Oxford Nanopore raises £195 million in new capital

Oxford Nanopore’s factory at Harwell Campus

Oxford Nanopore Technologies has raised £195 million in new capital in a private transaction.

£125 million of the investment comes from new investors Temasek, Wellington Management, M&G Investments and Nikon. In addition, existing shareholders invested £70 million.

In March the Oxford Science Park-based DNA sequencing company announced it was to begin the process of preparing for a potential initial public offering.

In a statement it said that while the timing of a potential IPO is dependent on market conditions and other matters not fully within the company’s control, at this stage the company expects that the IPO would occur in the second half of 2021 on the London Stock Exchange.

Oxford Nanopore, which was originally spun out of Oxford University, was declared a “unicorn” (a company valued at more than $1 billion), in 2018. Last October it announced it had raised £84.4M in new capital.

Oxford Nanopore’s ambition is to be a global company that enables the analysis of anything by anyone, anywhere.

In 2019 it opened a high-tech manufacturing facility at Harwell Campus designed to scale up high quality production capacity for the coming years.

Gaining access to deeper, international pools of capital would, it says, support its ambitious growth plans, enhancing its ability to innovate and scale our manufacturing and commercial functions.

In 2015, Oxford Nanopore started to sell its first commercial device, the MinION portable DNA/RNA sequencer. Since then, it has expanded its product range to include both even smaller formats and larger high throughput sequencing devices suitable for population-scale human genomics.

The last year has been transformative for Oxford Nanopore Technologies, and includes key highlighters including supporting users around the world to sequence the virus that causes COVID-19, facilitating continual surveillance of the virus. Around a fifth (~170,000) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes in the global database GISAID were generated on one of its devices, with nanopore data uploaded by scientists from more than 85 countries. The role of genomics in infectious disease is now better understood.