Innovative Scottish start-up, QuickBlock, has received more than £250,000 in seed funding that will create four skilled jobs and accelerate the growth of the company’s unique rapid-assembly building blocks made from 100% recycled plastic into new markets.
The investment from Equity Gap and Scottish Enterprise comes as the company sets its sights on global market opportunities within agriculture, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief. It will help create a variety of permanent new roles, including securing the long-term appointment of their interim CEO, Andrew Vincent. Other new positions include head of sales, sales executive, and graduate-level marketing and product designer.
Commenting on the funding, Chairman Tom Thomson said: ”Our investors’ commitment validates and supports our ambition to make QuickBlock one of Scotland’s major business successes. We are now recruiting for a further three new members of staff and ramping up output as the product gains appeal in diverse markets.”
Similar in concept to children’s building blocks, the flat-pack building material requires no tools, additional materials, or construction experience. Its unique compact design makes it easy to transport to remote or hard-to-reach locations, such as rural settlements or camps. A fraction of the weight of traditional cement blocks, the block is made from 100% recycled polypropylene that would otherwise go to landfill and can be repeatedly disassembled and re-used.
Vincent said: “We have an innovative, sustainable, market-ready product and, despite a challenging year with COVID-19, we’ve gained traction across a number of sectors. This investment will allow us to respond to this growing demand, build our sales team and scale-up at pace over the next year. Longer-term, we have a bold and ambitious vision to enable people all over the world to build a greener future with QuickBlock.”
QuickBlock was conceived by architect Hugh Fisher whose vision was to build refugee housing in the Middle East by recycling the plastic that litters parts of the region’s landscape. The company has recently worked with students from Oxford University as part of an industry skills development programme to develop the block’s deployment within the humanitarian market. Additionally, it has been further tested in a variety of applications and the company is seeking partners in the construction industry that see the benefits of the time-saving and sustainable technology.
Caitlyn Hughes, Relationship Manager at Equity Gap, said: “This innovative new building technology will help meet the challenges faced by a variety of sectors where speed, reusability, and sustainability are priorities. Products like QuickBlock can enable a greener future and put Scotland at the forefront of the technologies that will support the country’s drive to net zero. This funding will allow the company to expand the team, increase focus on sales and marketing, and deliver new product improvements.”
QuickBlock is a finalist at this year’s Scottish EDGE. The competition aims to identify and support Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth entrepreneurial talent.