Powerchair start-up on track to enter market after clearing first funding round

Image credit: Alex Papanikolaou, Freedom One Life

A powerchair start-up based in Glasgow has cleared one of the final hurdles it will face before it is able to enter the mainstream mobility market.

Freedom One Life has managed to secure £280,000 of investment from Murray Capital, which is the first round of funding it needs before it can reach its goal of £1.2m.

The powerchair is the brainchild of wheelchair-user Alex Papanikolaou, who became frustrated with traditional powerchairs on the market which lacked sufficient battery life and tyre wear to suit his active lifestyle.

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Papanikolaou hopes to raise the remainder of the money in two more stages of £350,000 and £600,000.

It is hoped that the £280,000 will allow the company to sell “a few chairs” while the second round will allow Freedom One Life to scale throughout the UK. The final £600,000 will be used to bring the powerchair to Scandinavian and US markets.

A number of private investors have already been involved in funding the project for the last few years, including former Scottish and Southern Energy chief executive Ian Marchant, who said the Freedom One Life’s “deep understanding of the customer need and issues with the current products on the market is the company’s biggest strength”.

Papanikolaou has been using his powerchair consistently over the last few years and claims to have already covered thousands of miles in it. The company recently completed the fourth version of the Freedom One which has given it “a more integrated design and look, a tilt function for pressure relief and customisation seating options”.

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