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London Tech Week

This UK startup raises £7M to increase production of sustainable in-car audio systems

Warwick Acoustics
Picture credits: Warwick Acoustics

Warwick Acoustics, a UK startup that has developed a patented loudspeaker technology to revolutionise in-car audio systems, has raised £7 million. The funding round was led by Mercia Ventures (invested in Wobble Genomics and Newcells Biotech) alongside NFU Mutual and a range of private investors.

The funding will enable the company to invest in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and ramp up manufacturing capacity. This investment comes close on the heels of securing its first production contract with a leading global luxury vehicle manufacturer.

Sustainable audio solutions 

Founded by David Hutchins and Duncan Billson as a spin-out from Warwick University’s engineering department, the Nuneaton-based company has come up with an Electrostatic Loudspeaker technology, the world’s most sustainable audio solution. 

As per the company, its electrostatic speakers provide superior sound quality compared to conventional speakers. With a slim profile, it offers greater flexibility to designers in terms of cabin layout. Being 90% lighter and 90% more power efficient than conventional speakers, they help to extend the battery life and range of electric vehicles. 

They are sustainable and are manufactured from upcycled and easy-to-recycle materials, and, unlike conventional loudspeakers, use no rare earth metals. 

Secures contracts with car makers 

Warwick Acoustics’ first automotive system production contract, which was announced in June last year, will initially be for two vehicle programs. The company has also secured development contracts with several other car companies and is in talks with other leading global brands.

Dr Mike Grant, Warwick Acoustics’ CEO, said: “This raise provides the business with an outstanding foundation on which to move forward and complete the initial commercialisation of the technology for the automotive market. Completing the journey into production on our first significant and highly complex system production automotive contract will be a springboard for the business to accelerate its financial performance and realise fully its potential on a global scale.  We are excited by the potential opportunities ahead of us that this funding round will enable us to address.”

Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management PLC, added: “We have supported Warwick Acoustics since 2009, as the business resolved technical challenges and progressed in the commercialisation of its technology. Its headphone systems have received global acclaim as best-in-class products, and the automotive production agreement signed last year was a landmark achievement. The company is now gaining significant commercial traction and attracting interest from the leading players in the premium automotive market. We look forward to continuing our support for the team to help them realise the disruptive, world-beating potential of this business.”

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