News about 9 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace, 8-14th May 2016:
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club £181.7m | Cook Defence Systems | D-Drill £8.5m | Redline Aviation Security £5.2m | Caravan | Oxford Sciences Innovation | OxStem | Vaccitech | EvOx
ALL ENGLAND LAWN TENNIS & CROQUET CLUB: Wimbledon raises the roof | John Collingridge, The Sunday Times. May 8
DZ profile: The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Limited
Business: private members’ club and the venue for the Wimbledon Championships, the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass. Broadcasting rights make up more than half its turnover, including a deal with the BBC that runs until the end of the 2020 tournament.
ICB Classification: 5755 Recreational Services
Location: Wimbledon, London SW19
Staff: directors include the former British No 1 player Tim Henman and the former cabinet secretary Lord O’Donnell
Financials: Profits increased 7% to £24.1m and turnover from the 129th tournament also increased 7% to £181.7m.
1. The southwest London club is taking on £175m of debt from HSBC to pay for a retractable roof over No 1 Court, to be built by contractor Sir Robert McAlpine. The loan, which is secured on the grounds and will be repaid from the sale of debentures, will also fund new courts, accommodation and other upgrades.
2. During the year to the end of July it signed new contracts, including with Jaguar Land Rover as car supplier and for broadcast rights in Japan, Russia, Africa and Belgium.
UPDATE: Wimbledon hopes royal-box celebrities will net Chinese audiences | Murad Ahmed, Tom Hancock, FT. June 30, 2017.
3. An estimated 280m people watched Wimbledon last year on CCTV-5, the sports channel of China’s state broadcaster, with an average of 13m tuning in at a given time, according to state media. But Mick Desmond, commercial director of the All England Club, believes the event generates less interest in the Asian country than other Grand Slam tournaments, such as the French Open and Australian Open. In the UK, the tournament’s agreement with the BBC runs until 2020; in Japan, its deal with NHK runs until 2019; in the US, its arrangement with ESPN runs until 2023. So the biggest opportunity for growth comes from new markets, and Wimbledon will be seeking to complete digital and television rights deals in China from 2018. Earlier this year, the All England Club created a digital partnership with SINA SPORTS, part of the Chinese digital conglomerate Sina, to focus on short clips and “snackable” content, designed to interest younger users. Mr Desmond said … that China also represented one of the tournament’s best chances of short-term revenue growth.
4. According to the All England Club’s latest Companies House filing, income from broadcasters represents about half its 2016 revenue of £204.7m. Wimbledon’s organisers said that “a small number of key broadcast markets, notably the UK and the USA, provide the majority of that income”.
COOK DEFENCE SYSTEMS: Sheffield makes tracks to tank deal | John Collingridge, The Sunday Times.
Business: family-owned steel company, part of Sheffield manufacturer William Cook. Has made tracks and armour for British tanks since the Second World War.
ICB Classification: 2717 Defense
Location: factory in Co Durham
1. A has won a £30m contract to make parts for the army’s new tanks. Will supply tracks for the 589 Ajax tanks that are due to begin arriving from next year. David Cameron ordered the armoured vehicles from American defence giant General Dynamics in 2014 in a £3.5bn deal. The Ajax will replace the army’s fleet of Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles that date back to the 1970s.
2. The contract, which runs until 2023, will sustain 100 jobs at Cook’s factory in Co Durham. Cook displaces German manufacturer Diehl, which had previously been handed the contract to make the Ajax’s tracks.
3. The contract to build the Ajax — previously called the Scout — triggered controversy after it emerged it would support just a fraction of 10,600 British jobs that General Dynamics had promised. The tanks are being built in Spain using Swedish steel and are part-assembled in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales.
D-DRILL: A year before its launch, the apprenticeship levy is upsetting owners | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times
Business: drills and cuts concrete for big construction jobs
ICB Classification: 2353 Building Materials & Fixtures
Location: headquarters is in Coventry and has seven regional offices, including London, Sheffield and Bridgend, south Wales.
Founder: father of Julie White
Staff: 150. MD Julie White, 48, who bought out her father in 2008. Her
Financials: Last year it notched up sales of £8.5m.
1. For 15 years D-Drill has taken on apprentices — and hired every one of them at the end of their training. White says her commitment to teaching the drilling trade is the reason the company has been able to get back into profit since the recession. Almost half the 150-strong workforce has been through White’s training scheme. She currently has 16 apprentices.
2. State handouts have helped to fund D-Drill’s apprenticeship programme, but government plans to change the system have left White angry and worried. Under the apprenticeship levy, due to start next April, companies with a salary bill of more than £3m a year will have to pay a 0.5% payroll tax. The chancellor expects the levy to raise £3bn a year to fund 3m apprenticeships by 2020.
REDLINE AVIATION SECURITY: our job is to see if airport security can spot dodgy stuff | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times
Business: provide security training, testing and consultancy services for 200 clients across the world. Determined to raise the standards of airport staff responsible for detecting security threats. Though staff training brings in more money, covert testing is the main part of the business. “We send people through airports carrying things they shouldn’t and then we report back to the airport authority,” Termini said. Although they started as a consultancy, demand for their military and commercial expertise encouraged them to diversify into staff training and security testing for international airports. Clients include Heathrow, the Department for Transport and British Transport Police.
ICB Classification: 2791 Business Support Services
Location: Doncaster + offices in London, Paris and Dhaka.
Founders: former army pilots - Jim Termini, 49, commercial director, and his friend Paul Mason, chief executive, set up in
Staff: employs 94 staff and 200 subcontractors
Financials: posted a £1.8m profit on £5.2m sales last year. Revenues are expected to reach £9.5m this year.
Investment: Its rapid growth encouraged Mobeus Equity Partners to inject £3.7m in February for a 30% stake. Termini and Mason each own 30% of the business and other directors share a 10% stake.
1. Hiring is not straightforward, however. “It is difficult to recruit specific character types. Working in security is not a job for everybody,” Termini said.
2. There are plans to open an office in Dubai as Redline hopes to sign up customers in the Middle East, Africa and India. “It’s going to be costly and difficult, but it will be worth it,” Termini said.
CARAVAN: Caffeine hit Caravan in coffee drive | Joanna Bourke, Evening Standard. May 9
Business: restaurants in King’s Cross and Exmouth Market
ICB Classification: 5757 Restaurants & Bars
Founders: Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton and Chris Ammermann, from New Zealand
News: A group of Kiwi entrepreneurs today unveiled plans to open the capital’s biggest independent coffee roastery where caffeine addicts can snap up home-brew kits and drink espressos. 50 people will work at the site near Holloway Prison. Opening in September, it will feature a 70kg roaster, bar, café, rooftop garden and workshops for coffee enthusiasts. The expansion is a “natural move” after outgrowing its Granary Square roastery.
Oxford biotech deals highlight stature of UK university spinouts | Andrew Ward, FT. May 11.
OXFORD SCIENCES INNOVATION
DZ profile: Oxford Sciences Innovation Plc
Business: The University of Oxford’s private spin-out incubator and £300m investment fund — the biggest of its kind in the world. Run in partnership with the university’s technology transfer arm, ISIS INNOVATION, it helps entrepreneurs and academics, who often have little or no business experience, with cash and expertise. OSI asks for a hefty equity stake. It typically receives 50% of Oxford’s share in any new company for a period of 15 years. In return, the university receives an “undilutable” 5% holding in OSI.
Staff: chaired by David Norwood, the founder of IP Group. Deputy chairman: Alex Snow of Lansdowne, ex-IP Group. Current boss of IP, Alan Aubrey, is a non-executive director.
Investment: The biggest investors in OSI were IP GROUP (which invests mainly in Oxford spin-outs). Other backers include INVESCO, LANSDOWNE PARTNERS, WOODFORD INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT....GOOGLE VENTURES, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund TEMASEK, the WELLCOME TRUST.
1. A trio of biotech companies based on science from the University of Oxford have raised almost £37m in a record round of fundraising for UK academic spinouts: OXSTEM, EVOX and VACCITECH all received money from OSI.
Oxford university start-up fund boosted by £230m injection | Madhumita Murgia, FT. December 9
2. Incubator grows to £580m as Asian investors join backers of UK academic spin-offs, making it the largest private university fund in the UK. The £230m injection of capital has come primarily from Asian investors, including large tech companies who wished to remain anonymous, and sovereign wealth funds, such as Singapore’s TEMASEK and OMAN INVESTMENT FUND. The fund has backed approximately 20 start-ups spun out from the university’s labs, including OXFORD NANOIMAGING, Vaccitech and OXFORD FLOW — double the number they planned to fund a year ago.
Oxford spin-outs line up Numis for futuristic floats | Michael Bow, The Evening Standard. April 13, 2017
3. ...has hired City broker Numis as financial adviser ...will keep the broker on tap to raise funds from investors and develop its portfolio of 36 start-up companies with a view to taking some of them public. The group’s futuristic spin-outs range from Oxford Flow, an engineering group which has invented a lighter type of valve, to artificial intelligence firm DIFFBLUE, which writes computer code on its own.
Business: developing regenerative medicines for age-related diseases such as dementia, heart failure and macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. But whereas other regenerative therapies involve the creation of new “designer” cells to repair damaged tissue or eliminate disease, OxStem believes it can develop drugs that reprogramme the body’s existing cells to do the same job.
Founder: OxStem marks a sixth spinout for its co-founder Steve Davies, Oxford professor of chemistry.
Staff: Michael Stein, chief executive
Investment: OXFORD SCIENCES INNOVATION. Other investors include HUMAN LONGEVITY, the Californian company founded by Craig Venter, one of the pioneers behind the decoding of the human genome. Also taking part was Robert Duggan, the US venture capitalist who made a fortune selling Pharmacyclics, the US biotech company he ran, to AbbVie for $21bn last year.
News: The £16.9m raised by OxStem, a specialist in regenerative medicines for age-related diseases, is the largest financing on record for a company newly spun-out from a UK university, according to Isis.
As well as Oxford Sciences Innovation,
DZ profile: Vaccitech Limited
Business: Drug and vaccine developer. Lead product is a “universal” flu vaccine which would work against all varieties of the virus. This would eliminate the need for a new vaccine each winter tailored to the latest strain — a constantly moving target which often results in patchy efficacy. Early trial results have been positive. Vaccitech is also working on vaccines to fight cancer by turning the immune system against the disease.
Founders: professors Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford, and Sarah Gilbert
Staff: Tom Evans, chief executive, former global head of infectious disease at Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant.
Investment: raised £10m from OXFORD SCIENCES INNOVATION
Google backs bid by Oxford biotech Vaccitech to beat flu | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. January 14 2018
1. Google is among a clutch of investors ploughing a total of £20m into Vaccitech, a company designing a vaccine to protect against most strains of flu. If successful, Vaccitech’s product could end vaccine shortages and ineffective flu jabs, and prevent a repeat of the Spanish Flu pandemic that claimed between 50m and 100m lives after the First World War. Vaccitech will use the new funds to complete a 2,000-person study in Oxford. The cash is coming from GV, Google’s venture capital arm, existing backer Oxford Sciences Innovation and prominent Silicon Valley investor SEQUOIA. If successful, the vaccine could be available within five years.
2. Existing vaccines are updated every year, according to which strains of flu the World Health Organisation predicts will be most severe. However, they do not offer high levels of protection, and not everyone is vaccinated. This year, hospitals were ordered to cancel non-urgent surgery until February to cope with the “Australian” flu outbreak. The scientists behind Vaccitech’s technology, have designed a vaccine to boost the body’s defences against a part of the virus common to most strains of flu.
DZ profile: Evox Therapeutics Limited
Business: EvOx believes it has come up with a new way of delivering medicines to hard-to-reach parts of the body. Its technology aims to hitch a ride on tiny particles called exosomes which the body uses to transport molecules between cells.
Founders: by a pair of academics
Staff: Matthew Wood, professor of neuroscience at Oxford, who has led development together with colleagues at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
Investment: raised £10m from OXFORD SCIENCES INNOVATION
Google joins £35m funding push for Oxford biotech spinout Evox Therapeutics | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. September 2, 2018
1. Has won backing from investors including GV, the venture capital arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. GV, which was set up as Google Ventures in 2009, contributed £10m.
2. Evox, led by Dr Tony de Fougerolles, former chief science officer of biotech company ABLYNX, is developing therapies that hijack the body’s delivery system to send drugs to hard-to-reach places, such as across the blood-brain barrier. By loading tiny sacs in the blood known as exosomes with potent drugs, Evox hopes to treat a number of rare and life-threatening diseases. It has already partnered with German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim to develop DNA-modifying drugs for cancer.
Evox Therapeutics completes £35.5 million Series B financing
3 September 2018 – Evox today announces that it has raised £35.5 million ($45.4 million) of new capital in a Series B financing round. REDMILE GROUP led the financing with significant new investments from GV (formerly Google Ventures) and COWEN HEALTHCARE INVESTMENTS, alongside investments from PANACEA HEALTHCARE VENTURE, BOREALIS VENTURES, and a small number of private investors. Existing investors, OXFORD SCIENCES INNOVATION (OSI) and OXFORD UNIVERSITY also participated in this financing round. Evox had previously secured £10 million as part of a Series A seed financing from OSI.