Mitsui & Co. Global Investment (MGI) has backed Cambridge-based Neul to the tune of £3.1 million to help with its plans to move towards full-scale production.
With an existing investor base of DFJ Esprit, IQ Capital and Business Angels, all of which are participating in the round, Neul has now raised £11.1 million following its £8 million first round in June 2011.
Simon Cook, CEO of DFJ Esprit, joined the board of Neul when the venture capital firm became involved.
Neul is in the process of developing a wide-area cellular network so that customers will be able to achieve connectivity in areas where it was previously technically or commercially unrealistic to do so – such as open-cast mines, oil fields and remote utility plants.
The business is planning networks in the UK, US and Singapore and will use Japan-based trading, investment and service firm MGI to develop its activities in Asia.
James Collier, CEO and founder of Neul, says that he is pleased to have broadened its shareholder base by attracting MGI.
‘The scale and breadth of [MGI’s] activities will be of great benefit to us,’ he adds.
MGI is a subsidiary of Mitsui & CO and provides growth and venture capital funding to companies with what it calls ‘genuine’ international ambitions. As well as its headquarters in Tokyo, it also has bases in Silicon Valley, New York and London.
Neul CFO David Smyth comments, ‘With this additional funding, Neul is able to follow through the many opportunities we have built and accelerate our development towards commercial production and deployment.
As well as attracting new investment from MGI and return backing from its first round partners, Neul has also secured further funding from its founding employees.