At 10am on the first Thursday of every month, OTM organises presentations at which some of its investee companies pitch to investors. If you would like an invite to the next event on Thursday 7th January 2021, please enter your details here.
All of these companies received their first investment from OT(S)EIS - The Start-up Fund. OTM has supported these companies with advice and follow-on funding, and most now have share prices that are several times higher than our original investment. If you wish to invest in the next, brand new start-ups to join our portfolio, please consider an investment in OT(S)EIS - The Start-up Fund.
If you wish to make investments across a range of these opportunities, please consider OTEIS - The Development Fund. OTM will use your subscription to make EIS investments within the current tax year into five companies from our portfolio across a spread of sectors, stages, and valuations. We cannot guarantee to include any particular company.
Please note that not all of these companies are still raising money. Many reach their target quickly and close the round. Please be aware, that in order to make an investment, investors need to self-certify as a 'sophisticated investor' or a 'high net worth individual'. The definitions of these terms can be found here.
Recordings of some of the previous presentations can be seen below. Other presentations contain confidential information, so are not shared publicly here. If you would like to watch the recording of a particular company, please contact us.
On Thursday 7th January, two companies seeking additional EIS investment made 10 minute presentations. The companies presenting were:
1. Designer Carbon Materials
Designer Carbon Materials is a spin-out from Oxford University. The company was formed by Professor Kyriakos Porfyrakis to find commercial applications for endohedral fullerenes, hollow spheres of carbon atoms the simplest of which has 60 carbon atoms, with a single atom of another species inside the sphere. OT(S)EIS invested at the start in 2014.
Several potential applications have been found, of which the furthest advanced is the ‘atomic-clock-on-a-chip’. In N@C60, a single nitrogen atom is at the centre of the cage, and, in atomic terms, a huge distance from the nearest other atom, something not experienced at any other place on earth. In this environment the nitrogen atom has a quantum spin resonance at a very precise frequency. If about 10,000 N@C60 molecules can be assembled, then the resonances synchronise and the resonance can be sensed at a distance and this can then serve as a time signal to drive what would, in theory, be an extremely accurate clock. But unlike other atomic clocks, which are large (the smallest now being matchbox sized), this could exist on a small chip inside a mobile phone. There are numerous potential applications.
DCM has now received a total of 6 orders for small quantities of N@C60, each at a price of more than £100m per gram (we think this is the most expensive material on the planet, but it would take 4 years to make a milligram at the moment). But the orders were typically worth £20,000 - the quantities ordered were tiny.
DCM has signed an exclusive agreement with a company in the US. DCM gives this company exclusive rights to N@C60 for the atomic clock application. The company undertakes to purchase only from DCM, and also to pay for scale up manufacturing, if we get that far. At the moment, scientists in the US are working on producing a working atomic-clock-on-a-chip, but still have some way to go to achieve this objective and may not succeed.
In the meanwhile, Kyriakos has been appointed as head of the Materials and Chemical Engineering group at the School of Engineering and Science at the Greenwich University, which is particularly appropriate given that Greenwich is the centre of world time (Greenwich Mean Time, Greenwich Meridian, home of Harrison’s clocks etc). From March 2021, Kyriakos will be the new Director of Research at Greenwich where he can push for further collaboration between the University and spin out companies.
This will have many advantages for DCM in the long run, but the last year has been something of a washout, with the labs being closed and very little practical progress being made. DCM has very low overheads - less that £50,000 per year, but it has now run out of funds, and needs to raise a minimum of £50,000 and up to £150,000 to keep going for the next two years or so. The hope is that during this time, there will be a working demonstrator of the atomic clock on a chip, and if this happens then DCM should be in a very good position. The share price will be as before - £1.25, or 87.5p after EIS tax relief.
OT(S)EIS made an SEIS investment in Lupe in February 2017. The two ex-Dyson engineer founders had an idea for a better vacuum cleaner, one which would both clean better and which would also be better for the planet, designed to last for a long time, with parts that could be replaced if necessary, rather than having a three year life before being thrown into landfill.
In this aim they have succeeded. The first production units have now arrived and been sold, to rave reviews, the second production units are on their way, and a third batch has been ordered. Vacuum Wars (which itself states that it is for vacuum nerds) did objective tests on 45 of the leading brands of cordless vacuum cleaners. When they present the results, they cover up the name of the winner to start with because it is so far ahead of all the others. You’ve guessed it the winner is Lupe. And they explain why Lupe is so much better, even when being operated on low power than others being operated at full power. You can watch the video at https://youtu.be/u1fLI7AxY3E
Forbes described Lupe as 'The Rolls Royce of Vacuums". There have been 265 reviews to date, all of them positive although none as nerdy, objective (detailed measurement of actual suction achieved) and super enthusiastic as Vacuum Wars. Sales leapt to more than 25 per day at £499 each when the Vacuum Wars review first came out and with 50% of sales being in the USA.
So Lupe has succeeded brilliantly in what is we hope the most difficult stage of its journey. It has successfully gone into production with what is the best vacuum cleaner in the world. Now it needs more capital to scale up everything. More production (many parts, inc the batteries and the motor need to be ordered and paid for in advance). More marketing, more financial administration etc etc.
So Lupe is seeking to raise capital. Precisely how much and at what share price is not yet decided (as of 17 December) , but this will have been decided by the time of the presentation.
Four Companies from the OT(S)EIS portfolio presented virtually on 3rd December 2020:
In February 2020, PolyCAT developed a prototype antiviral coating based on its existing technology platform. It seems that the way that the antimicrobial compound is presented on the surface of the treated materials is particularly good at deactivating viruses compared to competing technologies. The proprietary silver impregnated fabric conforms to ISO-18184:2019 (the internationally recognised standard for efficacy of antiviral fabrics) achieving an 'excellent' rating on all tests. Recognising this, the company signed on an international sales and marketing team to push this and other PolyCAT technologies to a wider audience. The antiviral material is down to the final three at 2 major household brand names, and in advanced trials at 3 others. All these opportunities represent long term technology goals for these potential customers which will outlast the immediate Covid-19 crisis. PolyCAT has also started a major funded project with the US DoD/UK MoD evaluating another technology designed on the same platform. The company expects to grow significantly in 2021, and has started an EIS-eligible Series A fundraising round for £1m to accelerate this growth.
More information is available at https://www.polycatuk.co.uk/
Etcembly is seeking to create a machine learning platform, EMLy (Etcembly Machine Learning) that contains a database of the human T cell repertoire of TCRs (T Cell Receptors) to interpret the immune system in the context of health and disease. Etcembly brings transformative acceleration to immunotherapy and vaccine design. Should there be a future pandemic outbreak, Etcembly will be able to design a candidate vaccine within days of the viral sequence being known. Etcembly started in January 2020 and has made excellent progress forging numerous partnerships with the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Bristol Myers Squibb, Parker Institute of Immunotherapy and Tessa Therapeutics, Imperial College and Great Ormond Street Hospital. EMLy now stores more than 300M TCR sequences in its database and this number will exceed a billion by the end of this year- a significant milestone as this will have captured the natural diversity of the human T cell repertoire within an individual. During November, Etcembly has raised £280,000 at £1.58 per share which included £70,000 from OT(S)EIS. They are aiming to fill this round to £500,000 from additional investors. The funds will be used to hire talent to bring EMLy to market ready for partnering and licensing deals.
More information is available at https://www.etcembly.com/
GripAble is developing an ecosystem of proprietary sensor-based devices and an engaging software and data platform, providing remote physical assessment and therapy. The system allows much of the therapy that now takes place in hospitals to be performed by the patient at-home, while still under therapist guidance. The first product is a digital handgrip device that connects wirelessly to GripAble’s mobile software app allowing patients with hand, wrist and arm impairment to complete objective assessments and engaging therapy games. A study at Imperial showed an eightfold increase in exercise among patients given the opportunity to use the device, with example case studies emerging of individuals achieving fourfold increases in strength after sustained use. There has been significant pre-launch sales traction (>400 systems deployed) and scalable manufacturing has been achieved. GripAble is raising a £1.5m round, £1.2m of which has already been committed, at a pre-money valuation of £9.25m.
More information is available at https://gripable.co/
SIME is a Clinical AI company applying medical excellence, proprietary AI and data science to deliver rapid respiratory intensive care diagnostics for acute unmet needs. The Company's clinically proven technology enables early intervention in life-threatening diseases - saving lives, improving outcomes and reducing costs. The first product to market, a breakthrough diagnostic test clinically proven to predict neonatal respiratory distress at birth, will be marketed to Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Europe, US, China and Latin America. The Company has pioneer installations in key markets (Copenhagen, London, Xi'an, Los Angeles), is protected by an extensive IP portfolio and has a world class management and scientific team.
SIME is currently fundraising to reach CE Mark and first milestone-based revenue in 2021 (signed commercial agreements in China and Latin America). SIME is raising £1.5m of which £500,000 will be as an advance subscription agreement at a 20% discount to the price of the balance of the £1.5m. £200,000 of this has already been subscribed.
More information is available at https://simedx.com/
Five companies from the OT(S)EIS portfolio presented virtually on 5th November 2020:
Working with leading doctors, Active Needle uses ultrasound passed through a needle to improve injections, biopsies and tattoos. Biopsies and injections can be made more accurate thanks to the greatly increased visibility of the needle on the ultrasound imaging, and because the needle penetrates more easily and therefore straighter when ultrasound is applied. Remarkably, biopsies currently miss their targets in up to 20% of cases. The benefit of easier penetration and reduced force also applies to tattooing – which is a $1bn market. Their biopsy device is in the final throws of obtaining a CE mark and sales are expected next year. Finally, working with Glaxo and AstraZeneca, Active Needle is developing a device for accurate dosing and injection of drugs in preclinical testing.
More information is available at www.activeneedle.com
Molecular Warehouse develops diagnostics for a wide range of biomarkers, that are as easy to use as blood glucose meters, so are ideal for distributed use either at point of care or at home. This is achieved by adding biological switches to the glucose enzymes which are triggered by the presence of the specific analyte of interest. Applications are medical but also agricultural (shorter time to market). Both Australia and California’s wine growers have suffered due to smoke damage from forest fires. Being able to identify which grapes are damaged and which are not is essential. Molecular Warehouse can leverage existing manufacturing capability to keep manufacturing cost very low. Molecular Warehouse is seeking £250k to develop the technology further and support the launch of its first 4 tests.
More information is available at www.molecularwarehouse.com
Curileum is seeking a minimum of £200k and more if possible to finish the chemical analysis of the now-isolated active component of a Traditional Chinese Medicine, which reduces the rate of polyp formation (the first stage of bowel cancer). The plan is to file a composition of matter patent, to conduct a 4 week trial in mice to show the effect using only the active ingredient, and, all being well, to open licensing negotiations with several large pharma companies who have said they are interested as soon as there is in vivo data. If all this works, the ask will be for £5m up front followed by downstream payments of c. £250m. So, although substantial technical risks remain, the upside is also substantial. This is potentially a medicine which would be taken by millions of people every day for years (a bit like statins).
Enter your name and email address to watch a recording of Curileum's pitch
More information is available at www.curileum.com
Spendology is one of those rare businesses likely to experience a considerable upside as the UK recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic. Brits love to travel and spend an astonishing £47bn each year overseas - with £27bn exchanged in the UK before they travel. With the pandemic driving customers away from the High Street and with increasing confidence in ecommerce, travellers will be more likely than ever to order their travel cash online. Spendology Cloud allows the travel industry to take on the supermarkets, Post Office and specialist Bureaux de Change with a white label travel cash add-on that can be integrated with holiday user journeys to create additional passenger revenues and profit. Spendology has already signed up Thomas Cook, Kuoni and Barrhead Travel, is a preferred supplier to EasyJet Holidays, and is engaged with TUI, OnTheBeach, Saga, ABTA and many other travel-related businesses. Spendology is raising £700k - with a pre-money valuation of £1.1m and £575k already committed - to provide a runway towards travel industry recovery and future growth.
More information is available at www.spendology.com
Process Vision now has several of its LineVu systems being tested in gas pipelines, both in the UK and North America. These enable pipeline operators, including National Grid in the UK to see contamination events, when unwanted liquids or solids enter their gas network from suppliers. When contaminants are not detected, flow meters significantly over-read ($0.5M to $1M$/year) and damage can be catastrophic, on occasion leading to pipeline rupture or explosions at compressor stations and gas turbine power stations. Process Vision has received expressions of interest to install some 1,500 LineVu systems from 6 Energy companies, in the UK, Canada, The Middle East, and Australia. Covid has caused delays, and EIS capital is sought at the reduced share price of £2 per share to bridge the gap to breakeven. The systems will be installed on an ongoing fee per month basis.
More information is available at www.processvision.com
If you have any questions about Oxford Technology or any of the companies presenting, please contact us.