Scottish biotech investor Roslin Technologies launches £50m funding bid

Roslin Technologies is based in the Midlothian Science Zone. Picture: Andrew Smith/SG Photography.Roslin Technologies is based in the Midlothian Science Zone. Picture: Andrew Smith/SG Photography.
Roslin Technologies is based in the Midlothian Science Zone. Picture: Andrew Smith/SG Photography.
Scottish biotech business Roslin Technologies is launching a £50 million fundraising round to back global innovations in the agriculture sector, it announced today.

Backers of the four-year-old company, which is closely linked with the Roslin Institute famous for creating Dolly the Sheep, believes its focus on technologies aimed at improving food security and safety will attract significant interest from investors despite the Covid-19 impact on funding.

Founded to commercialise research carried out by the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the company has broadened its scope to build partnerships around the world by investing both capital and expertise. Recent investments include a Singapore-based business that turns insects into animal feed and fertiliser in a single process.

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It is looking to use the funds raised in the Series B round – which would value the company at more than £55m – to invest in cutting-edge “AgriTech” initiatives that target the farming sector and to strengthen its growing number of portfolio companies.

The investment round will be led by Milltrust International and JBI Equity, two of the world’s leading advisors in the sector, and both founding investors in the company, which is based at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus. The round is targeting institutions, pension funds and family offices.

Roslin Technologies’ chief executive Glen Illing said the capital raising represents a significant milestone that demonstrates the company’s “huge potential”.

Strong potential

“Our clients are eagerly embracing technology solutions that our scientists are making, and we’re confident that our new key initiatives in the fields of insect, shrimp and cultivated meat technology will become large-scale commercial ventures that make a positive difference to world markets,” he said. “Building on this incredible work, we believe Roslin Technologies will become one of the world’s leading AgriTech venture businesses.”

JBI Equity partner Kristian Bennetsen said: “The venture building approach Roslin Technologies is taking is unique in the industry, and we expect to see the partnership with the University of Edinburgh continue to develop and grow. The new projects are truly cutting-edge and we are excited to see a period of accelerated growth ahead.”

Roslin Technologies is based in the Midlothian Science Zone at Roslin, near Edinburgh. The zone is one of the largest animal science innovation hubs in the world.

The company became the UK’s largest start-up in the sector when it raised £10m in 2017 from backers including the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund. Companies in its portfolio include Vetsina, which is working on breakthrough diagnostic technologies for animal health.

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