A Glasgow-based firm focused on fusing chemistry with technology has agreed a seven-figure deal to snap up a German software firm, and unveiled plans to raise at least £3 million to fund its growth.
DeepMatter is to acquire Munich-based Infochem GmbH, which sells chemical data-management software to global pharmaceuticals giants including Astrazeneca and BASF, from global publisher Springer Nature for about €2 million (£1.8m) in cash and shares.
The Scottish firm, which is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market, has developed DigitalGlassware, an artificial intelligence-enabled cloud-based software and hardware platform allowing chemistry experiments to be accurately and systematically recorded, coded and entered into a shared data cloud. This enables chemists to work together effectively, sharing the details of their experiments from anywhere and in real time, to help avoid work being needlessly duplicated, and ultimately so new discoveries may be made faster. And it is now deployed across three continents.
Infochem’s cheminformatics software will be integrated into DeepMatter’s cloud platform, accelerating its development and bringing it closer to commercial launch.
DeepMatter said the deal will be net cash positive, reinforcing the enlarged group “technically, operationally and financially as it focuses on building credibility, awareness and understanding of the DigitalGlassware platform before rolling it out in full to the broader scientific community”.
Bettina Goerner, who leads the database research group at Springer Nature, will join the DeepMatter board as a non-executive director.
DeepMatter chief executive Mark Warne said the acquisition “will accelerate our strategy, bringing additional expertise, software tools and an existing sales channel, strengthening and accelerating the commercialisation of our platform”.
And the firm plans to raise a minimum of £3m via a proposed placing of new ordinary shares at 2.5 pence per share.
DeepMatter, which employs 18 people in Glasgow, said the funds will be used to expand the team in the city by about a third, adding further software developers and data scientists as well as provide working capital.
Warne added that the net proceeds of the proposed placing will enable further technology development as it looks to grow its user base in 2019, with DeepMatter looking ahead “with confidence”.