A design engineer and TV presenter, skilled in creating space-saving architectural innovations for the home, is feeling flush after securing financial backing for his latest invention – a frame that allows toilets to be folded away in a cupboard when not in use.
The patented Hidealoo frame is designed to support homeowners and property developers to maximise the space they have available, including within utility rooms, wet rooms and even wardrobes. It is manufactured in Britain and works with any standard wall hung ceramic pan and cistern.
It was invented by engineer Monty Ravenscroft, who has spent the last 25 years pioneering designs for innovative moving elements in architecture. This includes building a 3-bedroom home on a small plot in southeast London, which was featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme. With very little space to play with, Monty needed to get creative with a range of space-saving inventions.
Monty went on to appear as co-host of Channel 4’s ‘Inside Out Homes’ which focused on creating a new invention to solve a problem faced by a homeowner in each episode.
Inspired by these experiences and seeking a solution for his invalid father who needed the convenience of bathroom facilities in his bedroom, yet in a discreet way that preserved his dignity, Monty developed the idea of a fold-away toilet.
Spotting the broader potential for the frame, he has worked closely with award-winning international designer, Sebastian Conran, to perfect its design. A £160k equity investment, achieved in a funding round led by British Design Fund, will now be used to target growth in both local and international markets.
Monty explains: “I’ve always been passionate about solving problems and engineering solutions for the home. While the idea for the Hidealoo was driven by my father’s ill health and the need to get clever with small living spaces, it has many other potential applications. The frame itself has been engineered to be incredibly robust and is capable of taking well over three times normal human weight. It’s also made to last more than a lifetime having been tested over 250,000 times.”
He added: “We’re delighted to have the backing of the British Design Fund who recognise the growth potential of our product and join us at a crucial time, as we look to take the Hidealoo to market in the UK and beyond.”
Damon Bonser, CEO, British Design Fund, said: “The investment committee was really impressed by Hidealoo and the team behind its design. As champions of British design and engineering, we look forward to working closely with the team as they commercialise the product and brand in the coming year.”
British Design Fund works with ambitious British product start-ups who are ready to scale-up and build thriving stand-out businesses. Alongside capital investment, BDF provides expert mentoring to support such companies to accelerate their growth plans. Hidealoo is the 22nd business to receive investment from the fund since it was launched in 2018.
The fifth British Design Fund is now open to investors and will be closing at the end of March 2023, to learn more click here; www.britishdesignfund.co.uk/invest/.