Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised Mercia Asset Management plc (Mercia) on its recent £260,000 investment in Equiwatt, a tech start-up based in Gateshead.

The funding will enable Equiwatt to scale up its plans for the Equiwatt app, which is designed to enable households to collectively reduce their energy consumption.

The app rewards households for cutting energy use at peak times, as well as enabling users to turn off appliances simultaneously as a community.

Equiwatt estimate that for every 1,000 households using the app, 250 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be offset every year.

The funding has come from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.

The team advising on the transaction was led by Oliver Rickett in WBD’s corporate team.

Oliver commented: “It has been great to work with Mercia once more on an investment into another exciting and inspiring start-up.

“We are passionate about supporting tech businesses, especially Tech For Good and the app developed by Equiwatt will not only reduce people’s carbon footprint, but will reward them for doing so at the same time.

“We’re looking forward to watching the business grow and see the benefits it will bring to our community.”

Investment Manager, Jan Oosthuizen who led the transaction for Mercia commented: “We enjoy working with Oliver and the WBD team.

“They provide the right balance of legal expertise and commercial pragmatism and understand the way a start-up and its founders work, which is invaluable from an investor’s perspective.”

This is the latest in a series of major deals completed by WBD’s North East team during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, including advising:

  • Newcastle software company Caspian on its investment from NASDAQ
  • Carpetright on its acquisition of Keswick Flooring
  • LDC on its investment in Connect Health
  • Mercia Asset Management’s investment on a breast cancer detection technology business on the creation of Northern Accelerator’s Seed Investment Fund
  • Northumberland robotics manufacturer Tharsus on the extension of its deal with retail giant Ocado on the sale of Matfen Hall Hotel

Alongside fantastic results for the wider firm, WBD’s Newcastle based corporate team’s expertise, excellent client care and commercial approach was praised in the latest edition of the Legal 500 directory, a leading guide to law firms in the UK published last week.

The team retained its Tier 1 ranking, and six of its lawyers were ranked on an individual basis.

Ranking in the UK’s top 20 law firms, WBD has deep roots in the North East which is home to its largest UK office in which over 200 qualified advisors are based.

It is committed to playing its part in the future prosperity of the North East and Cumbria by using its local, national and international reach and expertise to benefit the region’s leading sectors, businesses, people and organisations.

WBD’s Newcastle corporate team advises clients across a number of sectors, on a broad range of corporate transactions, particularly M&A, IPOs, private equity investments as well as growth and development capital fundraisings.