October 13th, 2015
Just three years after starting a job with a machinery firm, engineering graduate Chris Eccles found himself running his own company when he led a demerger of his area of the business.
The product he had been in charge of had proved so successful that it was agreed it would be better placed within a standalone company. ChargePoint Technology was set up in 2009 and today its containment valves are used by almost every major pharmaceutical company, to ensure the safe transfer of powders from one vessel to another during manufacturing.
ChargePoint exports around 80 per cent of its products and won the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2012. In the same year, Chris was named Young Director of the Year by the IoD North West.
However achieving growth requires investment and ChargePoint was finding it difficult to access the growth funding it needed. A £1.625m investment from Enterprise Ventures in 2013, made up of mezzanine and equity funding, has allowed it to keep growth on course by recruiting more skilled staff and developing new products. Meanwhile Will Clark from Enterprise Ventures has brought additional skills and experience to the company’s board.
The investment has paid off – pre-tax profit surged by more than 300 per cent in 2014 and turnover was up to £5.6m. The company has also acquired the assets of a supplier, Forac, which manufactured a key component.
Chris, now the Managing Director, said: “Investment by Enterprise Ventures has enabled ChargePoint to accelerate its R&D and sales development strategies significantly. This has resulted in increased turnover and job creation. Enterprise Ventures has taken a proactive interest in supporting us. In particular Will Clark has been a valuable addition to our board.”