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2 September, 2013 - 20:46 By Tony Quested

Eagle soars with first tranche of fundraising

David Flanders

Eagle Genomics, the Cambridge UK provider of bioinformatics software and services across a wide range of the life science and other sectors, has completed a first closing of £595,000 as part of a planned £1 million investment to expand the business from its Babraham Research Campus base.

It is Eagle’s first fundraising after five years of profitable growth and will facilitate expansion into fresh markets globally.

Cambridge angel and VC investors have chipped into the first closing. It was led by Midven’s evergreen Rainbow Seed Fund together with angel investment from members of London Business Angels, Cambridge Angels including Abcam CEO Jonathan Milner, Cambridge Capital Group and others.

CEO David Flanders said that the £1m final haul will be used primarily to complete and bring to market the ElasticAP Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that Eagle has been working on for the last couple of years and to expand its existing consulting business. The platform will enable customers to analyse data through the Cloud using Eagle’s technology and expertise.

Over time the intention is that ElasticAP will grow to a level where Eagle becomes less reliant on consulting revenue to sustain the long term success of the business.

Eagle is pursuing an ambitious international expansion strategy. In the short term the company plans to hire additional sales and technical staff, get ElasticAP ready for rollout and target new and larger consulting contracts.

Driven by the investment there will be an immediate hiring round of at least two or three more people – possibly more if the quality of applicants is high. All will be based at Babraham.

Looking further ahead, Eagle plans to increase contract size and level of repeat business, build ElasticAP into a dominant player in bioinformatics SaaS and get to the stage where it can rely on ElasticAP to generate the bulk of revenue whilst using the consulting services to build on and support custom projects around the core offering.

Eagle’s technology also addresses more than just the pharmaceutical market. Flanders said: “Pharma will always be a major market but we are seeing incredible growth in the plant, food, and consumer goods sectors, so it is these areas – at least initially – that we will be focusing on with ElasticAP.”

Flanders anticipates that Cambridge will remain the platform for growth and anticipates that the company will benefit from the arrival of AstraZeneca and the broader expansion of the life science cluster locally – but he stressed that Eagle had been an international player from Day One.

He said: “The majority of our revenue has always come from overseas - mostly the US and Europe but with some from Asia - and probably always will. Our customers tend to be large multinationals in multiple industry segments involving biology research, of which there aren't many headquartered in the UK.”

In a relatively short space of time, Eagle has become a globally respected supplier of quality outsourced bioinformatics solutions. It has over 30 customers worldwide from Big Pharma, biotech, crop science, biofuels, personal hygiene and animal health sectors.

It combines cloud computing and Next Generation Sequencing expertise with a track record in building scalable, efficient genomics analysis workflows using both commercial and open source software.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: David Flanders

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