PervasID pivots to overcome pandemic impact with Innovate UK EDGE help

Airplane factory

A spin-out from Cambridge University has had support from Innovate UK EDGE to pivot into new markets with its patented inventory tracking system, after orders from the aviation spares industry collapsed during the COVID-19 crisis.

While PervasID secured emergency funding from existing investors, Innovate UK EDGE’s innovation and growth specialist David Gill helped the company to build a stronger and more diverse base as part of a major restructuring effort.

Pivoting and rebuilding the business in this way has since created new jobs, further investment and a 100% bounce back in turnover, along with strategic expansion and entry into medical markets.

PervasID, based at St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge, was also awarded two Innovate UK grants in 2020 to further develop its novel RFID (radio frequency identification) tracking technology.

David has worked with the company since 2016 on developing strategy, implementing corporate governance measures, recruiting key employees, negotiating contracts with major suppliers and grant finance. PervasID raised investment from several investors, and total funding from all sources exceeded £4.5M.

In 2019, Stanley Black & Decker group (SBD) made a strategic investment, ordering RFID readers worth multi-million pounds, most of which were deployed in manufacturing factories in aerospace sector. 

PervasID pivots to overcome crisis

When the pandemic forced the company to reduce staff numbers through furloughing and redundancies and outsourcing its accounting function, David helped the CEO and founder, Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, to see a way forward beyond COVID-19. 

In recent months, PervasID has used its partnership with SBD to promote its CribMaster product to the aviation industry in dealing with the problem of foreign object damage. It means every tool used in aircraft maintenance can be tracked, significantly reducing accidents and improving regulatory and contractual compliance. 

Just before lockdown, PervasID launched a long-range RFID (radio frequency identification) tracking system for NHS Trusts. 

It has since been deployed to track medical devices, medical records and patient flow, helping hospitals to reduce waiting times and improve patient care through more efficient and accurate asset management. 

Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, founder and CEO, said: “Working with Innovate UK EDGE has provided PervasID with a sounding board and tailored guidance at critical junctures of our development.

“This support has allowed me to develop from being a start-up entrepreneur into a successful general manager of a scale-up business, turning original ideas into game-changing products.”

On 29th April 2021, it was announced that PervasID had won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation.”

This support has allowed me to develop from being a start-up entrepreneur into a successful general manager of a scale-up business"

Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, founder and CEO