Turquoise, the UK merchant bank specialising in energy, environment and efficiency, has announced a £300,000 investment by the Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2), into Unum Aircraft Seating. This forms part of a capital raising round in which other investors included Origin Capital.
Unum is redefining business class comfort through its smart, adaptable, and reliable design. The Unum One family of lie flat business class seats deliver a consistent passenger experience across single and twin aisle aircraft, offering superior comfort and style. Founded by leading aircraft seating executive Chris Brady, Unum has been built from the ground up to satisfy the needs of airlines, procurement teams, designers and engineers. Unum challenges the aircraft seating status quo, enabling the pain points of delayed deliveries, inflexible service and profit over people to become a thing of the past.
The investment will be used to expand Unum’s range of seats and achieve initial certifications on all products. Team expansion is also underway, with senior hires appointed to build operations, supply chain and through life support teams in readiness for an initial customer programme, expanding on the company’s existing design and certification teams. Unum will also deploy its initial factory blueprint, gain regulatory approvals and invest in the required capital equipment to support its initial production requirements.
Measuring carbon consumption on each part designed, Unum has implemented a part marking system detailing end-of-life recycling details as part of the company’s commitment to sustainable practices across the product life cycle. David Wright, Director at Turquoise, commented:
“We were attracted to Unum’s commitment to place sustainability at the heart of its organisation – reducing embedded carbon within the seat by choosing the most sustainable materials available, and having an elegance and simplicity of design to reduce weight and therefore fuel burn over the life of the seat. Unum’s products will make a significant contribution to their customers’ journey to net zero.”
Chris Brady, Founder and CEO of Unum added:
“This investment round has been a real vote of confidence in Unum’s vision to provide the sustainable and credible alternative for business class seating. We’re looking forward to embarking on the exciting programme of development across our product, teams and facilities with the support of our investors.”
LCIF2 is funded by European Regional Development Fund, with the UK’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as the Managing Authority.
LCIF2 is managed by Turquoise and is a venture capital fund investing in eligible small to medium sized businesses based in England, particularly the areas covered by its local government backers, developing products and services which will have a beneficial environmental impact.
LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), following a successful bid by Norfolk County Council and the University of East Anglia. ERDF is an investment programme part financed by the European Union. LCIF2 is part of the UK government’s portfolio of business support products.
LCIF2 has received £10.9m (for co-investment alongside private monies) from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is the Managing Authority for this funding. Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk /european-growth-funding.