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Frontier IP sees maturity spread across portfolio companies

What Frontier IP does

Frontier IP Group Plc (LON:FIPP) is an investment and asset management company that focuses on providing consultancy services to universities and other research organisations to help them commercialise any intellectual property (IP) arising from their research.

The group aims to grow its value by taking equity stakes in any spin-out companies that arise from the commercialisation of IP.

What it owns

Frontier’s portfolio consists of stakes in

Alusid – Develops SilicaStone, a stone substitute made from recycled industrial waste

Nandi Proteins – Researches technology to improve the functional properties of proteins used in food-making such as eggs and whey

The Vaccine Group – Makes vaccines for animals to prevent them from passing on illnesses to humans such as Ebola, SARS, AIDS, Marburg, and swine and bird flu

Tarsis Technology – Develops tech that allows controlled delivery of active ingredients using metal-organic frameworks

Porexpert – Provides software to help model porous structures and test their properties

Pulsiv Solar – Develops technology to increase energy efficiency in solar farms as well as power converters for TVs, mobile phones and other electronics

Exscientia – Uses artificial intelligence to automate the design of pharmaceutical drugs

Cambridge Simulation Solutions – Provides methods of simulating and controlling complex discontinuous processes, such as how neural transmitters work in the brain

Amprologix – Aims to introduce new classes of antibiotics to help combat antimicrobial resistance to treatments

Molendotech – Provides a rapid assay to screen water for faecal contamination and other harmful bacteria without the need for laboratory testing

Fieldwork Robotics – Develops robot technology to harvest fruits and vegetables

NTPE – Develops a technology to print electronic circuits and semiconductors onto paper

Elute – Software firm specialising in plagiarism detection

AquaInSilico – Software group developing tools for wastewater management

How it’s doing

In November, the firm reported results for the year to June 30, 2020, where the fair value of its portfolio increased 47% to £19.4mln, while its net asset value per share increased to 51p from 41.4p.

Pre-tax profit surged 78% to £4.18mln on revenues and other operating income up 49% to £6.4mln, reflecting a net unrealised profit on investment revaluations of £6mln.

Frontier IP attributed the increase in its portfolio value to “strong commercial and technical progress, including industry engagement” as well as a “ strong response to opportunities and challenges presented by COVID-19”.

Since the year-end, Frontier has raised £2.3mln in an oversubscribed placing to provide “firepower and nimbleness through additional investment … and enable increased capacity for bridge financing and direct investment in portfolio companies”.

In February 2021, it revealed its 18.8% stake in Pulsiv Solar is now valued at £4.1mln following the latter’s latest equity fundraising. At the end of June 2020, the investment had been valued at £3.6mln. 

Inflexion points

  • Elute opened up access to its Patent Reader platform to a user group of experienced patent professionals to help them effectively and efficiently find relevant information
  • Exscientia has recently raised $60mln through a Series C financing round
  • Frontier has become involved in ScienceIN2Business, a technology transfer competition run by the University of Lisbon
  • The Vaccine Group said it is making “significant progress” with its animal vaccine platform and, significantly, has started work on an animal inoculation that would prevent the spread of coronavirus from animal to human

Executive interview

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