Australian healthtech firm, KISA Pty Ltd, has chosen to set up its global headquarters in the UK and launch its line of accessible mobile phone products with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
The KISA phone – already available in Australia – is designed to make mobile technology accessible to those who have difficulty using mainstream touch-screen devices, including the elderly and people with disabilities. The phone gives users more independence and provides peace of mind for carers and relatives, with large tactile buttons displaying clear text or photos, loud audio, and inbuilt GPS tracking in case of emergencies.
Phone sales increased during lockdown in Australia and mobile phones became essential to communicate at a distance with friends and family. Since setting up in the UK, the firm has already secured a mobile network deal with the UK’s Abzorb, one of the leading commercial enablers on the EE network.
One of the co-founders Dmitry Levin and CEO Alexander Millin began searching for opportunities to transfer KISA’s operations to the UK prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. DIT has been working with the firm to help facilitate the transition, providing guidance on setting up the company in the UK, market research, and offered key networking opportunities.
CEO Alexander Millin said:
“The support we received from the DIT team in helping to establish KISA in the UK was very significant indeed. The resources and knowledge made available to us took the strain off our management team and helped us make the right decisions.
The DIT team made a number of introductions to potential channel and R&D partners that would otherwise have taken months or even years to cultivate for a new market entrant.”
The company is investing around £6.1 million, which will create 25 new jobs, including several highly skilled positions in software and electrical engineering.
The UK remains one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world and foreign direct investment (FDI) stock levels reached £1.6 trillion by the end of 2019. The UK was the second largest direct investor in Australia and the second largest recipient of Australian Foreign Direct Investment in 2019.
According to the 2021 Tech Nation Report the UK continues to be the number one tech investment destination in Europe, with over £1.1 billion of venture capital investment in Emerging Healthtech in 2020 alone – three times more than 2018.
Today’s announcement supports the Government’s ambition to drive further investment into every UK nation and region, as well as complements the UK’s ongoing trade negotiations with like-minded partners like Australia.
Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said:
“I am pleased KISA has chosen to join the UK’s vibrant tech landscape as a base to scale up and grow and where the firm can make the most of our deep pool of talent, and world leading research and development.
Their substantial investment shows the strength of the UK’s business environment as we grow closer to securing a Free Trade Agreement with Australia.”
HM Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific Natalie Black said:
“We welcome KISA’s £6.1m investment to build a global headquarters in the United Kingdom.
We are ready to support other firms who wish to expand into the thriving £149bn UK technology sector.”
The UK Government has already agreed trade deals with 67 countries plus the EU, that account for £891bn of UK bilateral trade in 2019. In 2021, the government will be adding to these deals, with negotiations underway with Australia and New Zealand. The UK’s accession to CPTPP remains a firm priority and an important part of the strategy to place the UK at the centre of a modern, progressive network of FTAs.