Fusion IP plc - Phase Focus raises £3.2m

29 Jun 2012

Fusion IP (AIM: FIP), the university commercialisation company which turns university research into business, is pleased to announce that Sheffield based company, Phase Focus, has successfully raised £3.2m in an equity based funding round, to accelerate revenue generation of its revolutionary nanotech imaging and microscopy technology - the Phase Focus Virtual Lens®.

The Phase Focus Virtual Lens has the potential to enable a step change in imaging and microscopy, by eliminating the limitations and imperfections of conventional lenses and revealing a whole new dimension of imaging information.

This groundbreaking technology transfers the task of image creation from a lens to a sophisticated computer programme and can either be integrated inside existing microscopes or used as the basis for a range of next-generation microscopy products.

The Virtual Lens is already being used in a number of applications, such as commercial contact lens measurement and laboratory based cell analysis. Future applications will include systems with the potential to revolutionise the viewing of atomic-scale features that are beyond the limit of today's most powerful electron and X-ray microscopes.

Ombu Group is leading the round with an investment of £3 million.

Fusion IP invested £220k in the round and as a result its shareholding is 34%.

Dr. Ian Pykett, Phase Focus's CEO, said: "We are delighted to welcome such a prestigious new investor and the skills and experience that Ombu will bring to our management team. This substantial new investment recognises the successes we have had in generating revenues and commercial traction in the markets we have already entered. More importantly, it allows us not only to grow these current opportunities more rapidly, but also to exploit several new technology developments, and to address in parallel a number of new markets to which we believe our technology will bring great user value."   

Commenting on the investment, Stephen Brooke, CEO of Ombu Group said: "Ombu Group is dedicated to backing cutting-edge UK advanced technology companies that have the potential to grow into substantial, durable businesses. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with a company with remarkable technology that has just broken through into its full commercial phase.  We had tracked Phase Focus for a few years before now and had always been amazed by the technology, so it is great to be able to back a team we have seen deliver and support them as they seek to grow their business.  We really look forward to working closely with Ian, his talented team and Fusion IP along with the company's other existing shareholders to build on the great work they have done over the last few years."

David Baynes, CEO of Fusion, said: "This is a step change for the company and one that will transform commercialisation of the company's revolutionary technology. The development of nanotechnology applications requires the ability to analysis and visualise at the atomic scale, and the Phase Focus Virtual Lens has the potential to meet this market need and become a truly disruptive imaging technology. Bringing greater fidelity, accuracy and magnifying power to bear in manufacturing industries as diverse as life sciences and semiconductor fabrication."

For further information please contact:

Fusion IP
+44 (0) 114 275 5555
David Baynes, CEO
Stuart Gall, Press Relations

Seymour Pierce
+44 (0) 20 7107 8000
Freddy Crossley, Corporate Finance
Catherine Leftley, Corporate Finance
David Banks, Corporate Broking 
About Fusion IP

Fusion IP plc (Fusion) was established in 2002 to commercialise university-generated intellectual property.  It has long-term exclusive agreements with two of the UK's leading research-intensive universities, the University of Sheffield and Cardiff University, giving it exclusive access to all the IP generated by their research departments. These exclusive agreements enable Fusion to identify world class IP and turn it into a commercial opportunity, either through the creation of a start-up company or a license.

Fusion currently owns shareholdings is over 20 portfolio companies, including significant shareholdings in Seren, Magnomatics, Phase Focus, MedaPhor, Asalus and Diurnal.

Fusion has a Co-Investment Agreement with IP Group plc ("IP Group"), in which IP Group has the right to acquire for cash, 20% of Fusion's equity in any new portfolio company. As Fusion normally owns 60% of any new portfolio company at start-up, IP Group's shareholding would normally equate to a 12% stake in the new portfolio company.

Fusion IP also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Finance Wales, the provider of commercial funding to Wales-based SMEs, which outlines a strategy of co-investment in opportunities arising from the Cardiff Agreement.

In November 2011 Fusion announced that it had raised approximately GBP5 million through a fundraising with existing and new institutional investors. As a result of this IP Group holds an interest in approximately 26% of Fusion.

In February 2012 Fusion announced it's first major exit, when it sold its portfolio company Simcyp, a research-based business providing a modeling and simulation platform for predicting the fate of drugs in virtual populations, to US based Certara LP for $32m, a 200 fold return on its original investment.

For more information visit www.fusionip.co.uk

About Ombu Group

Ombu is a UK investment company that partners with outstanding business leaders to help them build world-class, advanced technology businesses. Ombu provides capital and management support to fast-growing companies in the fields of industrial technology, energy technology and water technology.

For more information visit www.ombugroup.com