Phase Focus has clear view for growth

MICROSCOPY and imaging company Phase Focus has raised £3.25m to take its technology forward.

The Sheffield-based venture, part of Fusion IP’s portfolio, has raised the cash through an equity based funding round.

Phase Focus aims to grow revenues of its Phase Focus Virtual Lens.

The technology transfers the task of image creation from a lens to a sophisticated computer programme and can either be integrated inside existing microscopes or used as the basis for a range of next-generation microscopy products.

The Virtual Lens is already being used in a number of applications, such as commercial contact lens measurement and laboratory based cell analysis.

The company claims that future applications could include systems with the potential to revolutionise the viewing of atomic-scale features that are beyond the limit of today’s most powerful electron and X-ray microscopes.

Ombu Group is leading the round with an investment of £3m. University research commercialisation business Fusion IP invested £220,000 in the round and its shareholding is now 34%.

Ian Pykett, Phase Focus’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a prestigious new investor and the skills and experience that Ombu will bring to our management team. This substantial new investment recognises the successes we have had in generating revenues and commercial traction in the markets we have already entered.

“More importantly, it allows us not only to grow these current opportunities more rapidly, but also to exploit several new technology developments, and to address in parallel a number of new markets to which we believe our technology will bring great user value.”   

Stephen Brooke, chief executive of Ombu Group, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with a company with remarkable technology that has just broken through into its full commercial phase.”

Fusion’s chief executive David Baynes added: “This is a step change for the company and one that will transform commercialisation of the company’s revolutionary technology.

“The development of nanotechnology applications requires the ability to analysis and visualise at the atomic scale, and the Phase Focus Virtual Lens has the potential to meet this market need and become a truly disruptive imaging technology.”