Bristol entrepreneurs back fast-growing tech business


Fast-growing technology company Rovco, which is developing 3D vision and Artificial Intelligence techniques to carry out sub-sea inspections, has received £400,000 investment from the Bristol Private Equity Club.

Rovco, based in central Bristol, close to Temple Meads, is planning to grow from ten to 30 employees in the next year as it further develops its technologies for use in the offshore renewable industry and oil field decommissioning.

Brian Allen, founder and CEO of Rovco, said the move will not only provide the capital for the company’s next steps but also links the business to some of Bristol’s most influential and knowledgeable business brains.

He said: “The only real way for a business like ours to be successful is to sell equity and work in partnership with our new shareholders. This investment from Bristol Private Equity Club links us with 19 well-established successful business people from the Bristol area and enables us to plug into their network as we grow.

“The club is absolutely brilliant to work with and is extremely well organised and we like the idea that it is all Bristol business people involved.”

Rovco is aiming for its technology to be used instead of high-res video cameras for underwater inspections around offshore windfarms and on underwater pipelines and cables. Its 3D vision system and AI data analysis cuts the cost of underwater inspections and maintenance.

The business was launched in September 2016 and received funding from InnovateUK, the government’s Technology Strategy Board, which financed 70% of its first two project stages, as part of the UK’s robotics and AI in extreme environments programme in the AI sector deal.

Jerry Barnes, Bristol Private Equity Club, founding member said: “We feel that Rovco and the Bristol Private Equity Club are a perfect fit. There is no doubt that they are developing technology that is going to make a real difference in important industries and that the business can scale-up very quickly.

“It is fantastic that these businesses are forming and growing in Bristol and our club members want to do all they can to encourage local success. We are not alone in spotting the potential of Rovco as they have other individuals and investment syndicates backing them but the unique nature of the Bristol Private Equity Club means we will provide much more than just a source of finance.”

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