Wednesday January 1st 2020
Antibody Engineering - Jobs Platform - Builders’ Merchant - Road Surfacing - Cancer Treatment
- Butcher - Satellite operator - Hotel pricing AI - Restaurants –
Neuroscience experts – Alzheimer’s drugs
Fusion Antibodies £1.9m | The Dots | Huws Gray £180m | Minster £8.6m | Advanced Oncotherapy | Field & Flower | Avanti Communications £82.8m | Pace | Daisy Green | Ixico £4.1m | Oxford Biodynamics
News about 11 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 10th – 16th December 2017:
FUSION ANTIBODIES: Antibody Engineering - Northern Ireland
Fusion plans to join AIM before end of the year | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. December, 10 2017.
DZ profile: Fusion Antibodies Plc
Business: biotech minnow which supplies some of the world’s biggest drugs companies. “We’re experts in the sequencing of antibodies and genetic code.” It intends to double the size of its laboratory, which will boost the manufacture of antibodies used in drugs developed by companies such as NOVARTIS and ROCHE.
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Founder: Prof. Jim Johnston
Staff: managing director Dr Paul Kerr. Fusion’s board includes Tim Watts, a former chief financial officer of Oxford BioMedica.
Financials: Revenues were £1.9m for the year to March 2017, including income from its role as an expert witness in a patent dispute between two US drugs companies.
Investment: was spun out of Belfast’s Queen’s University 16 years ago. Is listing on AIM in a £18.5m (€21m) flotation, plans to go public on December 18, raising £5m. Existing shareholder CRESCENT CAPITAL increased its stake in the listing, while HARGREAVE HALE, OCTOPUS INVESTMENTS and AMATI GLOBAL INVESTORS bought shares. Sir John Cadogan, a renowned scientist who is an investor and former chairman of Fusion, has sold down much of his stake.
THE DOTS: Creative Jobs Platform - London
Backers join The Dots, founded by Pip Jamieson | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. December 10 2017.
DZ profile: The Dots Global Limited
Business: A job-finding platform for people in creative industries - to connect freelancers in fashion, the arts and technology. Users can make connections and upload audio, graphic and video projects free, while recruiters must pay. It has more than 250,000 users. Clients GOOGLE, BURBERRY and M&C SAATCHI use the site to find people for new technology and marketing projects.
Founder: Pip Jamieson, 38. The former MTV executive said she started the London-based platform after becoming frustrated with sites such as LinkedIn — which did not seem effective at finding creative talent. Jamieson was named on the Maserati 100 list of disruptors earlier this year. Jamieson started the company from her houseboat on the Regent’s Canal, London.
Investment: has landed a £4m cash boost from a string of backers. The funding round was led by the start-up incubator HAMBRO PERKS, as well as advertising supremo Sir John Hegarty’s THE GARAGE SOHO and ANGEL ACADEME, the angel group that invest only in companies with female founders. The Dots had initially aimed to raise £3m, but the figure increased after strong investor interest.
HUWS GRAY: Builders’ Merchant - North Wales
Welsh builders' merchant Huws Gray set for fortune from sale | Ben Harrington, The Sunday Times. December 10 2017.
DZ profile: Huws Gray Limited
Business: builders’ merchants. The company has grown significantly and is considered to be one of the largest independent builders’ merchants in Britain, with about 60 branches in Wales, the Midlands and the north of England.
Location: Llangefni, North Wales
Founders: John Llewelyn Jones, chairman, and Terry Owen managing director, started the company with one branch on the island of Angelsey, north Wales.
Financials: insiders said the company is currently generating £30m in operating profits from £180m of revenues.
News: the founders have asked advisers from HSBC to find a buyer for a large shareholding in the business. Sources said the most likely potential buyers of a stake in Huws Gray are private equity firms who put cash behind the founders’ expansion plans.
MINSTER: Road Surfacing – Lincoln
Minster boss Bruce Spencer-Knott: the boy from the black stuff who resurfaced Horse Guards Parade | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. December 10 2017.
DZ profile: Minster Surfacing Limited
Business: Road surfacing. It does car parks at new branches of Aldi and M&S food halls and new roads for housebuilders Persimmon and Barratt. It is a Ministry of Defence contractor, winning work at RAF stations and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and repairing and resurfacing Horse Guards Parade in London. Also offers gravel and concrete surfaces
Founder: Bruce Spencer-Knott, 46, started laying asphalt after leaving school at 18. In 1999, he remortgaged his house to raise £30,000 to start— named after Lincoln’s Gothic cathedral — with veteran tarmacker Tony Cole, who also put in £30,000. In 2012, Spencer-Knott bought out Cole.
Financials: In the year to January, the company made pre-tax profits of £1.4m on turnover of £8.6m.
ADVANCED ONCOTHERAPY: Cancer Treatment – London
Advanced Oncotherapy gets boost from stalwart investor | Kate Burgess, FT. December 11, 2017
DZ profile: Advanced Oncotherapy Plc (Avo)
Business: pioneer of proton beam cancer treatment flagship with a Harley Street centre. Avo, Mr Serandour says, is not like other biotech hopefuls. “We have the prototype accelerator and we know it works,” he says. That means risk lies less in possible technology failures or regulatory hurdles and more in the process of assembling the machines. “This is more of an engineering project,” he says.
Staff: chief executive Nicolas Serandour, a former banker who joined the company in 2014
Financials: Its losses widened to £13m last year.
Investment: Aim-quoted. Last week signed a breakthrough agreement with YANTAI CIPU, a Chinese medical technology group, to sell its machines in and around China. Yantai is paying £16.5m for the distribution rights. It has also agreed to buy just under 30 per cent of Avo for £13.5m, while SEGULAH, a Swedish private equity business led by Gabriel Urwitz, has raised its stake to 12.6 per cent.
1. Mr Urwitz has backed the group since 2012 when Avo bought ADAM, the Cern-based business set up to commercialise the breakthroughs coming out of research into subatomic physics and the Large Hadron Collider.Medi-tech savvy Adam had the blue-print for a Light (Linear Accelerator for Image Guided Hadron Therapy) machine that targeted proton beams at hard-to-reach cancers more effectively than conventional radiotherapy. There are a handful of rivals using proton beams to treat tumours, but Light machines are designed to be smaller, cheaper and better controlled than other accelerators.
2. In February, Avo had been forced into the arms of BRACKNOR, a Dubai-based lender specialising in funding small businesses on hard terms. Bracknor promised to hand over £13m in chunks over two years in return for shares. By July, Mr Urwitz stepped in. He formed a consortium of like-minded investors, including Swedish small-cap investor Peter Gyllenhammar, to lend Avo enough to pay off Bracknor and end the agreement.
3. While its first machine, which will treat superficial tumours, is expected to be up and running in Geneva next year, Avo still has to gain full regulatory approval.
4. The Harley Street centre will not be finished until 2020, assuming no more delays.
FIELD & FLOWER: Butcher - London
Entrepreneurs: Meet the meaty Field & Flower duo with a big steak in the future | Michael Bow, The Evening Standard. December 11, 2017.
DZ profile: Field & Flower Limited
Business: decided to tap into the burgeoning e-commerce sector and offer premium meat from Flower’s family farm in the Gordano Valley direct to the customer’s door. Has delivered to 19,000 homes across the UK since 2010, including orders to Buckingham Palace — and fans who keep coming back for the company’s vast online emporium of meat, which stocks beef, chicken, pork, bacon, lamb, wild game, veal, mutton (and fish), all sent out in ice-packed boxes. The big turning point came in 2014, when the company decided to outsource the butchery. They now work with about 15 farms, but still get some of their steak from Flower's family farm.
Location: Wandsworth, London
Founders: James Mansfield, 34 and James Flower, 31,
Investment: has just completed a landmark £880,000 fundraising round, valuing Field & Flower at £9.75m.
1. After a seed-funding round in 2011, the duo built a tiny butchery near the farm fitted with old pharmaceutical fridges and recruited three more farms giving them access to chicken, lamb and pork. They spent the next three years building the business with their bare hands — preparing the meat, wrapping it, packing the boxes and even delivering them sometimes.
2. preparing to embark on an online marketing blitz, a new app and more hires next year with the new funding
3. “Christmas is the biggest time of the year. Our revenues quadruple,” says Mansfield. They’ve already chalked up orders for 600 turkeys and 10,000 pigs in blankets, and have been forced to add an extra delivery day to cope with demand, including a surge in popularity for goose.
AVANTI COMMUNICATIONS: Satellite broadband - London
Troubled satellite firm looking for a relaunch as hedge fund takes control | Graeme Evans, The Evening Standard. December 13, 2017
DZ profile: Avanti Communications Group Plc
Business: the UK's only fixed and broadcast satellite operator - provides high-speed satellite broadband to areas where traditional internet access is not possible
Founder: David Williams, former Chief Executive (to August 2017), joint founder. Williams also founded a start up venture capital company called ACTIVE MEDIA CAPITAL in 1999. Awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Quoted Company Awards 2006.
Staff: chairman is former Diageo boss Paul Walsh
Financials: to 30-Jun-16, Revenue £82.8 m, Pre-Tax -£67m.
1. ...new lease of life today as a crucial debt-for-equity swap moved onto the launch pad. Its proposed restructuring will hand bondholders a $557m (£417.6m) equity stake and should save at least $81m a year in interest payments. After the swap, hedge fund SOLUS ALTERNATIVE ASSET MANAGEMENT will hold approximately 41.5% of shares. Avanti will also have room to raise about $30m of additional capital in the New Year.
Satellite groups no longer UK’s sleeping giants | Nic Fildes, FT. June 22, 2018
2. ..new chief executive — Kyle Whitehill, who joined from Africa’s LIQUID TELECOM, having spent 15 years at Vodafone — it hopes to finally deliver on its promise. That could involve a new plan to target the Latin American market. Its prospects were given a boost last month when an arbitrator said the Indonesian government would have to pay it $20m over a contract dispute. The decision was welcome given the company’s last trading statement, covering the nine months to March 2018, showed its losses before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation widening from $11.4m to $18m, with revenue dropping by almost a third to $31.3m.
PACE: Hotel pricing AI - London
London startup Pace has raised £2.5m to help hotels boost revenues using artificial intelligence | Lynsey Barber, City A.M. December 14, 2017
DZ profile: Prix Ltd (Pace)
Business: uses artificial intelligence to help boost revenues for hotels. Uses machine learning to try and solve the problem of fluctuations in seasonal demand for hotels which is estimated to collectively cost them billions of pounds each year. It produces automated dynamic pricing for rooms, coming up with the right price at the right the time. Pace will initially target independent and boutique hotels and is already being beta tested by 20 retreats in five countries, increasing revenues by 10 per cent on average.
Location: London and Vienna
Founders: Jens Munch (chief executive), John-Paul Clarke and Jason Pinto,
Investment: SEEDCAMP, SPEEDINVEST and AMADEUS CAPITAL PARTNERS are among investors putting £2.5m into Pace, with INTERGLOBE - the company behind India's largest airline IndiGo - leading the seed round.
THE DAISY GREEN COLLECTION: Restaurant chain – London
This London restaurant chain with celeb fans including Ellie Goulding has just grabbed £3.4m from OakNorth | Lucy White, City A.M. December 14, 2017
DZ profile: Daisy Green Food Limited
Business: Australia-inspired restaurant chain which operates out of eight sites including two barges, with celebrity fans including singer Ellie Goulding and the Vamps' James McVey. Daisy Green began life as a Ford transit van below the Gherkin selling coffee and smoothies. The business now spans London from Liverpool Street to Southwark, and its next project will be opening a 4,000-square foot space in Soho. Two restaurants are in Paddington Basin barges painted by Sir Peter Blake.
Founders: two former City bankers, Prue Freeman and her husband Tom Onions
Investment: has won a £3.4m debt investment to almost double its size. The chain aims to use the investment from challenger bank OAKNORTH to expand to 14 sites by 2020. OakNorth now has a loan book of more than £900m, and plans to lend a further £1.5bn next year.
News: The business has been recognised by Vogue as a "leading" vegetarian and vegan restaurant, serving dishes from bacon rolls with paratha roti to roasted aubergine with crispy rice and miso tahini sauce.
Small-cap focus: UK biotechs target Alzheimer’s | Sarah Neville, FT. December 15, 2017
IXICO: Neuroscience experts - London
DZ profile: Ixico Plc
Business: is focused on neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Says its expertise is in neuroimaging, using MRI or PET scans. Working with developing drugs to treat neurological disease, its technology detects changes in different parts of the brain over time, allowing scientists “to see whether their potential new drugs are having an effect on the disease they’re interested in”, and ensuring that potential new therapies are “safe as well as effective”. It has expanded beyond Alzheimer’s, to areas such as Huntingdon’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as multiple sclerosis.
Founder: Derek Hill
Staff: Giulio Cerroni, chief executive
Financials: is lossmaking but it has experienced 20 per cent organic growth in the past year and last week reported annual revenues of £4.1m, up from £3.3m the year before when currency movements are taken into account.
Investment: Aim-listed, has a market capitalisation of £7.7m. Investors include: IP GROUP and TOUCHSTONE INNOVATIONS.
OXFORD BIODYNAMICS: Alzheimer’s drugs - Oxford
DZ profile: Oxford Biodynamics Plc (OBD)
Business: OBD is working on a number of neurological disorders, including a programme to develop biomarkers that can potentially be used to differentiate Alzheimer’s disease patients from those with other conditions. …is using proprietary technology to identify specific “biomarkers”, or disease signatures. This means drugs can be brought to market sooner by personalising them to patients most likely to respond.
Founders: Christian Hoyer Millar, chief executive and Dr. Alexandre Akoulitchev and Dr. Aroul Ramadass
Financials: OBD’s operating losses are forecast to widen to £4.2m in 2017, approaching double on the year before but it says this reflects increased investment.
Investment: With a market value of £165m, it was spun out of Oxford university and listed on Aim in December 2016. The company raised £20m when it completed its IPO.