Smart antenna business Sofant Technologies dials up investment 

Edinburgh-based Sofant Technologies has closed a funding round with help from Kelvin Capital, Scottish Enterprise and the investment arm of The University of Edinburgh.

New technology: Sofant is looking to the European and US markets for growth

New technology: Sofant is looking to the European and US markets for growth

To meet the rising demand for 4G and LTE services, Sofant Technologies has secured new institutional funding.

The Scottish business, which has developed a smart antenna offering using less energy, has enlisted the support of venture capital backer Kelvin Capital as well as Scottish Enterprise and Old College Capital. As the investment arm of The University of Edinburgh, Old College Capital provides early-stage and mid-stage funding to spin-outs and start-ups.

With new funding in the bank, Sofant will be rolling out product development plans and licence its designs to smartphone manufactures. According to a statement, the business is aiming to hit revenues of £10 million in year five.

Sergio Tansini, CEO of Sofant, says that the new deal is a 'huge endorsement' of the company's plans.

'Each generation of mobile device brings with it the capability to perform more powerful and sophisticated tasks,' he adds.

'Consumers expect the highest standards but conventional antennae inhibit performance. Our SmartAntennaTM will finally unlock the full potential of smartphones and tablets.'

Sofant says that the current roll out of LTE and 4G is putting 'ever increasing pressure' on existing antenna technology. Issues such as dropped calls, lost signal, weak connections and slow internet are all problems which it hopes to address. Smart antenna technology, it says, is forecast to be worth $2.5 billion by 2020.

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Eleanor Mitchell, director of commercialisation at Scottish Enterprise, says that Sofant shows Scotland's growing ability to successfully commercialise research into viable businesses.

She adds, 'Scottish Enterprise has worked closely with the company on this project, providing an integrated package of support including Proof of Concept funding for the spin-out process, and assistance from our High Growth Start-Up, SMART, Scottish Investment Bank and international teams.

Back in October 2012, Sofant linked up with Scottish Enterprise to secure early-stage commercialisation funding as it looked to build on its research.