Edinburgh university biotech spinout OGI Bio raises £1m for new lab

OGI Bio seed

Biotech startup OGI Bio has secured a £1m investment in a seed round of funding led by TRICAPITAL.

Edinburgh-based OGI Bio will use the funding to set up a new laboratory and manufacturing facility, boost hiring and increase sales of its automation systems.

The University of Edinburgh spinout has developed a “low-cost” way to automate the culturing of microbes that reproduces the process of manual flask culturing. The startup says its device also improves processing capabilities, cost-effectiveness and data analytics.

“Our aim is to ultimately have one of our devices on the bench of every microbiologist and biotechnologist, enabling them to innovate more productively, flexibly, and sustainably,” said Alex McVey, CEO and co-founder, OGI Bio.

Further investment came from Apollo Informal Investment, Sapphire Capital Partners, and Scottish Enterprise. It also received backing from Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture fund.

OGI Bio was founded in 2020 by University of Edinburgh physics graduate Alex McVey and chair of biophysics Teuta Pilizota.

“Our products can be used by anyone who is growing microbes like bacteria, yeast, and algae, but we are focusing initially on biotech and microbiology companies, and academic research laboratories who are looking to accelerate their own development with low-cost automation and improved analytical tools,” said Teuta Pilizota, chief science officer and co-founder, OGI Bio.

The biotech’s automation system has received certifications that allows OGI Bio to market its product in the UK, Europe and North America.

Earlier this year, the Scottish biotech was the recipient of a SMART Scotland grant via Scottish Enterprise and funding from the Higgs Incubation Centre. It was also the first winner of the IBioIC biotechnology category at the Scottish EDGE awards in 2020.

This month, Bruntwood SciTech acquired Glasgow’s Met Tower for £16.2m to convert it into a new hub for tech and digital businesses, in a sign of growing investment into Scottish tech.