Foresight WAE Technology Funds invests £0.5m into ZOMP as part of a £2 million funding round
- ZOMP, a life science spinout from the University of Cambridge, combines whole-cell 3D imaging with flow cytometry to revolutionise the way cells are analysed and sorted
- Its applications are currently used in many areas including immunotherapy, drug discovery and cancer diagnosis
- Investment will enable ZOMP to recruit additional team members, and invest in product development and marketing
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WAE Technologies (“WAE”) Foresight Group (“Foresight”) has announced a £0.5m investment into ZOMP Group Limited (“ZOMP” or “the Company”), a spinout from the University of Cambridge that is developing a new instrument to revolutionise the way cells are analysed and sorted. The investment has been made from the WAE Ventures and Foresight teams, through the Foresight WAE Technology Funds (“FWT”).
ZOMP was established in February 2022, to commercialise research carried out by academic co-founders Prof. Steven Lee and Dr Kevin O’Holleran. ZOMP’s innovative technology combines the ability of a flow cytometer to make fast, high volume cell measurements, with the 3D imaging capability of a microscope. Existing flow cytometers typically provide two-dimensional images. However, flat images can only capture individual slices of a cell; excluding various elements, such as how big the cell is, or what shape the nucleus is. ZOMP effectively provides high quality ‘whole cell’ imaging, on a scale 100 times more sensitive than other imaging cytometers, and very quickly.
Alongside supporting recruitment and marketing initiatives, the investment will enable ZOMP to continue its research and development. ZOMP is currently developing the next generation of flow cytometry instruments for image-based cell counting and sorting. This will allow for 3D reconstructions of cells which will support new experiments in life science and biotechnology applications.
FWT led the investment round, investing £0.5m alongside the Business Growth Fund (“BGF”), Cambridge Enterprise and Zeiss Corporate Ventures. The total round is £2 million.
Julian Peck, Investment Manager at WAE, comments: “ZOMP’s micro-lens array and image-processing software is a potentially transformative innovation. FWT is delighted to support ZOMP, not merely with a financial investment but also engineering expertise and support for the team as they commercialise their first instrument.”
Andy Bloxam, a Director at Foresight, added: “ZOMP has developed a technology that has the potential to disrupt the flow cytometry market and enable new research in drug discovery. We are excited to support Steven, Kevin and the whole team on their journey to commercial success.”
Professor Stephen Lee, CEO at ZOMP, concluded: “We are excited to start our journey in building the world’s first whole cell imaging flow cytometer and Foresight WAE is a perfect early investor to give ZOMP the very best chance of success”.
Notes to Editors
Foresight and WAE started their investment collaboration in 2016 with the launch of an EIS Fund. 2019 saw the launch of a sister VCT share class fund, which sits within the Foresight Solar and Technology VCT plc. These two funds target investment in companies developing innovative and transformational technologies and where we believe Foresight and WAE’s expertise and services can be harnessed to assist with the development of the businesses, with the objective of achieving successful exits at high-value multiples.
About WAE Technologies Limited (“WAE”):
WAE is a world-leading technology and engineering services business delivering pioneering innovation to improve performance, efficiency, and sustainability to a global customer base. Combining cutting-edge technological advances and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from the ultra-competitive environment of motorsport, WAE’s capabilities cover a wide range of disciplines.
The company can trace its foundations back to 2010 when Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations. WAE has now grown from an embryonic business in 2010 to a company which employs approximately 650 people engaged in leading-edge and transformative technologies for a growing list of clients. Following the acquisition by Fortescue Metals Group, which completed in March 2022, WAE continues to service its existing and new customers and commercialise new technology opportunities, in addition to playing a key role in supporting Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy.
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About Foresight Group Holdings Limited
Foresight Group was founded in 1984 and is a leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager. With a long-established focus on ESG and sustainability-led strategies, it aims to provide attractive returns to its institutional and private investors from hard-to-access private markets. Foresight manages over 350 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind assets, bio-energy and waste, as well as renewable energy enabling projects, energy efficiency management solutions, social and core infrastructure projects and sustainable forestry assets. Its private equity team manages eleven regionally focused investment funds across the UK and an SME impact fund supporting Irish SMEs. This team reviews over 2,500 business plans each year and currently supports more than 250 investments in SMEs. Foresight Capital Management manages four strategies across seven investment vehicles with an AUM of £1.3 billion.
Foresight operates in eight countries across Europe, Australia and United States with AUM of £12.2 billion*. Foresight Group Holdings Limited listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in February 2021. https://www.foresightgroup.eu/shareholders
*Based on Foresight Group unaudited AUM as at 31 March 2023.
ZOMP, is a spinout from the University of Cambridge, aiming to build the world’s first 3D imaging flow cytometer.