26 Feb 2008   |   News

UK timber-tracing firm raises £1.4 million

Investment round completed

Helveta Ltd has raised £1.4 million for the further development and commercialisation of its timber tracking system, TracElite. Helveta is based at the Harwell Innovation Centre in Didcot, UK.

The round was led by Close Ventures, with existing investors Oxford Capital Partners and a number of private investors following on. This new finance will be used to take on additional staff as well as to fund the working capital requirements

Helveta’s technology, which is primarily aimed at the timber industry, enables users to trace timber throughout the supply chain. Production of timber is monitored using a tag-based system and handheld computers using barcode or RFID reader technologies, which in turn link into a web-based suite of monitoring tools and reports.

There is concern in the tropical timber industry to ensure that only timber from legal and sustainable sources reaches the market. Governments, retailers, environmental organisations, importers, sawmills and timber concession operators all have an interest in using technology-based traceability systems to restrict the market to timber felled from legal and sustainable sources. 

Helveta developed TracElite with the backing of the Tropical Forest Trust, to combat illegal logging, provide back-to-stump traceability and deliver online chain of custody audits replacing paper based approaches.

Aside from traceability, Helveta’s technology also provides users with real time visibility and optimisation of timber production, resulting in greatly increased efficiency in the forest or in the factory.

Such capabilities are relevant to other industries, and Helveta is currently also running a series of projects for customers in the food industry.

The technology platform is live and in use with customers in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.  Helveta is based in Oxford, UK.

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