Oxford Genetics, founded in 2011, is a synthetic biology company. It focuses on protein synthesis, with a view to designing and creating mammalian cell lines (extremely useful in immunotherapy) and providing an "e-commerce DNA catalogue" for customers in genetic engineering. According to Mercia Technologies, the fund that yesterday invested £500k, Oxford Genetics addresses markets worth a combined total of almost £1.6bn.
Oxford Genetics has to date raised £3.17m, over nine equity fundraisings, and has secured the same number of grants (worth £2.08m). As discussed in our Funding Innovation report, young companies that raise both equity and grant finance appear likely to have a higher valuation than those which raise only one form.
The company's valuation as of last October, when it raised £1m (also from Mercia), was £4.5m. Mercia has in fact been the company's sole declared investor in its six years. Its valuation is broadly in line with similar companies in the sector, whose average is £3.37m.
Mercia is also the most dominant fund (by number of deals) in the space, although its investments into Oxford Genetics have contributed to this dominance significantly.
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