Case Study: M Squared

Learn how this Glasgow-based tech business is mastering the power of light to make a quantum leap forward, with support from BGF.

4 August 2020

Headquartered in Glasgow, M Squared is a leading developer of photonics and quantum technology systems.

“The power of science to overcome some of humanity’s most pressing challenges should not be underestimated,” says Graeme Malcolm, co-founder and chief executive of M Squared.

“For as long as I can remember, I saw science as the future, something that could be used to make things better for everyone.”

Laser focus

With M Squared, Graeme is now turning that boyhood dream into reality. Determined to create a business that could transport theoretical concepts out of the lab and into the real world, he launched M Squared in 2006.

Since then, the photonics and quantum company has harnessed the potential of light to do some amazing things – including laying the foundations for quantum computers, creating some of the most detailed images of the brain and making history’s most accurate clocks.

The Glasgow-based company develops lasers and optical instruments that are used in numerous industries, including manufacturing, space technology, oil and gas, and healthcare.

Endorsement of impact

“We began our work with BGF in 2012,” Graeme says. “My co-founder and I had previous experience building a technology business so we appreciated the importance of an equity injection. We did our research and settled on BGF, who we then approached directly.”

That early investment saw M Squared boost its capacity to deliver on critical medical and defence-related work. The initial funding was followed four years later by further investment to back M Squared’s rapid growth.

In fact, the business has experienced year-on-year growth since BGF’s initial investment in 2012, roughly doubling its revenues every two years.

“The investment in 2016 allowed us to scale our manufacturing capacity, launch our Innovation Group and expand in key export markets,” he says. “BGF’s continued support makes our work possible and we view its investments as endorsements of the impact we are always seeking to make.”

After an introduction by BGF, M Squared also appointed Andy Roberts to its board, as non-executive chair.

M Squared laser technology

Limitless possibilities

Reflecting the team’s vision, M Squared’s inventions and innovations in recent years have increasingly focused on improving people’s lives.

“Our lasers are transforming how we detect, diagnose and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. Meanwhile, we have demonstrated our ability to teleport quantum states – the potential uses of which are pretty much limitless.”

M Squared has fast developed a globally recognised reputation for world-class knowledge, products and services. The business continues to go from strength to strength, proving that great things can happen when innovation meets investment.

Value creation

Following BGF’s initial £3.85 million investment in 2012, and our follow-on round in 2016, M Squared has been able to:

  • Boost its manufacturing capacity
  • Expand in key export markets
  • Launch its Innovation Group
“BGF’s continued support makes our work possible and we view its investments as endorsements of the impact we are always seeking to make.”

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