Freedom One Life, a Glasgow-based specialist in the design and production of powered wheelchairs, is seeking fresh capital in order to take its next-generation Series 5 model to market.
The company is looking to raise equity funding via crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to supplement the backing it has received from existing investors.
Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency, has also contributed more than £250k of grant funding.
The Series 5 is the result of years of R&D and thousands of hours of testing over 20,000km in real-world conditions across the globe. It features a compact on-board charger, and has been developed to be compact and agile enough to get into the narrowest of spaces on buses and trains.
It also has an integrated flight mode to make air travel easy, quick and safe.
Alex Papanikolaou, founder of Freedom One Life, said: “In creating the Series 5, we have designed a powerchair that combines lived experience with industry leading design. Test drives in our powerchair leave huge smiles on users faces.
“This fundraise will allow us to take the Series 5 to full commercial launch, including the manufacture of demo chairs for the well-established distributor market across the UK and Europe, as we seek to become a leader in a market that is expected to more than double in value to £9.24 billion globally by 2027.”
Papanikolaou, who has cerebral palsy and uses a powered wheelchair on a daily basis, started the company to enable wheelchair users to live the life they choose.
He was frustrated by constantly breaking down and being stranded by unreliable powerchairs and decided to address the problem by establishing his business in 2013.
“Powered wheelchairs exist to liberate and empower people like me, yet most powerchair users have their life choices restricted by limited range, breakdowns and fear of being stranded. This can mean that users avoid travel, face social isolation, and risk unemployment,” Papanikolaou explained.
“I met people who were just as fed up of having to plan their lives around their powerchairs as I was. I set up the company with a mission, to stop powerchair users like myself from living in fear of being let down by their powerchairs, and instead live the life they choose.”