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Xeros to clean up market after investment 

Published: 29th June 2009

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Bill Westwater, chief executive of Xeros, with Dr Steve Jenkins technical director of Xeros and Ashwin Kumaraswamy investment manager at SYIF

An innovative technology company is ready to move to South Yorkshire and clean up the market with a unique product.

Xeros Ltd, a spin-out business from the University of Leeds, has developed a “virtually waterless” washing machine which will provide a significant benefit in energy and water efficiency without compromising performance.

The patented process saves up to 90per cent of the water compared to conventional laundry systems by using plastic beads alongside detergents to absorb and remove dirt.

More than thirty years of research at the University of Leeds has enabled Xeros (www.xerosltd.com) to harness the technology which was recently demonstrated at The Clean Show in New Orleans, United States.

Their appearance has led to Xeros agreeing a deal with GreenEarth Cleaning, an environmentally friendly dry-cleaning business, which will sell the machine initially to the commercial washing market across North America.

Bill Westwater, chief executive of Xeros, said: “We have an eye on the consumer market but it will take time. We believe that success with commercial applications could act as a springboard to help us break into that area in the future.”

To finance the next stage of the company’s development and to extend discussions with commercial partners, Xeros has received funding of £920,000 from a syndicate of investors.

This includes South Yorkshire Investment Fund’s Seedcorn Fund, Rising Stars Growth Fund II, IP Venture Fund and business angels. 

Ed French, fund manager at SYIF’s Seedcorn Fund, added: “It’s washing process, which consumes substantially less water, provides substantial operating efficiencies. We see this as an opportunity to nurture and support a new company that has the potential to be a global brand in the region.”

Tony Goulbourn, chief executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund, says: “We are delighted Xeros are now looking to establish their base in South Yorkshire as this will add to the region’s growing reputation for developing technological enterprises.

“Xeros has the potential to become a world-wide brand and is already gaining global recognition. We look forward to working with them over the coming period to support their relocation and growth.”

SYIF’s Seedcorn Fund is constantly seeking out companies in South Yorkshire with the potential to be landmark technology investments that can help build the knowledge economy in the area.

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).