Gilo Industries, a Dorset-based aerospace technology startup, has raised $30m from Chinese tech firm Kuang-Chi Group.
Following the launch of its GCI Fund in 2016, this marks Kuang-Chi’s first UK investment to date. The fund, which is expected to grow to $300m within the next three years, will invest in international innovation, focusing particularly on UK tech.
The deal will see Kuang-Chi receive a 40% stake in Gilo Industries, valued at £80m. The firm plans to use the funding to improve and further commercialise its aviation technology, expand business in the Asia-Pacific market and establish a presence in multiple industries.
Gilo Industries will continue to be HQ’d in Shaftesbury, and its manufacturing facilities will also remain in the UK.
Gilo Cardozo, founder of Gilo Industries, commented: “The support from Kuang-Chi is exactly what we need to continue to expand our production capabilities and embrace exciting new manufacturing technologies to help us grow and succeed in the global marketplace.
“It is a really clear example of how international organisations look to all areas of Britain for innovation and entrepreneurship and how they can boost regional, national and global industries.”
UK remains attractive
Kuang-Chi also launched a second fund, the GCI Fund II, at the end of 2016, which will see up to $250m invested in tech companies working in robotics, IoT, telecommunications and digital health, again with a strong focus on the UK.
Dr. Ruopeng Liu, chairman of Kuang-Chi, said: “The UK has a very attractive atmosphere for innovation with great potential for further growth. We are delighted to make our first UK investment in Gilo Industries, which we hope to be the first of many investments in the coming years.
“This is only the start of Kuang-Chi’s UK investment plans. Despite some fears surrounding Brexit, innovation is booming in the UK and Kuang-Chi has confidence in the UK market, which has a long history and a good reputation for innovation that will not fade away easily. Investing in British startups and technology companies in the growth stage is a key part of our long term strategic plan to invest in the most exciting, disruptive and innovative technologies around the world,” he concluded.