Fife investment firm with globe-trotting cyclist Mark Beaumont on board hails record year of activity

Eos Advisory, the Fife-based investment firm with record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont on board, is gearing up for further growth after a record year of activity despite the effects of the pandemic.

The firm will continue to focus on “impact investment” in Scottish science, engineering and technology innovation while building co-investor partnerships and encouraging inward investment.

The St Andrews-based business now has three investment pillars in place – the Eos Syndicate, Eos Innovation Fund and Eos Venture Partnerships. This is part of a wider strategy to support the funding of Scottish innovation beyond just the seed stage.

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While the Eos Syndicate, established in 2014 by founding chairman Kevin Grainger, continues to grow its membership, both Eos Innovation Fund and Eos Investment Partnerships are on course for what the leadership team describes as “transformational growth” over the next few years.

The Eos Advisory team in St Andrews. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Grainger said: “2020 was a challenging year for so many people, including our team, syndicate members and portfolio companies. However, in the face of pandemic headwinds we managed to make significant progress on a number of fronts.

“The last 12 months have been transformational for Eos and with great ambition and a clear vision, we look forward to the next year with a great deal of optimism about where we are going and our plans to scale an impact investment firm.”

The multi-million-pound Eos Innovation Fund was launched last year and is set for its first close in the second quarter of 2021. The fund has a number of cornerstone and other investors in place and will go on to invest alongside the Eos Syndicate.

Eos Venture Partnerships, also launched in 2020, announced its first strategic investment partnership in January alongside US-based Kineticos Life Sciences to co-invest in early stage Scottish life sciences companies. The venture partnership with Kineticos aims to invest in excess of £10 million over the next five years in oncology-focused life sciences ventures founded in Scotland.

Over the last 12 months, the firm added Cumulus Oncology and RAB-Microfluidics to its investment portfolio, which now numbers 13 investee companies.

Clare Wareing and Alan Wise-founded Cumulus is Europe’s first oncology drug discovery accelerator, while Rotimi Alibi-founded RAB-Microfluidics’ “laboratory on a chip” technology analyses oil samples to help operators assess how heavy industrial machinery like pumps and generators are performing. Eos led Cumulus’s £1.7m investment round in July 2020, and RAB’s £1.2m round which closed at the beginning of this year.

Eos also strengthened its leadership and executive teams over the last year, with endurance athlete, broadcaster and author Beaumont joining the firm as a partner last November and Chris Brinsmead, a former senior AstraZeneca executive, former adviser to the UK government on life sciences and an experienced non-executive director, joining the board in January.

Andrew McNeill, managing partner, Eos Advisory, said: “One of the things that 2020 taught us, is that even amidst a worldwide crisis there is still significant capacity to invest in innovation.

“Looking ahead, our focus remains on backing Scottish companies underpinned by science, engineering and technology who are targeting global markets.”

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