Amberside Scientific EIS
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The Amberside Scientific EIS Fund is a joint venture between Amberside Capital Ltd and Anglo Scientific Ltd, investing in the next generation of technology-focussed companies. Anglo Scientific provides the deep technical knowledge and expertise whilst Amberside Capital is the fund manager.
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- Invests in disruptive scientific innovations with global potential
- Particular focus on healthcare, security and communications
- Anglo Scientific set up and run the investee companies themselves initially before finding an appropriate executive team
- Investors might expect four to six holdings in the portfolio (not guaranteed), or select which companies they wish to hold
- The majority of portfolio companies are expected to qualify as “knowledge intensive”
- Minimum investment £25,000, you can apply online
The fund is a joint venture between Amberside Capital Ltd and Anglo Scientific Ltd.
With any tech investment opportunity, you need a scientific expert to understand what – and how good – the opportunity really is. That is what Anglo Scientific do. Amberside provides due diligence as the fund manager.
Anglo Scientific commercialises scientific research. It gets involved at the earliest stages of company development, typically co-founding a business together with lead scientists, academics and institutions, and often taking an executive role as CEO or CFO, before building up the firm to pursue global market entry and growth.
Many EIS funds offer support and mentoring to investee companies, but the Anglo Scientific team actually sets up and develops the companies.
The team has worked together for over ten years. The combined valuation of the companies the team has built exceeds $100 million – note past performance is not a guide to the future.
The team has relationships with many leading universities and academic institutions. As well as sourcing scientific ideas and technological approaches from these educational establishments, Anglo Scientific is often contacted by scientists who want to start to commercialise their work.
Amberside Capital was founded by David Lomas, previously a director at Barclays Private Equity, and David Scrivens, a successful entrepreneur in financial services.
Watch a video interview with Douglas Dundonald and David Scrivens:
Companies sought by the Amberside Scientific EIS Fund will possess world-class technology capable of addressing a global market. If successful (and there are no guarantees it will be) the company should have the capacity to deliver over £100 million annually in revenues. It should be rich in defensible intellectual property and be EIS qualifying.
Example industry sectors include medical technology, microelectronics, security and communications. The majority of portfolio companies are expected to qualify as “knowledge intensive” under new HMRC rules.
Anglo Scientific sets up, and runs, the investee companies. The Anglo Scientific team will also personally invest.
Investors can choose which investee companies to hold, or can have Amberside Capital invest on their behalf.
The fund does not specify a target return. However, it would expect early-stage companies to have the potential to deliver returns of over 10 times the amounts invested, while more mature, later-stage companies might have a lower upside potential, though typically still at least three times. Please note, returns are not guaranteed.
A listing, sale of the entire share capital of an investee company, winding up or other capital distributions are possible exit options. Where possible, the manager will seek to realise investments within five to seven years after the investment but realisations may take much longer given the type of investments envisaged.
The fund expects to make investments in several investee companies each year, but investors may not receive allocations in each. For investors who make an annual investment in the fund, the manager expects diversification across at least 20 investee companies over a four-year period.
Below are portfolio company examples from previous iterations of the fund. They are outlined to give a flavour of the types of companies you might expect but are unlikely to be part of a new investor's portfolio.
Radio Physics Solutions Ltd
Radio Physics Solutions Ltd was originally founded by Anglo Scientific in 2008. The company is chaired by Anglo Scientific director, Douglas Dundonald.
The Radio Physics technology provides concealed threat detection. It uses a network of camera-like sensors to identify individuals in a crowd carrying concealed weapons or explosive devices, using Artificial Intelligence and safe Radio Spectrum Technology.
The firm originally secured IP from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Home Office to develop a system to detect threats such as bombs and guns under people’s clothes.
The innovative patented systems can be integrated into security robots or used to extend the “security perimeters” of buildings, airports, schools and military outposts. The surveillance is designed to generate threat alerts well before a conventional security check. It has the potential to pre-empt attacks such as shooters in schools, suicide bombers, and other criminal or terrorist activity.
Phagenesis Ltd (example of previous exit)
Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) affects millions of people, including 29% to 55% of stroke patients. The condition also affects the elderly and patients undergoing post mechanical ventilation in intensive care units (ICU).
Dysphagia has a significant impact on a patient’s health, quality of life, and cost of care.
Phagenesis developed a medical device that uses Pharyngeal Electrical Stimulation (PES) to create neuro-sensory input which “kick starts” a functional reorganisation of the swallowing control centres in the brain. There was no clinically proven treatment prior to this.
The Phagenesis treatment is based on over 20 years of ground-breaking research by Professor Hamdy of Manchester University. Anglo Scientific was introduced to the company in 2009.
In 2016 Nestlé Health Science entered into a staged, milestone-based acquisition of Phagenesis.
Note past performance is not a guide to the future. This is an example of a previous Anglo Scientific investment and will not be held by the Amberside fund.
MMIC Solutions (example of previous failure)
As with all EIS, not all investments will work out, and Anglo Scientific has had its share of failures. One example was MMIC Solutions. MMIC provided a component used in early threat detection technology. However, it owned only a component of the solution rather than a complete solution, which was the key reason for the failure, according to Douglas Dundonald. The ashes of the MMIC business later became Radio Physics Solutions, mentioned above.
Risks – important
This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice.
EIS investments are high-risk so should only form part of a balanced portfolio and you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. They also tend to be illiquid and hard to sell and value. Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks.
Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.
This EIS fund invests in early-stage businesses which are more likely to fail than larger ones, so you should expect a number of failures in the portfolio.
A summary of the main charges and savings is
shown below. Some of these will be payable by the investor, whilst others by
the investee companies. The investment may have additional charges and
expenses: please see the provider documents, including the Key Information
Document, for more details
|Full initial charge||—|
|Wealth Club initial saving||—|
|Net initial charge through Wealth Club||—||Annual management charge||—|
|Performance fee||20%||Investee company charges|
|Annual management charge||2%|
More detail on the charges
Timing of the offer
The fund anticipates taking up to 6 months to fully deploy investor capital following the closing dates. However, it may take longer.
Anglo Scientific’s partnership with Amberside Capital could be a well matched one. It gives Amberside the deep tech knowledge it needs to invest in scientific startups, and should free up Anglo Scientific to do what it does best: starting and running innovative scientific companies. We like the fact you can choose which investee companies to hold, if you wish. The investments are likely to make a positive difference to society, whether it be medical breakthroughs or increasing the detection of terrorist threats.
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Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – tax-efficient investments. You should base your investment decision on the provider's documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. This review is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy the investment mentioned. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.
- Target return
- Funds raised / sought
- Minimum investment