Research and development firm plans expansion after raising £1m

South West research and development company Molendotech is the latest business to be supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund.

The business has secured a £500,000 CIOSIF equity investment, as part of an oversubscribed £1m funding round which includes investment from appointed CIOSIF fund manager, The FSE Group, Exeter based VC firm QantX, a number of existing private investors and the management team.

Molendotech will use the funds to create an operational unit based in the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre in Truro.

The business has developed easy-to-use, portable and rapid tests to monitor and detect pathogens found in water.

One of the company’s existing tests is BacterisK+ which can detect gram-negative bacteria in water in less than 30 minutes. Gram-negative bacteria include those associated with faecal contamination such as E.coli, and are among the world’s most significant public health problems due to their high resistance to antibiotics.

Molendotech was founded by Professor Simon Jackson at the University of Plymouth in 2018. Now its customer base includes environmental agencies, water companies, and national and local government authorities, and its methods and assays are protected by patents in several countries including the US, UK, Australia and Japan.

In 2022 the company successfully developed applications for specific areas of the healthcare sector, such as chronic wound – a condition that affects 2.2 million people in the UK with an estimated annual cost of £5.3 billion to the NHS.

Simon Jackson, chief scientific officer at Molendotech, said: “Being able to detect pathogens quickly and accurately is vital when working to keep communities safe from harm. Our testing solutions can be used quickly and by anyone who has had basic training, meaning rapid action can be taken to address a poor quality environment or danger. Whilst our products can be used anywhere in the world we are extremely proud to be a South West company. Receiving support via CIOSIF has meant a lot to us, and we will use part of these funds to employ more local staff over the coming years as our business grows.”

Anna Staevska, investment manager at The FSE Group, added: “We are delighted to be supporting a local business which has the potential to make a huge difference to the safety of people all over the world. We were impressed by the core team’s extensive knowledge of their sector and their strong links to Plymouth University, which will be incredibly useful throughout the research and development of new solutions. We look forward to seeing their Cornwall team grow and wish them every success for the future.”

The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2m to help growing small businesses across the region. It was established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Paul Jones, senior investment manager from the British Business Bank said: “Molendotech is a great example of a University spin-out that has used its research expertise to develop novel technology for applications around the world. With CIOSIF support we look forward to seeing the continued growth of the business.”

John Acornley, chair of the CIOSIF advisory board and former LEP non-executive director, said: “Innovation and collaboration is at the heart of what Molendotech does and I am delighted they are establishing a base in Cornwall.

“They continue to develop new ways to test for bacteria and are already developing rapid tests for the food and drink sector in order to safeguard human health.”


Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...