ERJ staff report (PR)
London - Private equity firm Calculus Capital has invested £2.5 million (€3.1 million) in WheelRight Ltd, an Oxford, UK-based developer and supplier of tire-monitoring technology.
WheelRight’s remote tire-monitoring equipment measures tire pressure when a vehicle is driven over a sensor plate. It is designed to provide fleet operators and motorists with immediate pressure information via SMS or visual display and can link directly into a fleet-management system.
The sensor technology, which can also weigh vehicles in motion and analyse load distribution, is intended for use by the commercial vehicle, bus and wider automotive sectors. Current UK clients including bus companies Thamesdown and Stagecoach.
The company, which was founded in 2004 by John Catling and Michael Taylor, employs 10 engineers at its Begbrooke Science Park base in Oxford.
“WheelRight is revolutionising pressure monitoring, using a complex technology to create an accurate and user-friendly product,” said WheelRight CEO Catling. “The funds provided by Calculus Capital will be used to help us commercialise our product more widely and to help make vehicle and fleets safer.”
"The WheelRight sensor array provides a very high-tech solution to a practical, every-day problem," added Richard Moore, investment director of Calculus Capital. “It will help to lower the costs of motoring, reduce the number of road accidents and limit carbon emissions.”
Announcing the deal, Calculus Capital highlighted a Bridgestone study of 38,000 cars in nine European countries. This showed that 71% of motorists are driving on under-inflated tyres - wasting 2 billion tonnes of fuel worth €2.8 billion and adding 4.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
Moreover, the investment firm cited Highways Agency reports showing that over a three month period, more than 15,000 breakdowns on motorways alone were attributed to tire issues. A survey of 100 fleet managers, meanwhile, found that 75% of UK businesses failed to check their tires on a monthly basis – as recommended by safety experts.