Our History

30 years of technological innovations

Throughout our history we have continued to expand and evolve through the growth of market share and continual investment in both infrastructure and workforce. We are proud of our achievements over many years in business and the timeline below punctuates our journey through some of our most significant milestones and transformations.

2020 – Mission to IPO

Our ambitions for growth continue, and as the company scales we will be seeking to access larger capital with a mission to an IPO listing on the London Stock Exchange. To drive this, we have invested in strengthening our executive management capabilities with the appointment of a senior team of new heads for key business areas including Engineering, Product Management, Marketing and HR.

2017 – IoT and Embedded

The computing landscape is once again shifting with the advent of IoT and Smart technologies. We are firmly following this transition and investing substantially in developing and growing our IoT capabilities and value proposition. This has resulted in the creation of our fourth dedicated business unit entirely focused on this new and exciting technology arena which is disrupting every industry. With eyes set firmly towards the future, we harbour strong ambitions to become a pacesetter in bespoke solutions for IoT and edge sensor measurement platforms.

News - The Queen’s Award 2016 - Captec

2016 – Captec Win Queen’s Award for Enterprise

The Queen’s award is the UK’s highest accolade for business success, which recognised Captec’s substantial economic growth and strong export figures. We were honoured for outstanding international trade results, wider corporate governance and contribution to the local community. Only seven companies in our region were recognised in 2016’s awards, a testament to how prestigious an honour this was for us as a company.

2015 – Captec Wins Place in Sunday Times 2015 BDO Profit Track

In 2015, Captec achieved its first national recognition with inclusion in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100, reflecting a record of strong growth. Only thirteen companies made their debut on the Profit Track 100 that year, and only nineteen companies out of the full one hundred were from the South East of Britain – an indicator of just how competitive the league table is. Profit Track 100 is part of the overall league tables that rank Britain’s fastest growth companies across various performance metrics.

Captec Office

2014 – Move to Whittle Avenue

As a result of our continued  growth, in 2014 we acquired the substantially larger premises of Meggitt Aviation in Whittle Avenue, Fareham. A space increase from 27,000 to over 50,000 square feet enabled the development of highly efficient lean flow lines and expanded 19-inch rack integration facilities. This also allowed us to bolster the Captec engineering, servicing and product development areas. An industry-leading compliance facility was installed, with an EMC chamber and thermal testing labs enabling us to undertake pre-certification compliance and test platforms for their ability to operate in extreme environments. The Whittle Avenue site acquisition also included a sizeable plot of land with potential of an additional 80,000 square foot expansion, future-proofing growth for years to come.

Tablet Engineering

2013 – Tablet Business Expansion

With the introduction of consumer tablets driven by the legendary Apple Ipads, the demand for mobile tablet based computing extended into more specialised applications that consumer products were not suitable for. We saw the chance to expand our business into this area, and as we were developing our internal tablet platform capabilities, the opportunity arose to make our first acquisition. A specialist tablet provider, X2 Computing, was acquired and integrated into the Captec business. The acquisition enabled us to expand our capabilities in designing, developing and deploying tailor-made tablet platforms that meet the exact needs of customers. This milestone also extended our core markets into wider enterprise applications encompassing gaming, in-vehicle and retail sectors.  It also significantly increased our capabilities to support and service tablet estates in the tens of thousands


2013 – Outgrowing Brunel Way

Since moving to Brunel Way, we continued to grow and expand the facility.  Each year new projects claimed more space and created more depth to our capabilities.  A mezzanine floor extension, an extension to our engineering and customer service centres, a new front car park, an EMC chamber, and so on.  But once again we were close to the limit of the capacity of this facility and it wasn’t long before we had to relocate again to continue to grow the business.


2006 – Captec Americas Inc.

Undeterred by the German office failure, we continued to seek growth through international expansion. In 2006 Captec Americas Inc. was established in Kitchener, Ontario, as a springboard into the North American market. Based in the CTT (Canadian Technology Triangle of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo), the business focused on the same business model as the UK for the domestic Canadian and the neighbouring US markets.


2005 – Second Upscale and Rebrand

Our facilities had been extended to their limit but the growth of the business still required substantially more space. By the end of 2004, a second property was acquired in Brunel Way, Fareham, and the business relocated in March 2005. The move was also punctuated by an opportunity to refresh the Captec brand and logo. The strap-line of Tried, Tested and Trusted was introduced.


2003 – German Office, Captec GmbH.

By 2003, the ambitions of the company were to grow into Europe. An office was set up in Stuttgart and a German legal entity was incorporated. – Captec GmbH was formed. The German market proved very challenging, with a number of local companies with similar capabilities to Captec able to outcompete on price, local presence and support.  The distributor business model was challenging to transplant, as the majority of our distribution principals had established distribution agreements with German companies.  The ability to sustain the same business model in Germany proved difficult, and required greater capital, management and resourcing than Captec could afford at that time.

1998 – Captec Ltd.

The mission to grow our company now needed a different and scalable business model. To achieve this, the company was completely restructured to focus solely on the more scalable design and manufacture of specialist computers, rather than the much lower volume bespoke turnkey systems. This also resulted in a complete re-brand and Captec Ltd was formed – standing for Computer Applications Technologies. This opened up a much wider market in supplying OEMs and systems integrators with specialised and certified computing platforms, enabling faster growth.

1996 – Upscaling Facilities

Our first property was acquired in Southampton, offering us more space to complement our newly expanded business. The premises were aptly named Sirius House, chosen because it is the brightest star in the sky. The company continued to grow, and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) PC technologies were becoming increasingly popular in engineering and scientific applications for systems integrators and OEMs looking to reduce costs and increase functionality. But COTS alone was not enough, and varying degrees of engineered protection was required to enable computers to operate reliably in demanding and challenging environments.

1990 – Early Distribution Partnerships

Our partnering relationships led to early distribution arrangements with National Instruments and Advantech. From this, our business model expanded even further, creating and supplying add-on expansion cards to systems integrators and OEMs adopting the PC as their computing architecture of choice. As the company grew, our workforce and facilities expanded.

1988 – Expanded Business Model

IMS Ltd. expanded and rapidly gained a reputation as a turnkey system solution provider for bespoke applications and integrated systems. Customers such as General Electric, ICI, Marconi, Siemens, Ford and the Ministry of Defence were soon onboard. A new breed of business was also starting to emerge globally, specialising in the mass market of plug-in expansion cards for the PC. Although mainly for commercial functions such as graphics cards, many were beginning to address measurement and control applications. As we integrated more systems such as A/D conversion, motor control and sensory input, we sought more partnering relationships with manufacturers.

1985 – Integrated Measurement Systems Ltd.

As an open architecture, PC clones began to thrive and building block components started to emerge, resulting in the founding idea for the new business.  Initially incorporated as Integrated Measurement Systems Ltd., the name was chosen to reflect the core business of the company, and in good measure due to lack of any inspirational names coming to mind. The business model of IMS was to use cost-effective PC-based computing technologies, specialist plug-in cards, and IEEE-488 instruments to integrate bespoke systems with custom developed software for engineering and scientific applications. Considered a niche market, it presented an opportunity where applications were now able to be performed at a price range not previously possible. Automated measurement, control, data acquisition, testing and many more applications could now be implemented with PC-based systems.

1985 – Genesis

The company was founded in 1985 by Max Toti, an Electronics Engineer from Southampton University with formative career experiences at IBM (Hursley Labs) and Hewlett Packard.  Incorporated in November 1984 as Integrated Measurement Systems Ltd, the company began trading in January the next year. The mid-1980s was the dawn of the PC age and personal computers had started to pervade office space, with models now available at $1,000, not $100,000 and above. Low-cost computing was now being deployed on a large scale, culminating in the radical disruption of the computing landscape.