RNS Number : 3908J
Vela Technologies PLC
29 March 2018

Prior to publication, the information contained within this announcement was deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR"). With the publication of this announcement, this information is now considered to be in the public domain.


29 March 2018


Vela Technologies plc

("Vela" or the "Company")


Further investment of c. £150,000 in Portr Limited


Completion by Portr Limited of £5.3 million Series A funding


The Board of Vela (AIM: VELA), the investing company focused on early-stage and pre-IPO disruptive technology investments, is pleased to announce that the Company has elected to take up its pre-emption rights in connection with a fundraising round undertaken by Portr Limited ("Portr") and has invested a further £148,466 in Portr (the "Investment"). Portr is the owner of Airportr, the app enabled service that allows airline passengers to check-in bags from home and travel to and through the airport without their baggage.


The Investment by Vela is part of a Series A funding round which has been completed by Portr and which has raised £5.3 million for Portr (the "Series A Fundraise"). Investors in the Series A Fundraise include Stobart Group and Hargreave Hale VCT's. The Series A Fundraise is the largest funding round undertaken to date by Portr.


The Series A Fundraise follows a year in which Portr has seen rapid growth of adoption for its home bag check-in service with global partner British Airways, and more recently the addition of American Airlines to the service platform, initially in London.  This progress has seen Airportr repeatedly recognised as a powerful emerging technology in aviation, creating an integrated and seamless experience for the passenger, from doorstep to plane door, while providing handling and operating efficiencies to airlines and airports.

Portr will use the new funding to increase investment and development in the following three areas;

·     Continued growth with existing and new airline partners; including development of deeper integration in direct (airline) and in-direct (OTA's and GDS) online distribution channels

·     Service expansion to new locations, cities and introduction of a new family value product for short-haul passengers ahead of the summer peak volumes

·     New product initiatives to extend automated handling, routing, tracking and delivery of baggage through to a customers' end location and international destination


The Company has entered into a subscription agreement with Portr whereby it agreed to invest £148,466 in Portr funded from the Company's existing cash resources. Vela has taken up it's pre-emption rights and has subscribed for 37,117 shares in Portr, at a price of 400 pence per share. Vela's investment has completed and is unconditional. Following the Investment Vela has now invested a total of approximately £660,000 in cash in Portr across a number of previous funding rounds.


Following the completion of the Series A Fundraise, and the conversion by Portr of certain indebtedness, Vela will be interested in 162,736 shares in Portr representing approximately 3.1 per cent. of Portr's enlarged share capital.


Based on filings at Companies House, for the year ended 26 December 2016, Portr generated a loss of £4,824,329 and as at 26 December 2016 had net assets of £1,099,651.


Randel Darby, CEO of Portr, commented:

"We have made significant changes in the last year, to focus on the B2B2C airline model. Meanwhile we have brought our London logistics in-house, which, together with our increase in volumes has propelled our delivery activities to positive margins by the end of our first year.

We're working on exciting plans with our airline and airport partners to demonstrate the significant operational benefits of city check-in services in helping to distribute and manage capacity at peak times, presenting a viable and flexible alternative to spending on infrastructure.

We're (also) launching a value proposition before the summer peak, specifically for groups, You'll be able to check in the whole family's bags from home, for less than the cost of adding a single bag with your airline."


Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group commented:

"We are pleased to continue supporting AirPortr in its ambitious plans to revolutionise the way passengers transport their luggage to and from airports. With London airports at peak capacity, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on innovative solutions to reduce the hassle of baggage check and improve passenger experience. Stobart Group are looking forward to continuing its partnership with AirPortr and to highlight the benefits to airports, airlines and passengers of using sound logistics solutions to improve the way we all travel."


Antony Laiker, Executive Director of Vela, commented:

"Completion of this Series A funding is a significant event for Portr, incorporating both the support of Stobart Group as a substantial shareholder and the strong endorsement of the Airportr platform.

Airline passengers are fully aware of the issues of managing bag capacity, particularly at busy times. In addition, airlines are now understanding the benefit of check-in services away from the airport itself. Airportr will be part of this fundamental change to "bag free" travel. We look forward to further news from Airportr regarding their airline and airport partners"


For further information, please contact:


Vela Technologies plc

Tel: +44 (0) 7802 262 443

Brent Fitzpatrick, Non-Executive Chairman

Antony Laiker, Director




Allenby Capital Limited

(Nominated Adviser)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3328 5656

Nick Athanas/Katrina Perez/Asha Chotai               




Smaller Company Capital Limited


Tel: +44 (0) 20 3651 2910

Rupert Williams/Jeremy Woodgate




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