UK-based wine and spirits closure manufacturer Guala Closures has invested capital into internet of things (IoT) technology company SharpEnd to scale up its connected packaging development.

SharpEnd will scale up development of its IoT software platform, which will be used by Guala Closures clients for supply chain management, stock management, theft prevention, and product security.

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Guala Closures will acquire 20% of SharpEnd shares, making it a minor investor. SharpEnd founder Cameron Worth will remain as the majority share owner, though Guala Closures may inject further capital into the company.

A SharpEnd representative told Packaging Gateway: “The investment is so that SharpEnd can gain access to Guala’s research and development (R&D) facilities. It’s a mutually beneficial instance as Guala can then offer SharpEnd services to clients.”

Guala Closures group chief marketing officer Paolo Ferrari said: “SharpEnd’s expertise will allow us to accelerate our Internet of Closures strategy development to help our clients provide better brand experiences to their consumers via the most advanced digital marketing solutions, turning data into valuable consumer insights.”

SharpEnd CEO and founder Cameron Worth said: “The partnership with, and growth capital from, our friends at Guala Closures gives us access to their vast R&D facilities and accelerates everything we are doing across creative technology and data in key verticals such as fashion, FMCG, spirits and cosmetics.”

Guala Closures and SharpEnd worked together last year, developing near-field communication (NFC) technology ‘Nestgate’. This will be used in partnership with US-based wine brand Böen, allowing consumers to gain access to information about Böen wine by tapping their smartphones to the bottle’s cap.