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UK automotive pioneer Spark EV accelerates growth with appointment of David Blair as Chief Financial Officer
Spark EV accelerates growth with appointment of David Blair as Chief Financial Officer
Experienced business leader supports company internationalisation and new funding round
Newmarket, 9 April 2019, Spark EV Technology today announced that it has chosen David Blair as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Already an established part of the Spark advisory team, David will help the company scale-up, expanding uptake of its proven AI-based electric vehicle (EV) journey prediction software, moving into international markets including Asia and raising a new investment round.
A Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience in business and finance, David specialises in helping technology businesses grow. He has assisted around 50 firms in raising and deploying over £250m during the last 15 years. This includes working as a CEO and CFO of Cambridge Cognition plc, helping them list on AIM in 2013, raising £6.4 million.
Spark’s AI-based personalised journey prediction software aims to drive greater EV adoption by removing range and time anxiety whilst increasing vehicle trust. By delivering more personalised journey predictions, based on actual driving style and live data, Spark’s proprietary technology increases driver trust that they will be able to get to their destination without needing to recharge. In real-world trials, Spark has been proved to be 10x more accurate than existing, in-car systems. As Spark’s AI algorithms learn with every journey, it continually improves the accuracy of personalised journey predictions, adapting to every driver.
“Over the past year we’ve successfully proven our technology through over 10,000km of real-world trials and been selected for prestigious global accelerator programmes,” said Justin Ott, CEO, Spark EV Technology. “David brings key experience and skills that will support our successful scale-up through new fundraising, international expansion and projects with major mobility companies.”
During 2018, Spark beat global competition to join leading startup incubators and accelerators. It was one of only four companies globally selected for the BP/RocketSpace Mobility Tech Innovation Collaborative programme, was chosen for the Wayra/Transport Systems Catapult Intelligent Mobility Accelerator, which aims to create UK champions for emerging mobility markets and won a place on the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) programme in Toronto, Canada. Spark was also shortlisted for the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge working with National Grid and Shell, and ran multiple paid Proof of Concept trials with tier 1 automotive companies.
“I’ve worked closely with Spark since its inception and continue to be impressed by the strength of its technology and leadership position in an exciting, expanding market,” said David Blair, CFO, Spark EV Technology. “By joining as CFO my aim is to support Spark’s aggressive growth plans, beginning with its new investment round, which will be used to power its expansion and internationalisation.”
David joins a management team that already boasts experienced experts with backgrounds in artificial intelligence, engineering, green technology, the automotive industry and technology commercialisation. It includes Greg Matthews (CTO) and Mark Shields, founder of CR360 (non-executive director).
David read chemistry at Oxford and holds an MBA from Manchester Business School. A member of the Corporate Finance and Finance and Management Faculties within the Institute of Chartered Accountants, he is also past President of the East Anglia District Society and a member of Council, the Institute’s Governing body.
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