Permasense case study

Background

  • Rapid Innovation Group worked with Permasense Limited 2010 – 2015.
  • Permasense is a provider of differentiated corrosion monitoring technology aimed at the Oil & Gas market.
  • The company grew out of Imperial College with the R&D being funded by one of the Oil & Gas supermajors.

 

Rapid Innovation Group’s brief

  • To work hand-in-hand with the CEO from 2010 in taking the company from a single customer entity to one with customers across the world in different segments of the Oil & Gas market.
  • Year 1: Negotiate out of exclusivity with the supermajor. Embed the technology with 6 other “early adopters” in the market.
  • Year 2: Demonstrate significant growth and repeat orders both from within existing sites and with other sites within groups.
  • Year 3: Further demonstrate growth and move towards upstream.
  • Year 4: Grow revenues in emerging markets through establishing channel partners in these markets.
  • Year 5: Grow revenues through channel partnerships in the Asian and Australian markets as they set up new offices and hired new personnel to cover the Americas and Europe.

 

Achievements

Year 1:

  • Exclusivity relaxation negotiated without surrendering any equity or significant royalty payments.
  • 8 new customers proving that the technology had application across the industry, not just for a single customer.

Year 2:

  • Revenues of $3.6m.
  • Repeat orders from all but 2 of the Year 1 customers.
  • 15 New sites.
  • Penetration across all the supermajors.

Year 3:

  • Revenues of $5.4m.
  • 20% of revenues from upstream.
  • Customers across 20 countries in all 6 major continents.
  • Strategic partnership creating significant value / revenues for the company.

Year 4:

  • Revenues of $7.2m.
  • Emerging markets constituted a third of revenues.
  • Channel partnerships set up in all the major Asian markets.

Year 5:

  • Revenues > $10m (40% growth in a down market in Oil and Gas).
  • Asia and Australasia expected to comprise more than 30% of yearly revenues.
  • Significant new orders in three major Asian markets.
  • 6 of 7 channel partnerships delivering revenue.

 

By the time Rapid Innovation Group stopped working with Permasense, they had a Chief Revenue Officer, a Chief Marketing Officer, 3 additional sales offices (US, Asia-Pacific and Aberdeen) and a team of 10 people in the sales and marketing functions to drive growth across the business across both upstream and downstream.

Rapid Innovation Group client sees significant international growth

A Rapid Innovation Group subscription service client has now sold into every inhabited continent in the world, having established a presence in 22 countries during our work together on international partnering.  Successful execution against a comprehensive partner strategy means that the current momentum is anticipated to push the client’s services into an additional seven countries in the coming six months.

More water, less wind?

The government’s ‘pause’ on feed-in tariff registration (from between January 15th 2016 through to February 8th 2016) is now over and registration should now be restarting. What kind of feed-in tariffs should you expect for your renewables now, and how has this changed from the 2015 tariffs?

 

Feed-in Tariff

 

Description Legend
Anaerobic digestion with total installed capacity of 250kW or less

 

A
Anaerobic digestion with total installed capacity greater than 250kW but not exceeding 500kW

 

B
Anaerobic digestion with total installed capacity greater than 500kW

 

C
Combined Heat and Power with total installed capacity of 2kW or less

 

D
Hydro generating station with total installed capacity of less than 100kW

 

E
Hydro generating station with total installed capacity greater than 100kW but not exceeding 500kW

 

F
Hydro generating station with total installed capacity greater than 500kW but not exceeding 2 MW

 

G
Hydro generating station with total installed capacity greater than 2 MW

 

H
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity of 10 kW or less – Higher Rate

 

I
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity of 10 kW or less – Middle Rate

 

J
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity of 10 kW or less – Lower Rate

 

K
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 10 kW but not exceeding 50kW – Higher Rate

 

L
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 10 kW but not exceeding 50kW – Middle Rate

 

M
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 10 kW but not exceeding 50kW – Lower Rate

 

N
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 50 kW but not exceeding 250kW  – Higher Rate

 

O
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 50 kW but not exceeding 250kW  – Middle Rate

 

P
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 50 kW but not exceeding 250kW – Lower Rate

 

Q
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 250 kW but not exceeding 1 MW

 

R
Solar photovoltaic (other than stand-alone) with total installed capacity greater than 1 MW

 

S
Stand-alone solar photovoltaic

 

T
Wind with total installed capacity of 50kW or less

 

U
Wind with total installed capacity greater than 50kW but not exceeding 100 kW

 

V
Wind with total installed capacity greater than 100 kW but not exceeding 1.5 MW

 

W
Wind with total installed capacity exceeding 1.5MW

 

X
EXPORT TARIFF

 

Y

 

The export tariff has remained the same as previous years. Anaerobic digestion has barely been touched but small hydro power has taken a battering – with tariffs for under 100kW coming down from 14.43p/kWh to 8.54p/kWh and under 500kW coming down from 11.4p/kWh to 6.14p/kWh. The government has come out in favour of large hydro power generation, however, with tariffs increasing from 2.43p/kWh for generation over 2MW to 4.43p/kWh – nearly doubling the available feed in tariff. This is in contrast to wind which has been reduced across the board, falling by over 50% in the case of large wind and 20-30% for small wind.

The government expects to revisit these tariffs on the 31st of March.

Want to succeed? Get used to failure.

A few years ago, at a startup networking event, a colleague of mine asked a budding entrepreneur how he was going to grow and scale a business. His response? “Build the app. Marketing. Go viral.”

Now, while I admire this individual’s chutzpah and ambition, this is not likely to be a successful strategy. Why? Because it does not allow for failure.

There are plenty of stories to be told of hugely successful entrepreneurs who started with failure before finally ‘making it’. Bill Gates with Trof-o-Data, Henry Ford with numerous failed automotive ventures, and even the iconic Colonel Sanders who, penniless at 65, decided that age was no barrier to starting a business that would eventually spawn a global food empire.

Inspiring and intriguing as these tales are, they do not explain why it is that failure is such an important part of the tapestry of success. Before I go on, I should say that yes, some people will achieve success at the very first attempt. But I would venture that there is always an element of good luck in this and, more often than not, this will not be repeatable.

 

Ffion's Blog

 

It is important to learn to fail but to fail fast. More often than not, we will learn what works from learning what does not work. That is how we as a firm enable both ourselves and our clients to achieve commercial success more quickly; we have been there, we have made those mistakes, and we know how to avoid repeating them. Now, this isn’t to say that we have a magic wand for avoiding failure. We will and still do experience it. But, having become familiar with some of the pitfalls facing early stage companies trying to commercialise their technologies, we now know how to navigate around them, and that makes for a shorter road to success.

Think about how you would approach a challenge. If you did not know how to overcome it, would you put all of your eggs in one basket and go with one approach? Unlikely. Would you be more likely to employ a tactic of trial-and-error, taking slightly longer to find the solution, but also avoiding fatal errors and, eventually, learning what works? I’ll wager it would be the latter.

In this way, we are naturally predisposed to learning from failure but for some reason, this is a bit of a blind spot when it comes to building a business. Too many of the entrepreneurs that I meet, fear failure. When things don’t go as expected, I tell my clients that it is a good thing. We learnt how not to do something and can therefore quickly move on to trying a different approach. This process of constant iteration is very much at the core of what we do.

As Samuel Smiles said, “We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”