Slingshot Simulations, a spinoff from the University of Leeds, has secured £3m in a funding round led by Northern Gritstone, alongside Mercia and the Northern Powerhouse Fund.
Founded by Dr David McKee in 2019, the startup’s software builds digital twins of real-world objects, assets and systems, allowing users to rapidly visualise and analyse vast data sets and simulate scenarios to predict outcomes.
Slingshot Simulations joined Nexus, the University of Leeds’ innovation community, as a small startup in 2019.
Dr McKee, Founder and CEO of Slingshot Simulations, said: “We’re really excited to be backed by the Northern Gritstone team and continue to have the support of Mercia.
“With this new funding we can realise our vision more quickly – enabling anyone, anywhere to access the power of digital twins and decision intelligence and make a quantifiable difference to some of the biggest challenges we face today. 2023 will be an exciting year as we accelerate the release of cutting-edge capabilities on this journey.”
Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, University of Leeds, said: “Slingshot Simulations is a fantastic example of how a hugely talented and diverse team of experts can thrive in a supportive environment, delivering real insights from cutting-edge data science.
“It is this type of challenge-led research that will help us tackle the planet’s most pressing issues such as climate change, public health and food sustainability.”
Slingshot Simulations will use the funding to accelerate development and expand the customer base of its digital twin platform.
The startup also plans to increase the types of services it offers in reducing carbon emissions from transport, and creating plans to reach net zero carbon emissions regionally.
The digital twin revolution
The digital twin market is rapidly growing and is expected to reach over $50bn in the next three years. Slingshot Simulations aims to contribute to this growth by making data-driven decisions easily accessible to anyone, and by expanding the use of digital twin technology to other markets.
Duncan Johnson, Chief Executive of Northern Gritstone, said: “As the digital twin market continues to expand, Slingshot Simulations’ ambition to produce this technology for a wider range of businesses can accelerate the sector’s development.
“The company’s ground-breaking approach is representative of the thriving innovation in the north of England that Northern Gritstone was created to support. Slingshot Simulations, which marks our first Leeds-based investment, is an excellent example of Northern Gritstone’s investment approach and we look forward to supporting its continued growth journey.”
Paul Scully, Digital Economy Minister, added: “Thanks to the resilience of innovative start-ups like Slingshot Simulations, the UK ended last year as one of the world’s leaders in tech. It’s great to see more investment flowing into a firm that can help cities cut air pollution and reduce congestion. We’re committed to making sure our tech sector continues to thrive and add jobs and growth to the economy.”
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