Finance

The latest equity deals in Welsh business

Here we feature Welsh firms that have raised equity to expand and create new jobs.

BiVictriX

One of Wales’ leading biotech firms, BiVictriX Therapeutics, has successfully floated on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) raising £7.5m (minus expenses) to support expansion plans.

The St Asaph based firm, is developing next-generation cancer therapies using insights derived from frontline clinical experience.

Read more: Carmarthenshire sash window firm raises £14m

Existing lead investor, the Development Bank of Wales, supported the float with an additional £500,000 share purchase and remain the largest shareholder of the company with an 18% stake.

Chief executive of VictriX Therapeutics Tiffany Thorn

Tiffany Thorn, CEO and founder of BiVictriX Therapeutics, said: “The listing on London’s AIM market is a major milestone for BiVictriX.

“Our vision is to revolutionise cancer therapy for the most difficult to treat cancers, making curative treatments available to all.

“The funds raised will help us to accelerate our growth and expedite the development and delivery of our pioneering, highly selective cancer therapeutics to patients diagnosed with some of the most challenging cancers and supporting patients who are currently in urgent need of more effective medicines.”

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Development Bank of Wales Investment director Rhian Elston said: “Tiffany and BiVictriX are leading the way in important medical research, as well as breaking down boardroom barriers to women in tech. Tiffany is a highly talented CEO and scientist and BiVictriX’s approach has the clear potential to develop next-generation cancer treatments.

“Having founded the company at 28 years old, just five years later she will now be one of the youngest female CEOs to list on AIM. She is a true trailblazer. As an investor, we’re committed to long-term partnerships – like our relationship with BiVictriX – and providing patient capital to support companies from seed to listing or exit.”

BiVictriX is the fifth company the Development Bank of Wales technology venture investments team has supported to list on AIM.

Creo Medical

The latest equity deals in Welsh business
Craig Gulliford, CEO, Creo Medical

Chepstow-based Creo Medical, has raised £31.25m to support its growth and new business acquisition plans.

The Alternative Investment Market firm, which specialises in devices in the emerging field of surgical endosocopy, secured backing from new and existing shareholders from the issuing of 17.1 million new shares, which after expenses will provide expansion capital of £29.4m.

The company will also hold an open offer with the issuing up to 2.7 million shares which aims to raise a further £5m.

The funding will accelerate the rollout of its products in the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Australasia and Pacific regions, as well as exploring potential strategic acquisition opportunities.

Last year Creo acquired Spanish venture Albyn Medical, a specialist in the supply of gastrointestinal (GI) products to healthcare providers, for £25m.

It will also support the undertaking of clinical trials in the lucrative markets of Japan and China.

Its chief executive Craig Gulliford said: “These additional funds will be used to accelerate the commercial roll-out of our suite of patented electrosurgical devices powered by our CROMA kamaptive energy platform technology, but also provide us with the means to develop this portfolio to allow full integration with some of the leading robotic surgery technologies.

“This also means that we are well funded to continue to explore further strategic acquisition opportunities, continue our research and development progress for new devices and allow us to the undertake the clinical trials necessary to target markets in China and Japan.”

On the first phase of the its fundraising Creo’s chairman Charles Spicer, said: “The board is delighted by the market’s reaction to our proposed placing of new shares, are grateful for the continued support of existing investors and look forward to welcoming new shareholders onto the register.

“We are also pleased to be launching the open offer, to provide an opportunity for our wider shareholder base to participate in the fundraise.

“We are excited by the long-term growth opportunities ahead for the company and look forward to updating the market on our progress.”

Aforza

The latest equity deals in Welsh business
Aforza executive team left to right: Dominic Dinardo (chief executive), Ed Butterworth (chief commercial officer) and Nick Eales (chief product officer)

Tech firm Aforza said it is on track to far exceed an initial aim of creating 100 jobs in Cardiff, as it focuses on global expansion following a £16m fundraising round.

It already employs 40 plus staff in Cardiff, at Tramshed Tech. Having established a presence in the city in 2019, with £900,000 of financial support from the Welsh Government, the initial target was to create high-skilled jobs at its research and development and customer support centre.

However, on the back of the fundraising it now feels confident it can “rapidly exceed” that jobs figure over the next four years.

To support its expansion in the city it has signed up to additional office space at Park House on Greyfriars.

Aforza has developed a complete end-to-end software solution for consumer packaged goods companies that helps them to plan, promote and sell their products more efficiently. Developed in Wales, its cloud and mobile solution is used by small independent companies to global corporates in more than 20 countries.

Its latest funding raising round was led DN Capital and with further participation from Bonfire Ventures, Daher Capital and Next47.

Aforza plans to use the funding to double its employee headcount over the next six months and establish new US headquarters, to exploit the fact that one-third of the world’s spending on consumer goods is in North America.

A technology entrepreneur has ambitions to take on the big boys of the e-commerce world and also give thousands of small, independent retailers a major post-pandemic boost.

Add to Cart

The latest equity deals in Welsh business
Tej Randeva has launched a new ecommerce addtocart

Serial tech entrepreneur Tej Randeva has launched his latest venture Add to Cart, which he says is the UK’s first online marketplace that focuses on supporting small scale businesses without taking away any of the autonomy that makes these ventures unique.

Mr Randeva says his e-commerce website will enable online sellers to benefit from expert marketing methods without the expense associated with a professional campaign, getting their products noticed by more new customers and giving them a much-needed lifeline after the difficulties of Covid-19.

To support growth plans the tech entrepreneur is looking to secure up to £1m in investment.

Cardiff-based Mr Randeva said: “So far, I have self-funded the entire venture, but to accelerate the growth, we’ll be going to market for private investment, initially looking to raise between £500,000 and £1m.

“This will help us ramp up activity and expand the team, creating up to 15 jobs at our HQ in Cardiff over the next 12 months.”

Nutrivend

Pontyclun-based sports nutrition firm Nutrivend is upbeat on its expansion plans fuelled by a series of equity investment rounds from the Development Bank of Wales.
After finishing his career as a professional rugby player, ex-Welsh international, Scott Morgan utilised his health and fitness knowledge and experience to set up the sports nutrition vending service – creating a new space in a heavily competitive market.
Admitting that he underestimated the difficulties of securing initial capital to get the business started, Mr Morgan developed a successful relationship with the Development Bank of Wales, securing multiple rounds of investment totalling £1.5m with a combination of equity and debt finance, with the most recent investment secured in 2021.

Mr Morgan said “With the Development Bank of Wales by your side, you know you’ve got financial stability along with your plan. They are passionate about supporting businesses and funding great ideas, which has allowed us to explore, develop and follow our strategic plan.

“The equity investments we have received gave us the financial stability and strength to really enable the business to grow. It’s also about having the right people around the table, it’s not just about the money.

“My philosophy is if you have an idea, create a plan, fund the plan, get it done. Nutrivend had some great foundations, but we are currently working with the Development Bank to put together a management team that can take the business to the next level.
“Our aim is to become the complete turnkey health and fitness solution provider, and to be the market leading name in health and fitness solutions and distributions.”

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