Welsh firm Sure Chill has secured £4m in funding to expand the use of its vaccine-preserving technology designed to protect temperature-sensitive vaccines in emerging countries.

The Cardiff-based company has received £2m from The Garage Soho, a fund led by Sir John Hegarty and £2m from Kenyan venture capital fund manager Novastar Ventures.

The technology allows refrigerators to stay cool for days, even when there is no electricity.

In 2013 the frim received a grant a year later raised $1.4m from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Its first contract in 2011 came from UNICEF in Africa. It has now exported to 49 countries.

This latest round will be used to develop the technology for wider application.

"Cooling is a foundation of modern society, wherever you are in the world – from keeping food and vaccines cool to even keeping our data centres functioning,” explained chief executive Nigel Saunders.

"Unfortunately, though, many methods available for cooling are not fit for today’s world. That’s why the technology behind Sure Chill is so unique – it stores energy naturally and enables cooling devices like refrigerators to keep on cooling when the power goes out.

"Sure Chill is fundamentally a big idea which can improve lives for billions in developing countries whilst also helping people and businesses in developed countries to time-shift energy and reduce energy costs. The tech is scalable from cool box to refrigerator to warehouse.

"We are delighted to welcome two significant investors to join our ever-growing story. Both bring a particular skill set and experience to the company which is complementary.

"The funds will ensure we take the business to the next phase by successfully entering new markets and making Sure Chill a global brand."

Andrew Carruthers, co-founder of Novastar, added: "We were initially attracted to Sure Chill after seeing the impact its cooling technology has already had through the safe storage of life-saving vaccinations across some of the most remote places in Africa and the plans that the company have for deploying this technology into products serving the mass consumer markets.”