Irish dairy and med-tech companies raise €3m in funding for new growth
Published 05/07/2016 | 02:30
Tipperary dairy technology firm Oculer has raised €1m from investors via two companies in the British Virgin Islands.
The company, a spin-off from Technopath, has developed a system that identifies a specific bacteria in milk and which it's believed could save the Irish dairy industry €200m a year.
Another Irish startup, Galway-based DiaNia, has secured €2m in funding that will help it advance science that assists with the development of catheter-based medical devices.
Oculer was established last year, and new company filings show that it raised its financing in May. Two British Virgin Islands firms - Controllo and Navillius - injected money into the Irish firm. Technopath chief financial officer Peter Thornton also subscribed to shares in the business.
Oculer, whose chief executive is Brian Byrne, developed a system that is designed to cut detection times for thermoduric bacteria from the current standard of 72 hours to 24 hours, while an alarm can signal the potential presence of bacteria in as little as six hours.
Thermoduric bacteria are naturally occurring bacteria that survive the pasteurisation process and are responsible for issues such as spoilage of finished products, reduced shelf life and reduced protein concentrations.
The global testing market for raw milk, in-process milk and dairy produce is valued at €150m a year.
Test results be available to milk suppliers in 24 hours. Oculer will enable co-ops and dairy processors to react faster to positive results than they currently can by using the traditional agar method.
The system will also inform milk farmers where the source of the problem originated -whether it's a milking machine on the farm or ineffective cleaning of animal teats.
Meanwhile, DiaNia Technologies expects to create 20 jobs after raising its €2m.
Current and former executives of Irish firm Creganna Medical stumped up the bulk of the funding, with Enterprise Ireland and HBAN's Medtech Business Angel Syndicate also contributing.
The HBAN syndicate is a joint initiative of InterTrade Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.
Private equity firm Permira acquired a majority stake in Galway-based Creganna Medical for €220m in 2010. Permira sold the business earlier this year for $895m. The funding received by DiaNia will enable it to develop and commercialise the first application of its proprietary materials science technology which will enhance the performance and functionality of medical devices.
That should result in increased patient safety and improved product performance.
DiaNia Technologies was founded in 2013 by Sinead Kenny and Mark Mellett, who have extensive experience in the medical device industry. Ms Kenny is also a former employee of Creganna Medical.