Kymab | Jellycat £49m | CVS £218.1m | Loveholidays.com £23.3m | Connect 2 Cleanrooms £5.2m | OnTheMarket.com
Biotech mice - Kids' toys - Pet care -
Travel portal - Germ-free labs -
Online estate agent
News about 6 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 30th July – 5th August 2017:
KYMAB: biotechnology - Cambridge
Gates-backed biotech mixes mice and men to fight cancer | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. July 30.
DZ profile: Kymab Limited
Business: biotech backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has created a series of genetically engineered mice with a full set of human genes. The mice react to vaccines in the same way as humans, producing antibodies genetically identical to those made by man. Now, for the first time, these mouse-generated antibodies are being tested in dozens of healthy human volunteers in the Netherlands. If the trial is a success, it may pave the way for a series of drugs that could tackle arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and lupus. Scientists say these drugs will be more effective than those already on the market because they do not need extra engineering before being used on humans.
Founder: Allan Bradley, former director of the Sanger Institute for genetic research, who came up with the idea of the human mouse.
Staff: Dave Chiswell, chief executive, co-founder of CAMBRIDGE ANTIBODY TECHNOLOGY — a biotech firm sold to Astra Zeneca for $1.3bn in 2008. Chiswell is part of the team that discovered Humira, an arthritis drug labelled the world’s best-selling medicine.
Investment: The company raised $30m from the WELLCOME TRUST in its first year, $40m from the BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION in 2014, and in 2015 the investor NEIL WOODFORD came on board as part of a $50m fundraising. Last November a further $100m was raised in a round led by Chinese investors including SHENZHEN HEPALINK PHARMACEUTICAL CO.
Biotech firm Kymab in battle over ‘human mice’ secrets | Rosamund Urwin, The Sunday Times. June 17 2018
1. Kymab is seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in a row over patents. It follows a ruling by the Court of Appeal earlier this year that Kymab infringed a patent belonging to US company REGENERON. A previous judgment ruled that Regeneron’s patent was insufficient. ...relates to Kymab’s “Kymouse” work, in which it manipulates the genome of mice. Kymab removes the genes that make antibodies in mice and replaces them with human antibody genes. This means that when the mice are vaccinated, they make human antibodies. Kymab has just finished its first set of clinical trials in Holland, in which mouse-made but genetically-human antibodies were injected into healthy volunteers. Next year, it will start clinical trials to treat cancer and kidney disease.
JELLYCAT: toymaker - London
Puppy love | Robert Watts, The Sunday Times. July 30.
DZ profile: Jellycat Limited
Business: Soft toys account for 75% of Jellycat’s sales, but it also sells books, nursery items and other accessories.
Location: London W14
Founders: brothers William and Thomas Gatacre
Financials: Profits surged 50% to a record £14.9m on sales of £49m last year, providing the owners with a dividend of £16.7m.
News: the business’s growth has been driven by exports in recent years, with overseas sales now accounting for 71% of revenues. Turnover outside Europe and the US more than doubled in 2016, with China and South Korea proving particularly strong markets.
CVS: veterinary surgeries - Norfolk
Man’s best friend: pet insurance | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. July 30 2017.
DZ profile: Cvs Group Plc
Business: has more than 400 veterinary surgeries and referral practices across the country. The insurance boom has been a factor in the growth of CVS: 90% of the specialist procedures it carries out are funded by insurers. The company will launch its own pet insurance next month.
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Staff: Simon Innes, 57, chief executive
Financials: Revenues jumped 30.4% to £218.1m in the 12 months to June 30, 2016.
Investment: listed on AIM in 2007. The shares are up more than 20% this year
News: The company bought 63 veterinary practices last year and plans to continue the acquisition spree. Innes wants to build or buy hospitals in Scotland and northeast England. He is also working on a rapid growth drive in Holland and Ireland, funded by debt and a healthy balance sheet.
LOVEHOLIDAYS.COM: travel website - London
£100m holidays bonanza | Ben Harrington, The Sunday Times. July 30.
DZ profile: We Love Holidays Limited
Business: travel website
Location: London W6
Founders: Alex Francis, 41, who used to work for Energy Audits Telecoms, and Jonny Marsh, 40, a former Yahoo employee.
Financials: Companies House shows that Loveholidays’ holding company, WANT2BTHERE, generated operating profits of £2.5m and revenues of £23.3m in 2016.
News: City sources said Loveholidays recently appointed PwC to advise on an exit strategy - a possible £100m sale or float -following a period of rapid growth. Company insiders said the appointment was also related to possible “growth options” for the business.
CONNECT 2 CLEANROOMS: sterile rooms for hospitals - Lancaster
We cleaned up with our sterile rooms | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times. July 30.
DZ profile: Connect 2 Cleanrooms Limited
Business: making germ-free areas for university labs and hospitals A sterile room is about 1,000 times cleaner than an operating theatre. Drugs giants use them to prevent cross-contamination. Clients include COCA-COLA, ROLLS-ROYCE and aircraft cabin maker B/E AEROSPACE. Manufacturing is outsourced locally and a team of 20 engineers assemble the rooms.
Founders: Lizzie, 45 and Joe, 45 Govier. Founders of Detail Plastics in 1998.
Financials: made pre-tax profits of £380,000 on sales of £5.2m last year and aims for sales of £8m this year Exports account for 20% of revenues.
Investment: They own the business 100%. The couple decided “not to get any grants, loans or investment” and grow Connect 2 Cleanrooms organically.
1. They spotted the opportunity after Joe had to build his own clean room for Detail Plastics. “I was making stock for the medical industry, so I needed one,” said Joe. At the time, a room could cost £500,000. The Goviers launched a website for their low-cost, bespoke units. A £4,000 order immediately came in from MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY. “Joe went and installed it himself,” said Lizzie.
2. Pharma giants soon placed orders and fast growth earned Joe a role in Downing Street advising on business strategy with the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Lord (Alan) Sugar in the early noughties. “I was the young, naive one,” he said.
ONTHEMARKET: property portal - Aldershot
OnTheMarket takes on Zoopla with float plan | Russell Lynch, The Evening Standard. August 4.
DZ profile: Agents' Mutual Limited
Business: online estate agent launched in 2015 as a low-cost alternative to the higher fees charged by Rightmove and Zoopla. Currently jointly owned by Agents’ Mutual, whose members include SAVILLS, KNIGHT FRANK, STRUTT & PARKER and CHESTERTONS. In terms of agents using the site, is currently a distant third to its bigger rivals with around 5700 agent branches, compared with Rightmove’s 17,500 and Zoopla’s 14,300.
Location: Aldershot, Surrey
Staff: Chief executive Ian Springett
1. ...today announced plans for a float valuing the firm at up to £250 million. The listing represents a dramatic change of direction for the business, abandoning the mutual model. It controversially banned member agents from listing on both the “big two” rivals. This rule will be dropped in the float, in which members will take shares in the new business and £50m will be raised to fund a national advertising campaign. The AIM launch should value the company at between £200 million and £250 million.
OnTheMarket fails to shine on Aim debut | Aime Williams, FT. February 10, 2018.
2. OnTheMarket’s long-awaited debut on London’s junior market failed to pique buyer interest on Friday.Its shares were issued at 165p but closed down 9 per cent at 148p — giving it a market cap of just under £90m. Last month the group said it had raised £30m ahead of the listing, £20m less than its goal when it announced its intention to float in August last year, targeting a market capitalisation of £200m to £250m.
3. According to analysts at EDISON, the group made revenues of roughly £18m for the full year 2017 and carried listings for roughly 6,000 branches.
4. OnTheMarket has a long way to go to catch up with rivals. ZPG, the acquisitive owner of Zoopla, reported full-year revenues of £122.3m for price comparison sites in its property division. RIGHTMOVE, with a market capitalisation of £3.9bn, made revenues of £120m for the first half of 2017 and is due to report its full-year results this month.
5. Traditional estate agents have struggled as slowing house price growth — and price falls in some parts of the UK — have slowed transaction volumes. Earlier this month, COUNTRYWIDE shares lost 18 per cent in a single day after it issued a profit warning, while profits at London-focused agency FOXTONS have also been squeezed.
6. Estate agency GASCOIGNE HALMAN took issue with the requirement that agents listing on its site only choose one additional listing venue out of Rightmove and Zoopla. Although the tribunal ruled in OnTheMarket’s favour, the portal has since dropped the requirement.
Look who’s moved in on the home sites | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. February 17 2019
7. … said this month that it had delivered more than seven times as many phone and email leads as this time last year. …offers free listings under introductory offers to get agents to make the switch from Rightmove and Zoopla. ....now has 12,500 listing branches …will use an allocation of 36m shares to recruit agents to sign long-term deals. ...and will start converting new customers into fee-paying subscribers. By offering lower fees — and free listings — it has already forced Rightmove to cut its prices.
8. made sales of £7m in the six months to the end of July, losing £5.7m.