- Growth capital to further develop technology that provides rapid, accurate testing for infectious diseases, including COVID, at the point of care
- Investment supports opening of a new laboratory, build out of the management team and commercial development
- The fifth investment this year by Foresight from the Midland Engine Investment Fund
Click here to read the announcement as a PDF.
17 June 2021: Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a listed private equity and infrastructure investment manager, is pleased to announce a £300k growth capital investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”) into ReadyGo Diagnostics Limited (“ReadyGo”), a start-up diagnostics business.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for a simple, self-administered test that produces rapid, accurate results. ReadyGo has developed a pen-like device that has been adapted to help with COVID-19 detection. The device allows for testing of multiple infections, including distinguishing between coronavirus and influenza, and also testing for viral conjunctivitis, herpes and dengue fever.
The diagnosis is carried out on the spot, with a 90-95% sensitivity. If successfully developed, ReadyGo’s pen has the low cost, speed and ease of use of a lateral flow test but has an accuracy comparable to more expensive and time-consuming lab-based style tests.
The total of investment of £780,000 (£300,000 from MEIF and £480,000 from management and a consortium of private investors) will allow the company to focus on the development of the technology, build out the management team and potentially establish relationships with complementary strategic partners.
ReadyGo was formed in 2019 by co-founders Ben Cobb, Mike Catt and Mike Pearson. As part of MEIF’s investment strategy, ReadyGo, will open a laboratory at Colworth Science Park in Bedfordshire, an established centre of scientific expertise. The company expects to create around 20 highly skilled jobs over the next few years as it continues to grow.
Commenting on the investment, Chief Executive Officer and pen inventor Ben Cobb, CEO of ReadyGo, said: “ReadyGo has been launched to innovate solutions for self-testing including over-the-counter tests for infectious diseases such as COVID-19. I am greatly excited that Elaine Warburton, John Clarkson, Michael Catt and Michael Pearson have joined ReadyGo’s Board with the goal of achieving a fundamental change in the way molecular diagnostics can be delivered”.
Adam Huckerby, Investment Manager at Foresight, added: “We are excited by the opportunities presented by ReadyGo. We are pleased to be supporting the management team which has a vast amount of experience, networks and resources to deliver these innovative devices to the market”.
Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF is driving innovation across the Midlands and with this latest investment is helping to bring new diagnostics technology to market. As a result of the investment, the Fund is also contributing to the creation of new skilled jobs, with ReadyGo set to open a new laboratory in Bedfordshire – cementing the region’s growing reputation as a science superpower.”
Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager, added: “At SEMLEP, we’re passionate about turning innovative ideas into a reality. It’s great to hear about the Midlands Engine Investment Fund supporting Bedfordshire-based business, ReadyGo, to do just that. The pandemic has changed the way we do businesses. ReadyGo has utilised the changing landscape to creative a forward-thinking solution, helping our communities on the route to normality.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Advisers to ReadyGo
Legal Advice: Knights
Advisers to Foresight :
Legal Advice: EMW Law
For more information contact:
Notes to Editors
About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager listed on the London Stock Exchange, which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.
Foresight has over £7 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR).
Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising over 30 investment professionals, manages over £700 million in a portfolio of more than 100 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.
Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year. In 2017, Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.
Foresight’s largest office is in London with regional UK offices in Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Edinburgh and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Luxembourg.
About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
- The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
- The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
- The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.
- The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The programme will continue to spend to the end of 2023.
- The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
- The Government has guaranteed all funding allocated through EU programmes until the end of 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020
- The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the newly launched North East Fund. For further information visit eib.org
- The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations in or planning to open material operations in the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
The British Business Bank programmes were supporting more than £7.7bn of finance to over 94,900 smaller businesses at end of December 2019. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering tens of billions of pounds of finance to over a million businesses.
As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:
- The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
- The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.
As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, none of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.
British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website - https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/corporate-information/