Xeros drums up £10 million investment for green washing machine development

A business which has developed an environmentally friendly laundry cleaning system has closed an eight-figure investment round led by Invesco Perpetual.

Xeros has raised £10 million from new and existing investors as it looks to accelerate the roll out of its commercial laundry cleaning system.

The round has been led by Invesco Perpetual, which has contributed £6 million, alongside IP Group, Entrepreneurs Fund, Enterprise Ventures’ RisingStars II Fund, Finance Yorkshire and Parkwalk Advisors.

The company’s system cleans clothes without the need for much water by using polymer beads. Beads are released into the drum for cleaning, and are then removed from the clothes once the process is complete. Xeros claims that the technology uses 80 per cent less water, 50 per cent less energy and 50 per cent less detergent.

The technology was launched into the commercial laundry market in late 2012 with sites at Jeeves of Belgravia (London) and Watford launderers + cleaners, followed by installations in North America at Sterling Linen Services (New Hampshire), Hyatt Regency Reston (Virginia) and Crest Dry Cleaners (Virginia).

An institutional fundraising round in November 2010 saw Xeros secure £3.5 million from an investment consortium of six backers. Its new cash allocation will be used to push through the roll out of its commercial system as well as finalising the development of a household system to replace conventional washing machines.

According to Xeros, a domestic washing machine uses approximately 50 litres of water a wash and contributes 13 per cent of household energy use. Savings using its technology, the company says, would result in consumers saving £2 billion per year as well as a reduction of 4.2 million tonnes of CO2.

Xeros CEO Bill Westwater comments, ‘We have a big but simple idea: to convert the traditional world of aqueous washing to Xeros bead cleaning.

‘This fundraise represents another milestone in our journey towards making that idea a reality.’

Located at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield, Xeros originally came out of work by the University of Leeds. The company has now raised over £16 million in funding from private investment and government R&D grants to commercialise its technology.

Charles Henderson, UK equities business manager at Invesco Asset Management, adds, ‘Xeros is a pioneering British company with the potential to become a global game-changing business.

‘Through our funds, Invesco Perpetual is giving investors the opportunity to support a potential high growth green company.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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