Biometrics technology designer IEvo has secured £200,000 investment towards working capital.
The North Tyneside-based firm designs fingerprint reading equipment, typically used by firms that operate controlled environments with security systems.
Its fingerprint scanners are produced in partnership with manufacturers.
The Finance for Business North East Growth Fund money, delivered by NEL Fund Managers, will be used for working capital — allowing the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate firm to tackle bigger projects.
The Growth Fund investment follows three rounds of funding provided by Northstar Ventures since IEvo’s launch in 2009.
The firm currently employs 12 people and is now planning to take on a further five staff across operational, sales and marketing roles.
IEvo’s products use “multispectral imaging” — a powerful form of image capture which combines several bands of data.
Some of its readers can even scan through some types of latex gloves.
Managing director Shaun Oakes, who runs IEvo with partner Stuart Ging, said: “Entry systems based around cards are susceptible to them being lost, borrowed or stolen, but using biometric data takes away all those problems and ensures only those who should be gaining entry to a particular location can do so.
“We began by importing biometrics equipment from the Far East, but quickly saw that we’d be able to develop better products ourselves that were more suited to market requirements in the UK and Europe.
“We chose to partner with established industry-leading manufacturers like Paxton and Honeywell where we saw ways to use our technologies to enhance what they offered, and we’ve grown to achieve a multi-million pound turnover already through offering the most reliable, easy-to-use system on the market today.
“The demand for the type of products we supply is growing at home and overseas across a range of industries, and having more working capital available means we’ll be able to go after even bigger and better contracts.
“The supportive NEL team quickly understood our business plan and its requirements, and they and Northstar have worked together to ensure we were able to access this latest investment.”
Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “The IEvo management team clearly understands how to utilise external capital as a way of helping their business reach successive goals, and their future plans presented us with an excellent investment opportunity.”
Ian Richards, director at Northstar Ventures, said: “We have supported IEvo from its launch in 2009 and are really pleased with its positive growth over the years.
“The management team has done a fantastic job with the products, and I look forward to seeing the company continue its successful track record.”
Last year Shaun Oaks took part in a trade mission to South America led by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Livingston. The firm identified Mexico as a potentially lucrative export destination, underpinned by free trade agreements with the UK and EU.