Henley-in-Arden, 22 July 2013 – Venture capital fund manager Mercia Fund Management (MFM) has announced £150,000 of funding in Oxford Genetics Ltd. The new biotechnology company is behind SnapFast™ – a system that simplifies the purchase of synthetic DNA molecules (plasmids).
CEO of Oxford Genetics, Dr Ryan Cawood, invented the SnapFast™ system and likens it to “Lego for DNA”. Historically, most genetic engineering has been performed by combining pieces of DNA, gathered from a variety of sources that were never intended to fit together. This can make clinical research and drug development time-consuming, costly and often frustrating. Oxford Genetics provides all of the standard DNA components that researchers use on a regular basis in a compatible and ‘easy to clone’ format.
The funding will be used for the company’s e-commerce website, www.oxfordgenetics.com, and new product development. Currently Oxford Genetics provides human, mouse and bacterial DNA and through the funding will soon be able to offer insect, plant and yeast DNA.
Oxford Genetics is yet another company to benefit from SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) funding from the Mercia Growth Fund suite of funds, (MFM’s hybrid EIS/SEIS funds).
Dr Cawood commented on the company’s decision to work with MFM: “We were looking for a venture capital fund with experience of biotech start-ups and MFM’s name kept coming up. The investment team has a good reputation in our industry sector and is already adding value.”
Dr Mark Payton, Managing Director of MFM, added: “Our team is actively identifying start-ups with early commercial traction and high growth potential. As part of the MFM SEIS investment portfolio, Oxford Genetics receives an injection of capital and support. The company clearly stood out for us – the SnapFast™ system and the online business model meet an untapped need in the market. Coupled with a strong product roadmap and an exceptional founder, we predict a promising future for this start-up.”
The Mercia Growth Fund suite of funds, (hybrid funds offering EIS and SEIS investment capital), comprise approximately £4 million. Collectively with Mercia Growth Funds 1 and 2 (hybrid EIS and SEIS funds), MFM oversees arguably the largest SEIS discretionary funds in the UK.
About Mercia Fund Management
Mercia Fund Management (MFM) is a venture capital fund manager with over £19 million under active management.
MFM provides investment growth capital for businesses ranging from early commercial traction through to those seeking expansion or working capital that are trading profitably. Furthermore, MFM can also provide cost-effective incubator accommodation at Forward House in Henley-in-Arden coupled with centralised support services in keeping with its model as a hands-on, supportive investor.
MFM is an FCA authorised and regulated fund manager under FSMA (FRN: 524856). www.merciafund.co.uk