to develop smaller turbines for the UK domestic market but currently our market is developing countries.
We approached SWAIN last year and through a company circular to their database of investors, they put forward Henry Warren as a potential investor. SWAIN’s Regional Manager looked through the business plan and fed back helpful comments which contributed towards raising the finance.
My advice to any company looking to raise finance is never be afraid to ask, people can only say no and dogged persistence can pay off. Determination is definitely a key factor of success in my view."
Henry Warren, SWAIN investor added,
"I am pleased to have become involved with Tradewind. Their turbine makes innovative use of existing technologies to provide a hugely useful product - namely the ability to generate power where it is needed without the need for significant infrastructure. This is exactly the type of innovation which will help the country create the economic growth so badly needed.
Philip Tellwright, SWAIN’s Managing Director said,
“I am delighted at Tradewind Turbines’ success and will be watching their progress with interest.”
I look forward to working with Tradewind to create a successful business. I am grateful to SWAIN for the introduction and for their continuing role in linking finance to innovative businesses"