A GLASGOW tech firm which designs and manufactures high-end audio equipment has become the first business in Scotland to qualify for a major new public funding initiative.

RHA Technologies will receive £500,000 under the Scottish Loan Scheme, established by the Scottish Government late last year to provide loans of between £250,000 and £2 million for high-growth companies.

The firm, whose wireless earphones are sold by prestigious retailers in the UK, US and Asia, will use the funding to invest in further research and development (R&D) and expand its team of product designers and software engineers.

RHA, which currently employs 45 staff between its Glasgow office and manufacturing site in China, did not specify how many new jobs it will create, but signalled it would add to its headcount of on the strength of its busy programme of product launches.

It has already seen its TrueConnect wireless earbuds go head to head with tech giant Apple in outlets such as John Lewis, Selfridges and Harrods since their debut in October last year.

The funding RHA will receive under the government loan scheme will be delivered by Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, which is expected to roll out funding to other high-growth firms in Scotland in the coming weeks.

Andrew Reid, chief executive of RHA, said the funding forms part of a broader growth strategy planned by the firm for 2019, which includes its ongoing partnership with Santander.

He said: “Our main market at the moment is audio technology, and more specifically, headphones. Our TrueConnect wireless earbuds were launched globally in October 2018 and have been incredibly successful, establishing RHA as a frontrunner in audio and wearable technology.

“This, along with a strong schedule of new products for 2019 puts us in a fantastic position for the future. The Scottish Loan Scheme will provide a significant boost to our R&D centre in Scotland, supporting research and development as well as expanding the team.”

Kerry Sharp, director of Scottish Investment Bank, said: “We’re very happy that Glasgow-based RHA, an innovator of cutting-edge audio technology, has been able to access loan funding from the Scottish Loan Scheme, delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank.

“The funding will provide key working capital investment, helping the company accelerate its growth through continued innovation and development of its product range. RHA is a market leader in the sector and we’re delighted to be part of its journey as it scales and grows its operations from its headquarters in Glasgow.”

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “I am pleased that through funding from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme, RHA is being supported with a £500k loan from Scottish Enterprise.

“This funding will allow the company to support its ambitions by expanding its research and development programme, supporting valuable increased innovation and creating additional quality jobs in what is fast becoming a growing sector for Scotland.”