Investments

Impact

From the point of view of impact our investments can be categorised into the following four areas.

The main focus in heath has been on the life science, MedTech and diagnostics businesses spinning out from the research department of UK Universities, as well as digital health providers in Africa.

Baobab Circle - a start-up established by a team of clinicians, doctors and software designers based in East Africa and Europe, has created a mobile App to provide health education and personalised chronic disease management to individuals in Sub Sharan Africa.

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Cliniva - is establishing a network of digitally connected health clinics in Kenya staffed only by nurses.

Cotton Mouton Diagnostics - a spin-out from the University of Cardiff, is developing a low cost diagnostic device for laboratory and doctor’s surgery applications, based upon magneto-optical technology, for use in the early detection of endotoxins and septicemia, the latter currently one of the world’s biggest killers on account of late detection.

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Cytox - is a spin-out from the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham which has developed a cost-effective genotyping test to detect the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease for use, initially, in research into the illness and by pharma companies looking to secure patients for clinical trials the high cost of which hitherto has been a barrier in finding a cure for the illness.

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Fertility Focus - a spinout from the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science, has developed a fertility monitor called OvuSense which, using a vaginal sensor, is able to predict the onset of ovulation in humans up to 24 hours in advance in each cycle and is then able to confirm the date of ovulation. The product is able to transmit the data using NFC technology to a user’s handheld device using a specially designed App.

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Ilara Health - provides inexpensive diagnostic equipment to health clinics in Africa

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Micrima - a spin-out from the University of Bristol engineering department, has developed a breast scanning device using microwave imaging technology which is much safer, more accurate and cheaper than current X-ray technologies and which will be able to distinguish between cysts and tumours and malignant and benign tumours.

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Momentum Bioscience - has invented a blood test that can show within eighteen hours whether a patient who appears to be very poorly is suffering from septicaemia or not, which compares to the five days that it takes currently to rule out such a finding which will have the benefit of significantly reducing the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics.

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Orbit - has developed an innovative peptide display engine to identify peptide combinations for use in drug development.

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Oxford Biotrans - is a spin-out from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford which has developed a way of using enzymes to produce natural flavours and fragrances in bulk for use in the cosmetics and food industries to replace more expensive natural ingredients and synthetic alternatives.

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OrganOx - a spin-out from Oxford University, has developed a portable medical device for keeping livers “alive” for up to twenty four hours ahead of organ transplant at normal body temperature whilst generating real time data on its status. Superior to the current cold state static approach, the device will increase the quality and supply of organs available for transplantation of which there is a severe shortage.

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Orthoson - a sister company to Oxsonics, seeks to use ultrasound and polymer bubbles to repair damaged spinal cartilage.

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Orthox - is a spin-out from the Biomedical Department at the University of Oxford that has developed regenerative implants made from spider-spun silk fibre to replace the cartilage and meniscus of those with damaged knees which will allow a speedy and full return to active life without the need for complex and expensive knee replacement surgery.

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Oxford Brain Diagnostics - has developed a way to interpret MRI scans for early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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OxSonics - a spin-out from the University of Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, is commercialising a technique which uses ultrasound to cause polymer bubbles to expand and collapse for the more effective delivery of chemotherapy drugs into solid tumours making it possible to reach cancer cells that lie farthest from blood vessels; and through a sister company is using the same technology to provide a minimally-invasive alternative to spinal fusion for those with severe back problems.

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Social Bites - is a new Nairobi based food business with Danish backers that sells inexpensive flavoured frozen milk in small sachets through a network of street vendors in East African cities.

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T-Cyper - is a spin-out from Orbit Discovery aiming to develop T.Cell Receptor based drugs for the treatment of cancer.

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Climate Change is of great concern to the Trustees. Their main focus has been on renewable energy and businesses which encourage behaviour change.

Adaptavate - has developed a carbon friendly replacement for the heavily emitting gypsum used in plasterboard.

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Deep-meta - is a spin out from Imperial University which uses existing sensors in steel plants to increase efficiency and so reduce wastage and thereby carbon emissions.

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Digital Fashion Framework - is a spin out from the Royal College of Art that is creating an immersive “design to avatar” platform for use with the gaming industry and social media to replace only-seldom-worn items of clothing.

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Downforce Technology - has developed a way to measure the carbon content, water retention and biodiversity of soil using satellite imagery.

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Koko Networks - is a Nairobi based start-up that is establishing a network of small ATM like “KOKOpoint” kiosks located inside neighbourhood stores from which individuals can refill specially designed canisters for use with KOKO’s launch product which a liquid ethanol cooking solution that is cheaper, cleaner, safer and more efficient than traditional stoves that use charcoal the production of which is contributing to deforestation across the African continent.

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Oxford Photovoltaics - a spin out from the University of Oxford, is commercialising the widely available mineral perovskite for use as a low cost, highly efficient, thin-film solar cell to convert sunlight into electricity in tandem with or by way of alternative to the less efficient silicon.

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Pawprint - has developed a tool to help individuals measure, understand and reduce their carbon footprint.

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Thrift+ - has created a platform for individuals to resell unwanted clothes with part of the proceeds going to charity.

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Cheesecake Energy Ltd (CEL) - has developed a novel mid-sized medium to long duration industrial battery from re-purposed truck engines based on technology that was developed at the University of Nottingham.

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Evolito - is commercialising a high powered, light weight, electric motor, originally developed by YASA, for use in air travel.

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Greenspark - is developing software that can be assimilated by e-commerce platforms to offer their customers a choice of climate change initiatives to support when they make a purchase.

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Materra - is commercialising climate resistant farming systems for growing high grade cotton with higher yields and a much reduced carbon footprint.

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In the belief that social inclusion plays a big part in addressing poverty and dysfunction the Trustees have focused on businesses that help to unify.

African Originals - has launched a range of flavoured ciders and spirit mixers in East Africa.

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Akojo Market - is an e.commerce platform for aspirant African hand made craft homeware and fashion items with strong sustainability credentials.

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Arifu - is a Kenyan based behavioural science platform that provides digital training by SMS to poorer people in remote communities on a range of topics including agriculture, nutrition, finance etc on behalf of Multinational Corporations seeking to gain better insights into their target customers at the lower end of the social pyramid.

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Carry 1st - is an Africa based on-line gaming business (simple quizzes) that plans to end up as a mobile payments platform.

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Copia Global - is a Nairobi-based, Silicon Valley-backed, business that is developing an e.commerce retail model in East Africa aimed at rural communities.

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Electric Noir Studios - is pioneering a new on-line gaming format with a focus on inclusivity.

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Money Africa - is an Africa focussed financial products comparison platform starting in Kenya.

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Oxford Space Systems - uses “origami engineering” techniques and novel materials to design and manufacture ultra-lightweight products, including unfurlable booms and dishes, for small satellites.

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Scrolla - is a wholly on-line, free to the consumer, news paper targeting the mass market across Africa.

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Poverty amelioration and productivity growth go hand in hand and so the Trustees have sought out businesses that use digital technologies that have the potential to significantly improve the productivity and connectivity of human beings.

Apolitical - is a global peer-to-peer platform aimed at governments that consolidates and adds value to the vast acreage of information and research already available the world over on topics of interest to civil servants so as to prevent the reinvention of the proverbial wheel and resulting waste of government resources.

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Arbolus - has developed a professional networking platform aimed initially at the consulting industry wishing to access industry experts.

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Bodle - is a spin-out from the Department of Applied Materials at the University of Oxford that has developed a new display technology called Solid State Reflective Displays which uses readily available so-called phase-change materials which are expected over time to replace LCD and OLED technologies in some applications due to their low energy requirements, slimness, brightness, flexibility and low cost.

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Classlist - is an App developed by a group of former parents of children from a preparatory school in Oxford to assist school parents to communicate more easily with each other.

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Cloudline - is a South African creator of autonomous, solar powered, airships for use in distribution of medium sized payloads to remote places in the developing world.

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ContentCal - is a software as a service (SaaS) business that shows mainly small and medium sized businesses how to manage their digital marketing activities more productively.

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Diffblue - is led by a team based at Oxford University, has developed software that automatically tests the code written by computer programmers as they write it with wide implications across many industries.

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Heroes - is agglomerating small and mid-sized Amazon e.commerce consumer brands.

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Inductonsense - is a spin-out from the University of Bristol’s Ultrasonic and Non Destructive Testing group which has developed a system of monitoring corrosion or other defects in structures, such as pipes, though use of permanently attached, battery-free, wireless ultrasonic sensors, an approach that reduces inspection time and costs and industrial plant downtime.

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Legislate - is a SaaS business that uses artificial intelligence to facilitate small businesses to create legal contracts saving time and lawyers’ fees.

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Lifted - has developed a software platform for use by care workers who attend at the homes of the aged and the families of the people they visit.

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Moringa Schools - delivers software development courses to students, both from campus and on-line, in Africa.

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Navenio - is a spin-out from the Computer Science Department at the University of Oxford which has developed a way of interpreting geo-location features of a mobile phone to track the movements of the phone to an accuracy of one meter which has applications for the retail, transport, health, venue and other industries.

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Outfund - is a UK based digital on-line lending platform focussing on the e-commerce industry.

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Salience Labs - is a spin-out from the Universities of Oxford and Munster that has developed a novel semiconductor chip.

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Sendy - is a Nairobi based start up that aims to formalise the so-called “boda boda” motorcycle and trucking delivery sector in East Africa.

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What3Words - has developed a global address platform by randomly allocating three words to each three meter square grid on the planet which is of interest, amongst others, to the automotive, logistics, infrastructure and mapping industries.

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Zumi - is a logistics business around the garment industry in Kenya.

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