In April 2012 BGF invested £3.85m of growth capital in Glasgow based technology business M Squared Lasers. M Squared Lasers designs and manufactures lasers and photonic optical instruments for applications in remote sensing, frontier science, bio-photonics, defence, microscopy, spectroscopy and metrology. M Squared’s laser based systems can remotely detect and image gas leaks and perform environmental monitoring; for example, identifying the extent and location of a methane leak in the oil and gas industry. Other remote sensing applications include the detection of explosives, chemicals or pollutants.

The company was founded in 2005 by Dr Graeme Malcolm and Dr Gareth Maker, who previously founded opto-electronics company Microlase in 1992 as a spinout from Strathclyde University. Microlase was acquired by a Nasdaq listed company in 2000. The former chairman of Bookham Technology, Peter Bordui, is Non-Executive Chairman.

With its head office in Scotland and an additional 3 offices across America, the company sells lasers to and collaborates with a range of blue chip partners and research institutions across Europe, North America and Asia, including Thales, Philips, Osram, Stanford University and the Max Planck Institute.

BGF invested £3.85 million in April 2012 to help fund the company’s research and development programme as well as its sales and marketing efforts. Since investment, M Squared has more than doubled revenues with rapid growth particularly in North America. As a result, at the end of 2014, BGF provided an additional £0.75m investment alongside a £2m RCF facility from Barclays Bank in order to enable M Squared to fully capitalise on the current opportunities in its target markets.