Below, four cutting edge EIS/SEIS qualified startups in the fields of science and technology that promise to generate significant value.

Evgen Pharma

Evgen Pharma is a clinical stage drug development company whose lead programmes are in breast cancer and subarachnoid haemorrhage.

They identified the opportunity to acquire the intellectual property rights to commercialise sulforaphane, an unstable, naturally occurring anti-cancer agent of botanical origin, and discovered a method for stabilising it.

This has been transformational for naturally occurring cancer treatments, and has led the company to develop a proprietary technology called Sulforadex, which forms the basis of their drug pipeline. Their lead product, SFX-01, will be entering multi-billion dollar global markets that are currently unsatisfied.

Founded in 2007, the company initially received seed investment from two institutional investors, and then undertook multiple EIS funding rounds resulting in a pre-IPO and IPO in 2015 – one of very few biotechs to achieve an AIM market flotation that year.

The company has continued to progress through to two Phase 2 clinical studies on the lead product SFX-01, in breast cancer and subarachnoid haemorrhage. Without EIS, this R&D focused, knowledge intensive company would not exist.

M247 (Metronet UK)

M247 are an internet service provider providing lightning fast internet connectivity to brands including AO.com and onthebeach.com. Founded in 2003 as Metronet UK, the firm had just five staff at launch, but have now grown to a number of worldwide offices and are regarded as one of Manchester’s leading tech firms.

M247 acquired Metronet UK in 2016, enabling them to offer a combined portfolio of connectivity and content services, including wireless networking, datacentres and managed hosting solutions across the UK and Europe.

This included a disruptive approach to super high-speed access for city centre businesses, by providing wireless fibre lease line connectivity.

Metronet UK utilised numerous rounds of EIS funding through Acceleris Capital and institutional investment from startup through to exit, initially used to purchase the original assets and provide working capital, and then to fund the company’s significant growth through to a secondary buyout and acquisition by M247.

Redag Crop Protection

Redag Crop is an agtech business providing innovative crop protection chemistry to help address declining innovation in the agrochemical sector. Redag develops early stage herbicides and pesticides that are sustainable and can create up to 100% efficiency in crops.

Redag use a proprietary platform to identify under-utilised patents, which they then develop into brand new, sustainable crop protection products. They have developed a portfolio of assets, operating in the early and late phases of the research pipeline – and due to increasing consolidation in the agrochemical sector, they are now one of the few companies actively developing new, high efficiency crop protection products.

So far, Redag has raised approximately £5m, the majority under EIS from private individuals and EIS fund investors. The company recently secured a partial sale of some of its assets and its ‘discovery’ division Globachem NV, a Belgian firm which has provided cash to the business, enabling it to progress lead assets and to provide a partial return to investors.

Power Roll

Power Roll is a North East based technology company working to develop disruptive energy generation and storage products.

Its unique and patented technology promises to make solar energy dramatically cheaper and more accessible to all, by facilitating lightweight and ultra-low cost solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage products.

The benefits of Power Roll’s unique architecture versus competing existing technologies are significant – including lower cost per watt in flexible solar PV power generation, and longer-lasting capacitors.

A Power Roll solar module will weigh only four percent of an equivalent power conventional solar cell and will cost less than one tenth of the cost of equivalent lightweight flexible solar panels using standard technology.

Power Roll has funded their development through EIS since 2012 – over £7m has been invested to date, all through direct EIS investments from private investors.

The company now has fifteen staff in Sunderland, UK, is in the late stages of securing a joint venture to commercialise the capacitor technology, and has significant interest in the solar PV technology for rural electrification.

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