Rainbow Seed Fund Backs Pireta

Pireta LtdA Smart Textiles Technology Developed at the National Physical Laboratory

London – 17 October 2017 Rainbow Seed Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on building technology companies from the UK’s research base, today announces seed investment into Pireta, a smart textiles company exploiting technology developed at the National Physical Laboratory.

Pireta has developed a unique additive process that adds conductivity to fabrics at any stage –  from yarn through to completed garment. Pireta’s process ensures best-in-class conductivity with no impact on garment performance, drape or handle.

Wearable technology is an increasingly significant market, with sensors being woven into fabrics to measure physiological changes and track movement, distance and speed. Smart textiles have applications across a variety of sectors including military, emergency services and defence, healthcare, fashion, athletics and elite sports, and RFID tagging.

This initial investment will enable Pireta to optimise their core technology and pursue commercial opportunities.

Dr Andy Muir, Rainbow Investment Director, commented “Rainbow is excited to help Pireta’s wearable technology enter the market and enable a new generation of discrete devices to be built directly into the clothes we wear”.

Dr Chris Hunt, Pireta’s founder and CTO, was previously a principal research scientist at NPL where he identified an interconnect solution for textiles. Simon Kellard has joined the Board of Pireta as CEO, bringing more than 30 years of experience developing leading-edge technologies and taking them to market. Carl Francis, formerly with Rainbow’s portfolio company P2i — a nanotechnology for high-performance coatings company — has joined as Pireta’s Chairman.

Pireta, along with its partner CPI, has been successful in the recent Innovate UK Materials and Manufacturing Round 3 competition with its “TexAnn” proposal to develop smart textiles.

About Pireta

Pireta was formed in 2017 to commercialise a patented technology developed at National Physical Laboratory. The company was founded by Dr Chris Hunt who invented an additive process that can be patterned for metallising a wide range of textile types without affecting fabrics’ handle and drape. Pireta is based on NPL’s campus in Teddington, UK. For further company information, please visit pireta.co.uk. 

About Rainbow Seed Fund

The Rainbow Seed Fund is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in deep science and dedicated to kick-starting technology companies emerging from the UK’s research base. The Fund is backed by nine UK publicly-funded research organisations including STFC, BBSRC, Dstl and NERC and the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Fund, whose portfolio comprises more than 40 companies, validates, invests and grows some of the UK’s most innovative early-stage companies, underpinning the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

The Rainbow Seed Fund is managed by Midven, an established venture capital firm with a successful track record of investing in small and medium-sized enterprises. For more information, please visit rainbowseedfund.com.


For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Edwards

Rainbow Seed Fund


+44 (0)121 710 1990