Oval invited SyndicateRoom members to invest in its funding round back in 2014, when our platform was less than a year old and at an embryonic phase compared with what it is today. Two years on, we’re thrilled to welcome Oval Medical Technologies as the inaugural member of SyndicateRoom’s Exit Club following its acquisition by SMC Ltd.

In August 2014, 40 SyndicateRoom investors contributed to Oval’s overall fundraise of £1,118,647, the round headed up by lead investors Jonathan Milner, Phil O’Donovan and Michael Day. Now they stand to make a positive return on their investment.

‘It is my first exit, which is great news for me, and hopefully the first of several on the SyndicateRoom platform,’ says SyndicateRoom member John Osborne. ‘I think what it does do is give me confidence that I’m doing the right thing.’

‘You get the financial return – fantastic – but if you do get that while making the world a better place, that just makes me even happier,’ adds Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, SyndicateRoom CEO. ‘I’m very proud to see that our first exit is a company like Oval Medical Technologies.’

Meet Oval Medical Technologies

Oval is a cutting-edge medical technology company that designs and produces small, user-friendly autoinjectors to enhance medical safety and address trypanophobia (fear of needles).

It was founded in 2009 by Matthew Young, who had a vision of designing state-of-the-art auto-injectors that would not only transform the patient experience but also meet the needs of 21st-century biologic drugs, offering a range of delivery volumes and capability to deliver high-viscosity formulations. Clearly, his dream has become a reality. Oval’s radical approach to the delivery of emergency drugs has enabled the design of an epinephrine auto-injector that is intuitive to use in a crisis and small enough to be carried discreetly in a pocket.

Oval autoinjectors

Oval's small, user-friendly autoinjectors enhance medical safety and address trypanophobia.

‘We very much start with the human beings and then design mechanisms based on their needs,’ Matthew says, ‘whereas traditionally people have started off with a glass syringe around the drug and then built mechanisms around that, so working outwards philosophically rather than working inwards.’

Oval’s epinephrine auto-injector is a very small, cutting-edge device for treating patients for anaphylactic shock, while Oval’s sumatriptan auto-injector is being developed to treat patients with migraines and cluster headaches. A number of independent user studies have demonstrated that patients can use Oval’s devices without training and their small size makes them discreet to carry.

SMC Ltd. is acquiring Oval to build on its existing business in the drug delivery device market, paving the way to grow and to develop further Oval’s core auto-injector technology.

Welcome to the Exit Club

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Oval to SyndicateRoom’s Exit Club – hopefully, the first of many more members to come.

Oval Exit

From left–right: Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, Co-founder and CEO of SyndicateRoom; Barbara Lead, CEO of Oval Medical Technologies; and Tom Britton, Co-founder and CTO of SyndicateRoom.

The company is now an asset of US-based SMC Ltd., a provider of global contract manufacturing solutions regarding single-use devices for the pharmaceutical, medical and diagnostics industries. With 700,000 square feet dedicated to healthcare manufacturing, SMC provides full product services, from initial concept through to the final packaged device, including programme management, design and development, product manufacturing, clinical manufacturing, electronics integration and global supply chain management.

‘We are excited to have Oval Medical Technologies within the SMC family,’ says Chetan Patel, CEO of SMC Ltd. ‘SMC’s years of experience in medical device contract manufacturing paired with Oval’s innovative approach to drug delivery combination products create a complete solution for the pharmaceutical market. In addition to auto-injectors, the Oval team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the design, development and manufacturing of inhalation products.’

Barbara Lead, CEO of Oval Medical, couldn’t agree more.

‘Pharmaceutical companies require reliable customised devices for their high-value biologics,’ says Barbara. ‘As part of SMC, Oval will be well placed to provide customers with devices that meet their needs and those of their patients. The combination of Oval’s design and development capability, and SMC’s capabilities in global manufacturing will ensure a high level of reliability in product performance and a fast route to market.’

‘This is an incredibly proud moment for SyndicateRoom and fantastic news for the investors who chose to buy into Oval just over two years ago when it raised through the platform,’ says Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, SyndicateRoom CEO.

‘It also proves the value of our unique investor-led model. All SyndicateRoom investors had access to the same class of share and the same price per share as the lead investors and both are enjoying the rewards of this acquisition fairly.’

It’s certainly exceptionally encouraging to see the fruits of not only our labour but our vision for the industry paying off, just three years into our SyndicateRoom journey. Our latest research, conducted with the help of Beauhurst and FTI Consulting, demonstrates the UK appetite for early-stage investing and the potential returns that could come with it. It’s no wonder people are turning to this asset class, when it’s outperformed London Stock Exchange main market companies in terms of compound annual growth since 2011.

Once again, a huge congratulations to Oval and its investors, and a happy birthday to the SyndicateRoom Exit Club; here’s to many more.