A Warwickshire-based manufacturer of fertility monitoring products, Fertility Focus, has secured further investment from MEIF through a £250,000 loan, enabling it to invest in its staff, continue research and development, while safeguarding against the impact of COVID-19.
Fertility Focus secured the finance from The FSE Group Debt Finance Fund, part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Established in 2005, Fertility Focus specialises in the manufacturing and marketing of fertility monitoring products designed to help women who are experiencing issues conceiving. Fertility Focus is driven by the emergence of new medical understanding of infertility and the causes of issues in pregnancy.
The company has created its OvuSense™ platform, which is currently the only fertility monitoring product in the world which predicts the onset of ovulation up to one day in advance and provides 99% accuracy for detection of the exact date of ovulation in real-time. No other method of cycle monitoring currently available offers these features. The company also recently launched the OvuSense® Pro clinical portal which helps clinicians to remotely screen for the common causes of female sub-fertility, infertility, pregnancy issues and miscarriage. OvuSense® Pro also helps clinicians to monitor the effect of treatment.
Rob Milnes, CEO of Fertility Focus, commented:
“Health statistics tell us around 12 million women in North America and Europe start out trying to conceive each year. Of these, 4 million end up trying to conceive for 6 months or more, with a further 2 million moving on each year into the clinical segment. Securing additional funding is a significant step towards continuing to support women and their partners through a highly emotional journey. We would like to extend our thanks to Paul, at the FSE Group, for taking us through the process of securing finance from CBILS and MEIF – enabling us to help the business to navigate the impact of COVID-19 which will help us through these difficult times, maintaining key staff whilst continuing with key research to help us develop our product offering.”
Paul Lynam, Fund Manager, at The FSE Group, adds:
“Rob Milnes and the team at Fertility Focus are driven by a commitment to help women understand their reproductive cycles in order to better inform why they may be experiencing difficulty in conceiving. The product is of particular relevance at the moment as the ability of individuals to visit IVF clinics during COVID-19 has been disrupted. It has been a pleasure to support Steve, Rob and the Fertility Focus team and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank said:
“An Early Assessment Report into the MEIF revealed its role in supporting Midlands’ businesses to develop new technologies and drive forward innovation. Having initially received equity investment from our fund manager The Foresight Group, this latest finance package for Fertility Focus is a great example of how this additional funding is supporting ongoing innovation and manufacturing operations while allowing it to also manage disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sean Farnell, Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said:
“Fertility Focus has been based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre for ten years and it is great to see a start-up business flourishing despite these difficult times. This new investment will allow the business to accelerate its growth as well as continue its research and development which will be important for its future success.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS). Deadline for CBILS applications has been extended to 31st March for UK businesses.