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Octopus Ventures Invests £1.1 million in Phase Vision Ltd


1st June 2009

Octopus Ventures Ltd (“Octopus”), a specialist investor in early-stage and expanding companies, has made an investment of £1.1 million into Phase Vision Ltd (“Phase Vision” or “the Company”), a manufacturer of optical inspection solutions for high-speed, three dimensional shape measurement with micro-scale accuracy. Octopus Ventures led this round of funding, giving it a significant minority stake in the business.

Octopus’ investment will enable Phase Vision to bring their beta prototype product to market and accelerate its commercial development programme. The funds allocated were provided by the Octopus Titan 1, 2 and 3 VCTs, Octopus Eureka, and the Octopus Investor Group. The commercial release of Phase Vision’s products is targeted for mid-2009.

Phase Vision’s automated inspection systems allow for the in-process assessment of complex components, removing traditional bottlenecks in manufacturing processes. It specialises in measuring very large (>100cm) industrial items with free-form or curved surfaces, such as ship propellers and aircraft wings, to tighten manufacturing tolerances, increase throughput and reduce waste. The Company’s metrology solutions are more cost efficient than current laser processes, and accurately measure objects to micron level, providing superior performance.

Phase Vision’s clients include some of the biggest names in the automotive, aerospace, chemical and medical device engineering sectors. The market for large scale measurement with micro-scale accuracy is estimated to be worth around £2 billion per year, with growth of around 6% per annum.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive of Octopus Ventures, said: “There is a huge opportunity to implement Phase Vision’s technology across a wide range of industries, especially in the science and engineering sectors. Having established itself as a potential leader in its field, we look forward to the Company’s impact on the metrology market.”

Ralph Weir, Chief Executive of Phase Vision Ltd, said: “From the outset it was clear that Octopus offered us so much more; not just the money, but the valuable advice and experience we need to build a world-beating business. Phase Vision has the potential to be a very significant player in a growing market, and with Octopus we have a partner to support that growth.”

Alliott Cole, Investment Manager, led the deal on behalf of Octopus. Shoosmiths and Wragges were legal advisers to Octopus. Osborne Clark were the Company’s legal representatives.

-ENDS-

Media Enquires:
Octopus Investments Ltd:
Celestine Cheong, Communication Manager Tel: +44 (0)20 7710 2840
Email: ccheong@octopusinvestments.com

The Millbrook Partnership Tel: +44 (0) 20 7520 9455
Email: oi@millbrookpartnership.com

Phase Vision Ltd:
Ralf Weir, Chief Executive
Tel: 01509 223632
Email: r.weir@phasevision.com

Notes to Editors
About Octopus Ventures (www.octopusinvestments.com / www.octopusventures.com)
Octopus Ventures, a subsidiary of Octopus Investments, is a venture capital company that focuses on identifying early-stage business opportunities that show significant potential for explosive growth.

Octopus Ventures has access to a network of over 100 independent investors that make up the Octopus Investor Group. The group backs UK entrepreneurs and aids in their success by providing both knowledge and industry contacts. The majority of group members are highly experienced leaders in their field who have built or are building businesses. Their time and experience, given alongside that of Octopus, provides companies with the type of developmental assistance and resource that is usually beyond the means of most small businesses.

Over the past eight years, the Octopus Ventures team has invested £26 million into 30 companies and generated a realised return of 3.5x cash on cash (equivalent to 49% IRR). Across the entire portfolio (including those investments not yet realised), Octopus Ventures’ IRR is 20% (IPEVCG guidelines 31st December 2008).

In October 2007, Octopus Investments launched Octopus Titan VCT 1 & 2 which raised more than £30 million. Octopus Ventures is the Investment Manager of this Fund. The focus of the Fund is to generate real returns on investors’ money over the long term by investing into unquoted companies with strong growth potential.

The typical deal size ranges from £500,000 to £2 million and the portfolio is expected to encompass investments in 20-25 unquoted companies. The Fund is structured as a twin VCT to enable it to make investments of up to £2 million per company, twice the amount possible for single VCTs. To date seven companies have received funding.

Following the strong investor demand for Octopus Titan VCT 1 & 2, Octopus Titan VCT 3 plc was launched in May 2008. Like the previous Titan VCTs, Octopus Titan 3 is designed to deliver strong returns to investors through investment into 20-30 smaller UK companies. To date three companies have received funding from Octopus Titan VCT 3.

Octopus Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Services Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. Registered office: 8 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HP. Registered in England & Wales under No. 03843058.

About Phase Vision Ltd (www.phasevision.com)
Phase Vision manufactures world-class optical inspection solutions for dimensional metrology applications. It develops a range of technologies specifically designed for high-speed, threedimensional shape measurement with micro-scale accuracy. Its automated optical inspection systems allow for the in-process assessment of complex components, removing traditional bottlenecks in manufacturing processes.

Phase Vision Ltd was incorporated in 2002. It has developed (and patented) a unique optical approach to the measurement of very large (>100cm) industrial items with free-form or curved surfaces, such as ship propellers and aircraft wings. Phase Vision’s metrology solutions are more cost efficient than current laser processes, and accurately measure mechanical systems to micron level, thus providing superior performance.

Phase Vision’s systems use a fringe projection approach and comprise of one or more projector/camera units that project, and image, patterns of light onto the object to be measured. Sophisticated algorithms are then used to accurately calculate the dimension of the object. The system can be used as a stand alone unit (portable or fixed) or can be integrated into the users’ systems. Typical installations are in the region of £250,000 to £1 million.


Publisher Contact Information:

Octopus Investments
+44 (0)20 7710 2840
ccheong@octopusinvestments.com

Company profile of Octopus Ventures
Past press releases of Octopus Ventures.

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