Ad industry leaders join £4m investment in Sure Chill

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Unique cooling technology company Sure Chill, has announced its latest financial milestone after securing £4m investment in a funding round.

Among the investors are The Garage Soho, which focuses on building brands and was set up by global advertising leader Sir John Hegarty, founding partner of Saatchi and Saatchi and founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Africa-focused capital manager, Novastar Ventures also participated in the funding, bringing Sure Chill’s total fundraising to date to over £10m.

Cardiff-based Sure Chill initially developed its unique cooling technology to protect lifesaving, temperature-sensitive vaccines in emerging countries where access to consistent and reliable power supplies are rare.

Global success

After receiving the first contract for its cooling technology from UNICEF in Africa in 2011, Sure Chill has successfully exported to 49 countries as recognised by the recent Board of Trade award presented by MP Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade. 

The Sure Chill technology harnesses a unique property of water to enable continuous cooling from inconsistent power and is the only company to use this type of technology. 

The technology can keep on cooling refrigerators for days when the power goes out.

Sure Chill said the funding will be used to accelerate the development of other applications for the patented technology. 

Peter Saunders OBE, serial entrepreneur and investor remains the largest shareholder.

The investment will be used to catapult the company to the next level; attracting more top talent as well as expanding its operations with new offices overseas, Sure Chill said.

After proving the success of its technology through vaccine refrigeration in both on- and off-grid locations, Sure Chill has received increasing interest from some of the world’s largest brands looking to make use of its unique cooling technology in other major commercial sectors.

Growth plans

The company’s turnover last year was £3m and the firm has ambitious plans to grow significantly. The company has already doubled its team size in the last three months and has team members in China, USA and the UAE.

Investor The Garage Soho  has invested £2m in Sure Chill - the first investment of this kind in its portfolio – after seeing the potential to grow the company into a global brand. It was attracted by how Sure Chill is disrupting the refrigeration market and interested in its social impact.

The Garage Soho’s co-founder, Sir John Hegarty, who’s famously known as a founding partner of Saatchi and Saatchi and the founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, helped to set up the company following a highly successful career in global advertising which saw him awarded a Knighthood by the Queen in 2007. 

"It's rare to find such an innovative technology that will have such a profound impact on the well-being of the planet”, said Hegarty.

Novastar Ventures, which also invested £2m in Sure Chill, is a Kenya-based venture capital fund manager dedicated to finding and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve Africa’s mass markets. 

Novostar invests Sovereign Wealth Funds from major European Governments as well as Banks.

Lifesaving technology

Commenting, Andrew Carruthers, Co-founder of Novastar said: “We were initially attracted to Sure Chill after seeing the impact its cooling technology has already had through the safe storage of life-saving vaccinations across some of the most remote places in Africa and the plans that the company have for deploying this technology into products serving the mass consumer markets.

“We are a business that has the potential to make a huge difference to the daily lives of the vast populations in Africa and other emerging markets with no access to cooling products, as well as representing a great commercial opportunity.”  

Nigel Saunders, CEO of Sure Chill, said: “Cooling is a foundation of modern society, wherever you are in the world – from keeping food and vaccines cool to even keeping our data centres functioning. 

“Unfortunately, though, many methods available for cooling are not fit for today’s world. That’s why the technology behind Sure Chill is so unique – it stores energy naturally and enables cooling devices like refrigerators to keep on cooling when the power goes out.

“Sure Chill is fundamentally a big idea which can improve lives for billions in developing countries whilst also helping people and businesses in developed countries to time-shift energy and reduce energy costs. 

“The tech is scalable from cool box to refrigerator to warehouse.

“We are delighted to welcome two significant investors to join our ever-growing story. Both bring a particular skill set and experience to the company which is complementary. 

“The funds will ensure we take the business to the next phase by successfully entering new markets and making Sure Chill a global brand.

Saunders added: “This year we’ve seen the first ever UN-backed World Refrigeration Day which acknowledges the significant role refrigeration plays in the well-being of mankind and the impact that cooling technology can have modern life and society around the world. 

“We’re proud to have a unique solution that can help solve so many different cooling challenges on a global scale.”

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