Scottish investor backs green innovation aimed at £2.8 billion market
Scottish venture capital firm Par Equity has made a multi-million pound investment in a firm behind ground-breaking technology aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.
The backing provided for Artus Air, which has offices in Edinburgh and London, will help it exploit the potential of what is a £2.8 billion market in Europe and the US.
Artus has developed an innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system which it says transforms the way buildings are cooled and heated but also significantly reduces the amount of energy consumed and carbon generated.
Compared to a traditional system, Artus’s Optima technology could cut typical energy usage of a building by some 14 per cent.
Artus’s system is delivered as a single component, which avoids the need for the usual ducts and diffusers seen on traditional systems and significantly reduces installation time.
The new investment from Par Equity will be used to build awareness of Artus, develop the product portfolio and to grow the business globally.
Artus units are already installed in a number of high-profile buildings, including the Centurion Lounge at Heathrow T3, and the technology behind them is protected by two global patents.
The business was developed by Roger Olsen, who is the firm’s chief technology officer, within the venture arm of Arup, a firm of specialists working across the built environment.
Following the investment from Par, Artus will become a standalone entity but Arup will remain a significant shareholder.
Paul Munn, managing partner at Par Equity said Artus brings a step-change to an industry which has traditionally lacked new and innovative technologies.
“Its energy efficient design helps buildings reach their Net Zero carbon target and the units work alongside existing infrastructure, offering flexible, low energy performance at no cost premium,” he said.
“These advantages make it easy for mechanical engineers to specify Artus and convinces us that it will be a market leader.”
Olsen said Artus came from a desire to have a “better tool for the job”.
“We wanted to create a low energy, widely applicable HVAC system, which is easy to design, install and run. By employing advancements in mechanical and electrical technology, we have managed to create a product that is not only more compact and aesthetically pleasing but also offers more comfort, is quieter in use, and draught free with high precision temperature controls,” he said.
Arup Ventures develops and commercialises ideas that have transformative impact on the built environment.
Ian Rogers, global ventures lead for Arup said, “We are immensely proud of our Ventures programme, which uses the ingenuity of Arup members to create new innovations and bring them to market. Artus was developed following our first call for ideas and is a fantastic example of Arup embracing new business models. We’re delighted to have worked with Par Equity to bring about this investment and look forward to seeing Artus continue to grow as a standalone business.”
Last year Par Equity increased its new investment activity to a record £12.4 million, while also continuing its run of successful exits. It has now returned cash to investors every year since 2013.
The year closed with the firm having completed 35 investment transactions inside 12 months, up from a previous high in 2019.