Stirling-based QUICKBLOCK sets sights on defence market after investment
QUICKBLOCK, a Stirling-based company which makes unique “green” construction blocks, has raised a six-figure investment and plans a push into the defence market with a life-saving ballistic and blast resistant version.
The £310,000 investment has come from Edinburgh angel syndicate Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise under its co-investment fund and the University of Strathclyde Inspire Entrepreneurs’ Fund.
The company makes blocks from recycled plastic that ship in flat-pack and click open to create strong, durable equivalents of concrete construction blocks. Concrete production accounts for an estimated 8% of global climate-changing carbon emissions.
QUICKBLOCK is made from 100% recycled polypropylene that would otherwise go to landfill and can be repeatedly disassembled and reused.
The company has recently completed successful trials of a bullet- and blast-resistant version which provides easily portable and rapidly-deployable shelter for troops in hostile environments.
Chief executive Andrew Vincent said: “The additional funding allows us to grow the business from general civilian use into potentially a Nato-wide supplier of troop protection.
“We have established QUICKBLOCK as an alternative to traditional materials in the construction sector and in pop up events and we will also be expanding that area of the business.”
QUICKBLOCKs filled with gravel or other material have also been tested as effective barriers against certain vehicle terrorist attacks by cars trying to ram crowds or enter restricted areas.
The firm said its blocks were similar in concept to children’s building blocks and require no tools, additional materials or construction experience to assemble.
QUICKBLOCK added: “The unique compact design makes it easy to transport blocks to remote or hard-to-reach locations, such as rural settlements or camps.”
Vincent added that the company was grateful for the continuing support of the Scottish investor community in helping the company towards its potential of global scale in both civilian and military markets.
Alex Lusty at Equity Gap commented: “It’s great to see QUICKBLOCK developing their innovative, sustainable technology to provide defence and security solutions. Equity Gap investors have been pleased to continue supporting the company as it scales up, enters new markets and creates high quality jobs.”
Anne Henderson, investment manager at the University of Strathclyde, said: “We are proud to invest in a Strathclyde Alumni start-up through our Strathclyde Inspire Entrepreneurs Fund. Strathclyde has a strong tradition of investing in innovative companies and QUICKBLOCK’s sustainable construction blocks have the potential to support the transition to a greener economy.
“We look forward to following and supporting the company’s next chapter as it expands and grows.”