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Dolly marketing firm raising £50m for global food projects

Dolly the Sheep came out of Roslin

Roslin Technologies, which was formed to commercialise the work of Dolly the Sheep’s creators, is raising £50 million to invest in food efficiency initiatives around the world.

The company was set up in 2016 at the Midlothian Science Zone as one of the largest European AgriTech start-ups.

Its mission was to market discoveries at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute – the Dolly innovators who were the first to clone a sheep in 1996 – and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

It is now broadening its interests globally. Recent investments include a Singapore-based business which turns insects into animal feed and fertiliser in a single process.

The funding round will be led by Milltrust International and JBI Equity, two of the world’s top agriTech advisers, and both founding investors in the company. The cash call will value the company at more than £55m. 

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The Midlothian Science Zone is one of the largest animal science innovation hubs in the world and Roslin Technologies’ focus is the science of sustainable food.

Whilst Covid-19 is weighing on certain investments, the company’s backers expect it to attract considerable interest due to its non-cyclical and defensive aspects, focused on improving food security and safety. Its sustainable qualities are also in demand — tackling the global food deficit and making agriculture more environmentally efficient.

Chief executive Glen Illing, said:  “The capital raise is a significant milestone for us, demonstrating our huge potential.

“Our clients are eagerly embracing technology solutions that our scientists are making, and we’re confident that our new key initiatives in the fields of insect, shrimp and cultivated meat technology will become large-scale commercial ventures that make a positive difference to world markets.

The venture building approach Roslin Technologies is taking is unique in the industry

– Kristian Bennetsen, JBI Equity

“Building on this incredible work, we believe Roslin Technologies will become one of the world’s leading agriTech venture businesses.”

JBI Equity partner Kristian Bennetsen said: “We are truly delighted to reach this important marker of a Series B raise.

“The venture building approach Roslin Technologies is taking is unique in the industry, and we expect to see the partnership with the University of Edinburgh continue to develop and grow.

“The new projects are truly cutting edge and we are excited to see a period of accelerated growth ahead.”

Milltrust chief executive Simon Hopkins, said: “We always knew the commercial potential for a business working with these leading scientists was excellent, and the next compelling pipeline of projects, along with the current portfolio growth, is tremendous to see. 

“I look forward to sharing what has to this point been a well-kept secret to the widest range of investors – institutions, pension funds, family offices – about the considerable potential of Roslin Technologies.”

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