New R&D facility for e-bike motor pioneer FreeFlow
Neil MacMartin, left, with chief engineer Andy Pollock
Electric bike motor pioneer FreeFlow Technologies, chaired by a former CEO of Dyson, has raised £1.85 million to support its move to a new head office and R&D facility.
The over-subscribed funding round will also help further strengthen the team with more senior technical positions and assembly engineers.
FFT’s novel 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.
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 Glasgow-based 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 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 £1.8m in an earlier funding round in October 2018.
Founded in 2012 in Glasgow by e-Bike innovator Neil MacMartin following 15 years in his family bike business, FFT has a senior management team made up of experts in design, development, financial planning and cycling industry experts.
Chaired by Martin McCourt, former CEO of Dyson, FFT is poised to meet the demand from a number of large global bike and automotive brands by delivering a market ready product in 2021.
The rapidly growing electric bike market was worth £4.9bn in 2018 and is expected to grow to £11.8bn in 2023 according to the Confederation of the European Bike Industry and The Light Electric Vehicle Association.
Mr McCourt said: “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.
“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, 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 a viable transportation options to and from work that is an alternative to public transport are now high on the public’s mind.”