Exonate Limited raised £1m in Angel Investment to develop life-changing eye drops

Finance enabled this biotechnology company to reach scientific milestones and receive awards, opening up more rounds of finance to further grow the business.

Catherine Beech, CEO at Exonate Limited

Business Fact File

BusinessExonate Limited
RegionEast Anglia
SectorBiotech/Healthcare
Types of fundingAngel Investment

Key Takeaways

The Challenge

We required working capital to hire key staff and undertake a development programme, which included laboratory space and equipment.

The Finance

£1 million of Angel Investment

The Outcome

Securing finance has allowed the business to grow and to move the development of a potentially life changing drug closer to the clinic.

The Journey to Finance

  • Exonate is a biotechnology company that develops drugs for the treatment of diseases of the back of the eye.
  • Our goal is to develop eye drops to replace injections directly into the eye; eye drops would be the holy grail.
  • We required finance in order to hire key scientists, as well as rent laboratory space from the University of Nottingham and to buy laboratory equipment.
  • I have had personal experience fund raising and I was confident that Exonate was in an interesting space and would be able to get funding.
  • Initially we decided to seek £250,000 to carry out small experiments but we were over subscribed and managed to secure £500,000 from an Angel syndicate and the University of Nottingham. This allowed the company to create data which attracted further funds.

Exonate's Top Tips

  • 1

    Talk

    Talk to similar businesses to find out what worked for them and ask for introductions to their funders where appropriate.

  • 2

    Manage your investor

    Angel investors are investing their own funds and therefore wish to remain in contact with the management team and monitor progress. This is understandable and needs to be managed carefully.

  • 3

    Legal takes time

    The legal documentation was in depth and took the majority of time to negotiate.

The best bits about Angel Investment

  • We received funds from individuals and organisations with real expertise in the area of biotechnology
  • They have made introductions to potential partners and future investors
  • We have received advice around the direction of our development