£1m backing for Blaze

Emily Brooke's company gets financial boost.
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Blaze has secured funding worth £1m to help it expand. Blaze produces a laser light that projects a cycle icon ahead of a cyclist. The product was invented by Emily Brooke, and her company is called SMIDSY Ltd, named for the acronym that stands for "sorry, mate, I didn't see you."

In 2014 Brooke raised £55,000 for the launch of Blaze via Kickstarter. Now she has secured investment from a consortium led by Pembroke VCT plc , with support from investors including the Branson family. Other backers in the consortium include the chairman of Dr Martens and the founder of Lepe Partners.

Blaze has seen a 400 percent year-on-year revenue growth and sold lights online to 50 countries.

The new investment will be used to support the continued expansion of the company, particularly in the US. Blaze will also be looking to expand into new markets including Australia, aided by support from Sydney-based investor Raven Ventures.

Andrew Wolfson, CEO of Pembroke Venture Capital Trust, said: “Pembroke VCT is delighted with Blaze’s impressive growth in sales last year and looks forward to another successful year as Blaze continues to expand and develop on a global level. The investment will be used to support the continued expansion of the company particularly in the US, and with new product development.”

Brooke said “not only will this investment facilitate expansion worldwide, it will be crucial in allowing us to launch three new prototyped products currently in the pipeline.”

The Blaze Laserlight costs £125.

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