Axol Bioscience has exceeded all expectations in its crowdfunding investment round. The game-changing stem cell tech company listed on SyndicateRoom seeking £600,000, but massive investor interest saw the campaign quickly reach a revised overfunding limit of £1m, with a surplus of demand following the close. Axol’s huge raise is further evidence of Syndicate Room’s leading position in crowdfunding for life science: SyndicateRoom alone accounts for more than 40% of Europe’s total number of life science raises.
Using Nobel Prize-winning technology, Axol Bioscience produces stem cells from human blood and skin cells. These stem cells can then be turned into a variety of cell types including heart, brain and blood vessels for scientific research. These cells are created in Axol’s labs, and have been used by many pharmaceutical companies and research institutes including Janssen Pharmaceutica, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Kings College London, Harvard University and Aston University, amongst others.
Most biotechnology companies take a considerable period of time to achieve revenue and profit, yet Axol has already totalled revenues exceeding $1 million from a roster of blue chip clients, just over two years into the operation. Axol’s CEO and Co-founder is Dr Yichen Shi – a man described by one of Axol’s lead investors as ‘a very exciting young entrepreneur, who can walk through walls’. Dr Shi identified the need for ‘a high-quality supplier of human cells … with all of the critical ingredients for successful research’ during his doctorate in neuroscience and stem cell biology at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Yichen Shi said, ‘We are delighted by the success of fundraising with SyndicateRoom. Raising £1m from the high calibre investors that SyndicateRoom is able to attract is a testament to their belief in Axol’s potential and future growth.’ He added, ‘SyndicateRoom investors have now enabled us to progress to the next phase of our business plan.’
Axol’s leadership team continues to grow. The latest recruits are Chief Scientific Officer, Prof Xianmin Zeng – an internationally-recognised leader in the creation of disease models for drug discovery, and Dr Paul Bello, who joins Axol as Director of Operations, having successfully led facility management in other stem cell companies. In line with Syndicate Room’s unique, ‘investor-led’ model, SyndicateRoom members invested in Axol on the same economic terms as the lead investors. These were Dr Darrin Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc, and super angel Dr Jonathan Milner.
Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO and Co-founder of SyndicateRoom, said, ‘We were thrilled by the remarkable rate at which investment flooded into Axol, with many people contacting us after the round closed to ask if they could still contribute. This is a tremendous endorsement of both the team and its technology, and another sign that investors have an increasing appetite for more sophisticated opportunities, most notably in the life sciences industry.’