Pilot Lite Group

An award-winning global specialist adding bandwidth to corporate R&D teams to accelerate and deploy innovation in the market

Since 2009, Pilot Lite has partnered with Fortune 500/FTSE 100 corporates worldwide, successfully launching more than 220 validated ventures, including technologies, businesses, and ESG initiatives.

 

How we work

Pilot Lite Group

Pilot Lite is the hands-on, trusted venture management partner for corporates in the CPG, food & beverage, and consumer healthcare industries. On a fee-for-service basis, we help corporate clients identify, de-risk (and share risk), validate, and launch early-stage technology and new ventures across developed and emerging channels and markets.

To achieve ESG initiatives on a commercially profitable basis, Pilot Lite uses a commercial deployability lens to identify opportunities for cost savings, revenue generation, and collaborative ventures.

Also under the Pilot Lite Group umbrella is Pilot Lite Capital, which typically acquires and directly invests in stranded or uncommercialized corporate IP, products, and brands and develops these ventures into free-standing, revenue-generating businesses.

 Learn more
Pilot Lite Ventures Logo

Pilot Lite Capital acquires and directly invests in stranded or incomplete IP, products and brands and develops assets with ethical and/or sustainable attributes into free-standing, revenue-generating businesses.

 Learn more

How we help

We have more than 15 years of experience adding bandwidth to corporate teams dedicated to: Core brands R&D Innovation & breakthrough Sustainability. Using our global experience and extensive network, Pilot Lite operates end-to-end deployments addressing raw material challenges, supply chain issues, prototyping, co-manufacturing, co-packing, in-market rapid test & learn, and pre-scaling. We use our proven, modular, end-to-end venture management process to validate, commercialise, and deploy new corporate ventures and ESG initiatives.

Scouting & Origination

(8-16 weeks)

We provide strategic AI-driven scouting and origination of new business (product / technology or channel) or IP opportunities for future commercialization, focusing on building strategic and sustainable platforms. 

The outcome is a set of 5 to 10 tangible investment opportunities that fit our clients' strategic objectives with explicit steps to validate and action the investment and, where the opportunities satisfy our own investment criteria, the potential for direct funding collaboration between Pilot Lite and the client. 

Validation

(10-12 weeks) 

Our Pilot Lite commercialization team, working with our extensive network of subject matter experts, rigorously validates innovation opportunities through a uniquely commercial lens to assess their 'doability', sustainability and financial viability. 

The outcome of this work is an immediately actionable plan to move the opportunity towards implementation and readiness for pilot launch. For opportunities that satisfy our own investment criteria, Pilot Lite can also participate through direct funding collaboration. 

Business Readiness/Test & Learn

(3-8 months) 

Once validated, a period of preparation for launch is required. Pilot Lite’s team takes on accountability for a pilot launch of the opportunity, leveraging our capabilities and methodologies to accelerate and de-risk the opportunity in market. Our team addresses all the core work streams highlighted in Validation, firming up critical planned pathways, raw materials, supply, co-manufacture, sales, logistics and regulatory activities. We initiate and close all contracts in preparation for a green light to launch. 

At the end of this stage, the opportunity is ready for an initial pilot launch in market to maximize learning prior to a full scale launch.

Pre-Scale Launch

(3-24 months) 

Pilot Lite deployment teams take new ventures into market to actively stress test all aspects of launch, including consumer response, supply chain performance and technology robustness. We directly managing all aspects in preparation for a scaled up effort. 

This step de-risks the opportunity and accelerates subsequent scale up into the selected target markets. 

Scale & Handover

(6 months) 

In preparation for mass scale, where our corporate clients leverage their proven muscle to build businesses, Pilot Lite is deployed to test all partners across the supply chain and their ability to cope with geographic expansion. 

Pilot Lite expects the next stage following scale-up to involve either the corporate parent re-absorbing the venture or spinning it out into a stand-alone business. Where the ventures satisfy our own investment criteria, Pilot Lite can also consider investing in spin outs at this stage of development. 

Funding Collaboration

 

At all stages of consideration, Pilot Lite can participate in co-investment in R&D that fits our own rigorous investment criteria. 

Whilst corporates often champion breakthrough innovation, they often have difficulty diverting funds from legacy businesses to fledgling ventures and consequently starve them of critical capital. Therefore, in each of the above stages of consideration, should it be appropriate, Pilot Lite has the ability to invest either alongside the client to become a co-investor and scale-up partner, or as an acquirer of stranded or uncommercialized projects or ventures.

Case studies

Case Study:

The world's first roasted, HFSS-compliant potato crisp

In Spring 2021, Pilot Lite announced the launch of a game-changing snack product: Simply Roasted - a premium potato crisp that offers the great taste of a traditional fried crisp but with only half the fat and significantly less salt.

The world's first roasted, HFSS-compliant potato crisp
Case Study:

The world's first truly recyclable paper bottle

Pilot Lite and Diageo collaborated to establish Pulpex, a sustainable packaging technology company that has developed a patented, first-of-its-kind, single-mould paper bottle that is being adopted for use by its global CPG partners.  

 

The world's first truly recyclable paper bottle
Case Study:

The world's first eco-friendly, handheld fabric care device

w'air is a revolutionary and versatile fabric care system that spot cleans, deep cleans & refreshes anything from sneakers and sofas to clothing and carpets using just a fraction of the water, energy and detergent of conventional methods.

 

The world's first eco-friendly, handheld fabric care device

Read more

News

Simply Roasted Racks Up More Awards

Simply Roasted Racks Up More Awards

6 October 2023

Simply Roasted, a Pilot Lite-backed company, has received two more awards for its triple-cooked, never fried, delicious, better-for-you crisps. 

Pulpex Awarded Grant Funding From Innovate UK

Pulpex Awarded Grant Funding From Innovate UK

29 September 2023

Pilot Lite-backed Pulpex, the proven, patented, and scalable packaging technology company, has been awarded grant funding from Innovate UK.

The Simple Root Named Included in Innovation Awards

The Simple Root Named Included in Innovation Awards

15 September 2023

Congratulations to The Simple Root, the global, veggie-first plant-based food brand for being named a finalist in three categories of the World Plant-Based Innovation Awards 2023. 

Pulpex Completes Successful Series C Funding

Pulpex Completes Successful Series C Funding

4 July 2023

Pulpex, a Pilot Lite-backed business, announced a successful investment round enabling the company to deliver a world-first, commercial-scale production line to produce genuine paper bottles made of 90%+ sustainably sourced fibre.

Read more

About Us

The Pilot Lite team is made up of professionals who combine proven best-of-class corporate, consultancy, and entrepreneurial expertise, together with a broader pool of over 100 technology, geocentric, and financial management professionals and subject matter experts worldwide. Our leadership team selects professionals from within this associate network based on the required skill sets and geographic location of the project. These 'boots on the ground' set PIlot Lite apart from other service offerings and are key to the success of our clients' ventures. 

Pilot Lite's leadership offers critical skill sets and experience in investment management, business planning, and brand transformation across a wide spectrum of industries. We engage with and challenge our customers’ organizations, which gives us unrivaled access, insight, and relationships.

 

Meet the team

Mike Anstey

Mike Anstey
CEO & Co-Founder

Stephen Hay

Stephen Hay
Chairman

Simon Haworth

Simon Haworth
Chief Investment Officer

Pier Massa

Pier Massa
COO & Regional Head - Europe

Sandy Westwater

Sandy Westwater
CFO & Co-Founder

Graham Hedger

Graham Hedger
Non-Executive Director

Dave Behringer

Dave Behringer
CEO PL USA Inc

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas
PL Venture Manager

Toby Matthewson

Toby Matthewson
PL Venture Lead

Louise Wymer

Louise Wymer
PL Venture Lead

Mary Henderson

Mary Henderson
Global Communications Manager

Aba Sagoe

Aba Sagoe
PL Venture Lead

Jonny Hewlett

Jonny Hewlett
PL Venture Lead

Sadiq Edu

Sadiq Edu
Africa Adviser

Patrick Muthoka

Patrick Muthoka
Kenya

Muyiwa Oke

Muyiwa Oke
Nigeria

Min Zhou

Min Zhou
China

HENRY GOMEZ

HENRY GOMEZ
LATAM

Adrian Mutton

Adrian Mutton
India

Contact

If you would like to find out more about Pilot Lite or what we can do for your business, then call or email us and let's start a conversation.

+44 20 3393 6490

info@pilotlitegroup.com

pilotlite

Pilot Lite

privacy policy*