Optos, a UK medical technology company, has floated on the London Stock Exchange, representing an exit after almost 15 years for the business angels that first invested in the business. The offer price of 250 pence, at the top end of the 200 pence to 260 pence indicative range, gave the business a market capitalisation of £165m, raising £30m.
Optos was founded in 1992 by Douglas Anderson, an industrial designer, to market the retinal scanning system he developed. He received £80,000 of seed funding that same year from business angels Barry Sealey and Mike Rutterford (and some friends), who went on to found Archangel Informal Investments. The two have been involved as board members with the company’s development ever since.
Barry Sealey said: “Douglas Anderson, Optos’ founder, first came to myself and Mike Rutterford in 1992 with a business plan on a sheet of A4 paper. That initial £80,000 leap of faith marked not only the conception of Optos, but also of Archangel Informal Investments. Thirteen years, 16 funding rounds and tens of millions of pounds later, we have reached a landmark day for both businesses. Optos’ Optomap product is saving sight around the world, the company has successfully floated on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and Archangel, now one of the largest angel syndicates in Europe, has witnessed the coming-of-age of its first investment.”
YFM was the first to invest, through its British Smaller Technology Companies VCT in 1999. A second funding round saw Braveheart get on board in 2000, and the following year so did Innoven. Amadeus Capital Partners was the last to get involved, investing in 2003 through two funds, Amadeus I and Amadeus II.
Amadeus holds the largest single stake in the company with a 23.3% holding, worth around £35m following the IPO. The firm did not sell any of its shares.