Wobble Genomics is a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, was founded by chief executive Richard Kuo in April 2021, and has developed hardware and software tools that give scientists and clinicians a more detailed picture of underlying biology.
The start-up said it is already conducting trials with some of the world’s largest RNA sequencing organisations, with the investment supporting the expansion of the Wobble team, strengthening its intellectual property (IP), and will help to drive sales and demonstrate its ability to improve clinical outcomes.
St Andrews-based investment vehicle Eos – whose top team includes record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont who serves as advisory partner – leads the round alongside the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund Old College Capital. The funding boost will form part of a £2.15m seed round including a deeptech venture capital firm, and a small number of private investors.
Mr Kuo said: “There is a huge global market of scientists and clinicians who would buy our products as part of their sequencing work. On top of this, we plan to target a higher-value market by leveraging our existing technologies with the overall aim of being the first global company to build a picture of disease states that are encoded in RNA.”
Eos managing partner Andrew McNeill said: “Richard is already a globally respected researcher in RNA sequencing, and now has the ability to build a team to commercialise novel approaches that address the big issues and understanding of this exciting field of life science.
"This investment sits at the heart of what Eos works for – backing the very latest and most promising innovations that have the potential to have a positive impact globally.”
Nicola Broughton, formerly an investment director at Mercia Asset Management, with more than 20 years’ experience of working in leadership positions in life sciences, and a specialist in university spin-outs, was heavily involved in Wobble's spin-out process and investment raise, and was appointed chair of the start-up in July.
Areas of focus
Eos was founded in 2014, and now has a portfolio of 14 investee companies including Cumulus Oncology, ILC Therapeutics, and Enough. It invests in four key impact areas: disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment; energy security, climate change and pollution; food and water security; and sustainability of industrial processes and infrastructure.
Furthermore, Wobble marks the first investment from the newly raised Eos EIS Innovation Fund, which invested alongside the Eos Syndicate. The St Andrews-based investment firm said this is an important step in its evolution, and developments in its portfolio this year so far include Enough (previously 3FBio) securing a global deal with Unilever, and a £42m Series B investment round. Eos is also actively building its venture partnership model.
Eos said in April of this year that it was gearing up for further growth after a record year of activity.
Wobble Genomics has been supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, since 2019. It also received a £100,000 grant and licensing support from Scottish Enterprise’s High-Growth Spin-Out Programme last year, and recently secured a £300,000 grant from Innovate UK.