Here feature the firms in Wales raising equity to expand and create new jobs.
A £6.6m equity fundraising round from Cardiff-based Coincover, which has developed the world’s first cryptocurrency theft insurance cover, has provided a partial exit for the Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund.
This is the first exit for the fund which backed a syndicate of business angels led by Ashley Cooper with the maximum amount of £250,000 early stage funding in Coincover through two rounds beginning in 2018.
The Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund will retain its part of its shareholding while the Development Bank of Wales will invest a further £390,000 through its Wales Flexible Investment Fund.
Founded in May 2018 by its chief executive David Janczewski, Coincover’s recent equity series A funding round was led by Element Venture and also supported by DRW Venture Capital, CMT Digital, Avon Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, FinTech Collective, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, Volt Capital and the founding investors, Insurtech Gateway Fund and the Development Bank of Wales.
On the back of the investment the firm, which currently employs 20, will double its head count over the next six months on the back of its latest funding round as it looks to drive market awareness globally.
Its services ensure that users and businesses never lose access to cryptocurrency funds due to user error, business or infrastructure failure.
Mr Cooper, Angels Invest Wales lead investor and chairman of Coincover said: “It has been an amazing journey for Coincover since our syndicate lead the seed funding round in 2018. Being able to access the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund for early funding was pivotal to allowing co-founders David and Adam (Smith), and their early team, to refine and market test the proposition and to achieve initial product-market fit prior to commercial launch in 2020.
“Since launch the business has scaled rapidly with massive growth in team, customers and ARR. We look forward to working alongside the incoming investors to help deliver on the huge market potential by becoming the global safety standard for cryptocurrency.”
Steve Holt, director of Angels Invest Wales, said: “With a fantastic management team, Coincover is building the infrastructure that will allow crypto to reach mass adoption.
“Having reached our investment limit, our exit has paved the way for Element as funders of some of the very best companies that are building tomorrow’s financial technology to give Coincover the opportunity to scale-up with Series A funding. As early stage investors, it has been an honour and privilege to support David and the business angels on their journey to date particularly as it is such a great success story for Cardiff as a prospering centre for crypto. We will also retain some shareholding to benefit from the future growth of the company.”
Rhian Elston, investment director for the Development Bank of Wales, said “The Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund was created to encourage more angel investing in Wales and build more angel syndicates. Achieving our first exit is a really positive way to demonstrate the benefits of angel investing. The fund has played a key role in supporting the start-up of the business and has now created the room for larger institutional investors to lead the next stage of growth.
“There is always an element of risk with early-stage funding but this is a landmark exit for Angels Invest Wales as they have created the room and availability of shares for larger institutional investors to back the long-term growth of Coincover. It is also a great longer-term opportunity for our specialist technology investment team to continue to support the scaling-up of Coincover as a equity-funded Welsh start-up.”
One of Wales’ leading biotech firm has revealed plans to float on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) raising £7.5m (minus expenses) to expand.
St Asaph-based BiVictriX Therapeutics is develop next-generation cancer therapies using insights derived from frontline clinical experience.
Its pioneering ‘precision’ approach to cancer treatment has the potential to deliver a broad pipeline of Bi-Cygni therapeutics to enable potentially higher dosing and more aggressive tumour eradication in patients, without causing harmful side effects.
Following the float the firm’s founder and chief executive Tiffany Thorn will become one of the youngest female bosses of a UK-based publicly listed technology firm at the age of 33.
Once listed Iain Ross will join the board as chair, together with experienced non-executive directors Susan Lowther and Drummond Paris. Professor Bob Hawkins, a world-renowned oncologist and biotech innovator completes the board and will add significant scientific support.
Existing lead investor, the Development Bank of Wales, will make an additional £500,000 share purchase and remain the largest shareholder of the company post flotation with a 18% stake from its current 32.7%.
Ms Thorn said: “This is an exciting step for all of us at BiVictriX. This fundraise will allow us to accelerate our growth and expedite the development and delivery of our next-generation, highly selective cancer therapeutics to patients diagnosed with some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers, in urgent need of more effective therapies.
” We would like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere gratitude and thanks to all of our supportive investors, both old and new, for their help in enabling us to carry out this crucial work.”
Initially receiving seed investment in 2016, BiVictriX has been supported over multiple funding rounds by the Development Bank of Wales.
BiVictriX will be fifth company the Development Bank of Wales technology venture investments team has supported to list on AIM.
A North Wales food allergy diagnostics firm has secured £2.9m investment to support its growth plans.
Reacta Biotech, based in Deeside, produces clinical diagnostics kits for food allergy testing. It is aiming to improve the efficiency, accuracy and safety of food allergy testing by producing pharmaceutical grade oral food challenges (OFCs), which is seen as the gold standard test for diagnosing food allergies.
The firm secured the funding in a round led by Praetura Ventures with follow-on equity investment from the Development Bank of Wales.
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Manchester-based Praetura Ventures, the venture capital fund manager that targets early-stage businesses in high-growth sectors, invested £1.5m. While, having made an initial seed investment in 2019, the Development Bank of Wales said it would invest a further £1m in equity funding. Other investors in the funding round include venture capitalist Jon Moulton’s family office, Perscitus and Reacta’s management team. The transaction was brokered by Reacta’s long-term advisers, Acceleris Capital, who have previously raised £4m for the company since it was founded.
The business will use the funding to scale up the manufacture of its current product range including peanut, egg and milk OFCs and to extend its product portfolio. It will also expand its team of specialists and expedite work on enhanced packaging solutions. These activities will support the company in growing its portfolio of global pharmaceutical and biotech clients.
With an estimated 250 million people worldwide affected by food allergies, the global demand for allergy testing is rapidly accelerating. Despite this, the company says the current methodologies for diagnosis and assessing treatment responses to food allergies are limited and often inaccurate.
Reacta says in the UK, more than 8.5% of the population is thought to have a food allergy and those developing new treatments continue to push for improved diagnostics to support clinical trials and the roll-out of new therapies.
While the principle of OFCs has been around for decades, Reacta’s product represents the first Pharmaceutical Grade, standardised, dose controlled, masked OFC available in the market.
The investment comes after a…
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