D3O, the UK-based company which provides impact protection solutions for leading global footwear brands Dr. Martens and Karrimor, has announced today that it has raised a total of £13 million in funding from its existing investor Entrepreneurs Fund and new investor Beringea, to support the further expansion of the company’s impact protection products and international market growth.
Beringea will invest a total of c. £9 million from its UK and US offices, whilst the Entrepreneurs Fund – D3O’s largest current shareholder – will invest a further £3 million, with other existing shareholders supplying the balance.
D3O has a unique patented technology used to make a soft, flexible and distinctive orange-coloured material with high shock absorbing properties that is used in impact protection products. D3O’s extended portfolio of footwear materials and solutions which are integrated into athletic and industrial footwear products for brands including Dr. Martens, Karrimor and Marks & Spencer, were showcased at ISPO 2015, and will be will be exhibited at this summer’s Outdoor Show and Outdoor Retailer. In addition, D3O addresses a range of markets such as electronics, sport, workwear and military protection.
Recently, D3O has changed the face of protection for American football with a new helmet liner system designed to reduce brain trauma and has introduced significant enhancements for safety in the oil and gas industry, with the introduction of a new flexible, comfortable and protective glove design.
Through successful R&D, the company has been able to grow from one product in 2010 to a portfolio of 15 materials today. It has a strong new product pipeline for 2015-16 and this new capital will facilitate investment in plant and machinery as well as expanding D3O’s team of highly skilled chemists, engineers and designers.
The company delivered revenues of c. £10 million in 2014, marking the second consecutive annual increase of 50%. Over 90% of D3O revenues are export, with 40% of sales in the US. This international approach helped the company achieve a Queen’s Award for Enterprise last year.
The new funds announced today will support the further growth, powering further innovation, international expansion and new facilities in the UK and abroad. The new facilities will include a state-of-the-art innovation and development centre in the UK, which will be the global knowledge hub of the company. US expansion will include a new sales and marketing office and in Asia D3O will open a dedicated testing and production facility for greater proximity to its Asian customers.
Stuart Sawyer, CEO of D3O, said:
“We are delighted to have secured funding from our new investor Beringea and we embrace the continued long-term support of the Entrepreneurs Fund, who have always believed in the company’s ability and global opportunities.
“Innovation and talented people are the lifeblood of our company and the new funds will enable us to invest further in R&D facilities and recruit even more highly talented individuals to join the team. This investment will allow us to place more emphasis on product development and international marketing, which will enable us to maintain our market leading position in impact protection solutions.”
Alex Hardmuth of Entrepreneur’s Fund, said:
“The recent adoption of D3O’s innovative materials in the oil and gas industry as well as in American Football are only two examples that testify to the company’s performance.
“We have seen substantial growth over the last four years and believe this funding will unleash D3O’s next phase of growth.”
Trevor Hope, Chief Investment Officer of Beringea in the UK, said:
“D3O is a great example of a British company with a core of deep scientific and technical expertise in the increasingly important and valuable smart materials industry.
“The company’s materials and design skills have already attracted a number of high profile industrial and retail partners and we are excited to support the company, its materials and the D3O brand as it grows to become a major international force.”