Angels in MedCity announces its first funding of £2m

Two life sciences and digital health companies have secured a total of £2m to grow their business and commercialise their innovation, thanks to a new community of angel investors focused on supporting life sciences.
The funding is the first to be raised through Angels in MedCity, launched in October 2014 by MedCity, London Business Angels and Angels4LifeSciences to address the challenges many life sciences companies face in accessing funding in the early stages of their development. Since its launch, the scheme has brought together around 100 potential investors and held three pitching events, at which 17 companies have presented their investment opportunities.

The scheme is part of a major focus on life sciences investment led by MedCity and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who are also working with leading figures in industry and finance to scope out options for a potential fund for drug discovery and development*.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson says:

“London leads the world for medical innovation, and we have to make sure that our brilliant entrepreneurs can access the investment it takes to grow a successful, sustainable business. These first two success stories perfectly illustrate the combination of creativity and scientific excellence that is revolutionising how we manage our health, and I look forward to seeing more exciting companies benefit from this scheme.”

The first companies to raise funding through Angels in MedCity are:

Desktop Genetics – a company developing software for genome editing that makes it easier and faster for scientists to design, build and test the DNA molecules needed to turn genomic information into medical breakthroughs. Desktop Genetics has raised £1.4m through Angels in MedCity, the London Co-Investment Fund, IQ Capital Partners and a consortium of sector expert private investors including Dr Jonathan Milner (Deputy Chairman and Founder of Abcam plc), Dr Martin Murphy (CEO of Syncona Partners LLP) and Dr Darrin M Disley (CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc).

StepJockey – a digital health company promoting healthy day to day living by designing signs and apps for organisations that give accurate, individualised information on calories burned through activities such as stair use. The company has raised £600k, including substantial participation from Sevenex Capital Partners, the London Co-Investment Fund and a consortium of private investors.

Welcoming the first successful fundraising for Angels in MedCity, Dr Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, said:

“Life sciences is the most exciting and rewarding sector to invest in in my view, because it offers massive potential not only to make money but also to play a part in developing therapies and technologies that will make a real difference to people’s lives. By launching Angels in MedCity, we wanted to unlock much-needed capital for our rich ecosystem of emerging life sciences companies, and at the same time give interested investors a practical route into a sector that can be perceived as complex and too specialist. I’m delighted to see both ambitions start to be realised.”

Anthony Clarke, CEO of London Business Angels, says:

“Our Angels in MedCity workshop programme has already helped many new angel investors to better understand the challenges and benefits of investing in the early stage life sciences, medical and healthcare sectors. This has led to a new community of angel investors being able to meet prospective investee companies at our sector-specific pitching events with many now syndicating together to provide companies with valuable support as well as their capital.”

Paul Nuki, co-founder and CEO of StepJockey, says:

“We are delighted that such an experienced group of med tech investors have backed StepJockey’s expansion. The new capital will allow us to bring our evidence-based and uniquely inclusive wellness intervention to many thousands of desk-bound office workers in the UK and around the world”.

Angels in MedCity initiative devised and delivered by London Business Angels is co-funded by MedCity and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of its Capital Accelerator Programme. CAP aims to help emerging innovative businesses in a wide range of sectors to locate new resources available in London and provide practical support that will enable them to raise investment funding and thereby to facilitate further job creation in London.

By UKBAA 10 Sep 2015