Top up for growth companies

Archangels and SIB add to firms’ support

Niki McKenzieArchangels, the investing syndicate, and Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) are providing £3.9 million in four further rounds of support for expanding businesses.

The new money will be used by Blackford Analysis, Fios Genomics, PowerPhotonic and Administrate to fund growth in research & development, product development, sales and marketing.

Niki McKenzie (pictured), investment director at Archangels, said: “As investors, we know that it’s just as important for Archangels to provide ongoing growth capital as it is to find and invest in start-up companies in the first place.

“The companies who have received funding in these latest rounds are each Scottish success stories in their own right, selling their ideas, products and expertise around the world, and we are proud to have them in our portfolio of exciting Scottish businesses.”

Kerry Sharp, Head of Scottish Investment Bank, said: “The Scottish Enterprise co-investment model allows us to invest alongside Archangels into Scottish companies that are at the forefront of bringing exciting new innovations to the market.

“These companies also work with Scottish Enterprise, helping them to build on their international growth success to date. All four companies are great examples of the quality of investment opportunities in Scotland and the ability of Scottish companies to compete on the international stage.”

John Peebles 2Administrate, run by chief executive John Peebles (right), is based in Edinburgh and provides online training management software that automates the workflow required to deliver education. The company has received a further £1.7m of investment, and is one of the fastest growing tech companies in Scotland.

Based at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Blackford Analysis produces information systems that help clinicians to compare multiple images in medical disciplines such as radiology, saving time and improving communication, productivity and efficiency. Blackford received £648,000 of additional investment and will use the funds to extend its team in commercial and product development, creating a further 10 jobs over the next year.

Edinburgh-based Fios Genomics is a bioinformatics service provider that turns high dimension, high volume data into usable information for clients across the pharmaceuticals, biotech and academic sectors. Fios will use the £550,000 of additional investment from Archangels, SIB, TRI Cap and its own directors to fund investment in its IT infrastructure and the creation of an additional five roles in its quality assurance, project management and marketing functions.

From its Dalgety Bay base, PowerPhotonic designs, manufactures and supplies high value optics that manipulate the light from lasers for customers in a range of sectors from defence to the medical sector. It will use the second £1m tranche of a £2m of investment round from Archangels and SIB last year to upscale its business development and manufacturing capacity, creating up to eight jobs this year. 

>> Holoxica, a specialist 3D company helping advance surgical procedures, has secured €1.28million from a European fund.

The support package from the European Commission’s Horizon2020 SME Instrument, the largest ever EU research and innovation funding programme will help the firm develop its pioneering medical imaging technology.

Bids for the €740m fund are keenly contested with thousands of SMEs submitting applications. Only the ‘best of the best’ proposals are offered funding. To date, only four companies in Scotland have received this award.

Dr Javid Khan, founder and CEO of Holoxica, said: “We see holographic video displays completely transforming the field of medical imaging.

“In recent years, there has certainly been improvements in the clarity and detail of datasets produced by Ultrasound, CT, PET and MRI scanners, but whilst these machines generate 3D volumetric imagery as a series of 2D ‘slices’ scanned through the body using radiation, we can present the scans as wholly 3D images via holographic volume displays.”

Holoxica will carry out initial testing of the holographic video display prototype at Kings College, London; Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital, London and the Clinical Research Imaging Centre at the University of Edinburgh. Siemens Healthcare, the largest provider of medical equipment in Europe, is keen to trial the technology once it is ready for clinical use.

Holoxica is seeking further investment from angels and venture capital funds to transform the prototype into a product that can be used in a clinical setting. The investment is required for further integration, engineering, user-interface software and full trials.

The company will be moving from Edinburgh University to CodeBase, the UK’s largest technology incubator.

Caroline Gray-Stephens of Scottish Enterprise’s Enterprise Europe Network team, said; “Holoxica’s success is remarkable given the fierce competition from businesses across Europe to access this funding, it’s great to see a Scottish company succeeding against some of the top European innovators.

“However, this is about more than just funding – Holoxica will also receive free business coaching as part of the package of support, and the Enterprise Europe Network team will be on hand to support the company as they commercialise their pioneering medical imaging technology.”

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