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Major funding for fetal heart monitor

   
   
27 Apr 2009 15:16:00.000

PA 117/09

PUK Ventures, the venture capital business of Partnerships UK, today announced that it has completed an investment of £750,000 — part of a £1.175m funding round — in Monica Healthcare Limited.

 

Monica Healthcare was formed following 15 years of expertise at The University of Nottingham's School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Department of Obstetrics.  The University of Nottingham spin-out company has developed miniature, wireless technology which can successfully monitor the well-being of a mother and her unborn baby.

 

The investors in this round of funding are PUK Ventures (£750K), Catapult Venture Managers (£300K) and The University of Nottingham (£100K) with private investors contributing a further £25K. Proceeds will be used towards expansion of Monica activities in the USA and other international markets.

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Christina McComb, Head of PUK Ventures, said: “PUK Ventures believes that Monica’s technology will make a real difference to the quality of care available to expectant mothers and their babies. We are pleased to support the company through the next phase of its international expansion”.

 

The non-invasive wireless technology allows monitoring of the fetus and mother for extended periods of time while allowing the mother to move around as normal. Existing techniques such as Ultrasound are not very effective in uninterrupted monitoring over longer periods of time and restrict mothers’ movement. The device is CE marked and is available throughout Europe, the Gulf states and Australia through Monica-appointed distributors.

 

Dr Bruce Venning, The University of Nottingham appointed director of Monica Healthcare, said: “Monica has become a perfect example of knowledge transfer, taking a valuable technology from research to the market place, which is destined to become a real benefit to maternity healthcare.”

 

Jonathan Earl, Investment Director at Catapult Venture Managers, commented: “This funding round takes our cumulative investment in Monica to £1m.  We are delighted both with the progress that the company has made since our original investment 4 years ago and to further support the continued growth”.

 

Paul Harper, Chairman of Monica, said “Monica’s technology has potential to make a real difference and the support of PUK Ventures and our existing investors is greatly appreciated at this critical juncture which will see expansion into key markets.”

 

—    Ends —

 

Notes to editors

: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

 

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

 

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

 

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

 

PUK Ventures www.pukventures.com PUK Ventures is the investment business of Partnerships UK PLC. PUK Ventures operates a £25m fund, investing in businesses with UK public sector sponsorship and strong commercial potential. The objective of the fund is to create and enhance the value of assets, including technology and IP, emanating from UK public bodies such as universities and public sector research labs. PUK Ventures has an experienced investment team, with strong networks in the science & venture capital communities. The fund invests across most sectors and has historically invested in a broad range of technologies including medical/healthcare, clean/sustainable, information & communications and other engineering sciences. PUK Ventures is an active investor and works closely with portfolio companies in their strategic and operational development.

 

Catapult Venture Managers www.catapult-vm.co.uk Catapult specialises in providing equity capital for businesses requiring between £200k and £2m.  Catapult can invest across a range of funds, with £80m of funds under management, and provides a full range funding requirement from early stage, development capital to MBO/MBIs. Since 1999 Catapult has invested in 65 companies, providing initial and further follow on requirements. Catapult's experienced team of 7 Executives and 2 Non Executive Directors have over 100 years of VC experience between them.

 

Monica Healthcare Monica Healthcare is developing a series of innovative wearable devices that will use wireless technologies to facilitate globally accessible obstetric services in the home and hospital. Monica Healthcare Ltd was formed in May 2005. This followed a successful £500K seed fund raising exercise and was the culmination of 15 years of research at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Human Development at The University of Nottingham, UK. An additional £1million second round funding was raised in May 2007 from Catapult, the Lachesis Fund and private investors.

Story credits

More information is available from Kaushik Chakravarti , PUK Ventures, on +44 (0) 20 7273 8388, Kaushik.chakravarti@pukventures.com or Jonathan Earl , Catapult Venture Managers, on +44 (0) 116 2388200, Jonathan@catapult-vm.co.uk, or Carl Barratt , Monica Healthcare, on +44 (0) 115 9124540, Carl.Barratt@monicahealthcare.com

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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