Scottish e-bike innovator FreeFlow Technologies (FFT) has secured £1.85 million in a funding round.
The investment will support a move to a new headquarters and R&D facility in East Kilbride and further strengthen the team with senior technical positions and assembly engineers recruited.
“FFT’s ‘novel’ patented e-bike transmission system is more lightweight, compact and provides a higher power density than other products, with the motor and battery easily assembled into the bicycle frame rather than an oversized attachment as is common with current electric bikes,” said a statement. “This achieves a look that makes the e-bike look, and ride like a normal bike, a key requirement for brands and their end customers. The company has also developed an unprecedented mechanical transmission system for fixed wheel bikes that allows the rider to freewheel, whilst retaining the smooth ride quality of the fixed wheel.”
There are already a number of brands working on frame designs to incorporate the new FreeFlow Technologies ETS (Electronic Transmission System) into bikes for launch into the market in 2021. The new funding round was led by investment syndicate Kelvin Capital and supported by Equity Gap, Foresight Williams and Scottish Enterprise. The company raised £1.8 million in an earlier funding round in October 2018.
“The e-bike market is booming as many sections of society seek alternatives to public transport and take a greater interest in their personal health,” said Martin McCourt, chairman of FFT. “Great trends that truly benefit our citizens and our environment. The FreeFlow drive system transforms the look and riding performance of e-bikes. Now an e-bike can look like a normal bike, and ride like one!”
David Hemming, managing director of FFT, added: “Before COVID hit the world, the e-bike sector was forecasted to grow by double digits each year for the foreseeable future, however, the global pandemic has changed the way people think about bikes across all walks of life. The needs of exercise and wellbeing and the need for viable transportation options to and from work that is an alternative to public transport are now high on the public’s mind.
“The COVID pandemic has also accelerated the cargo/last-mile delivery sector as well with many companies looking to get deliveries from suppliers to end consumers with increased urgency and efficiency. This sector is also on a huge growth curve with e-bikes being seen as a significant part of that solution, particularly in urban areas of the world.”