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Investing for impact – St Andrews firm Eos wants to make ‘positive’ difference

Eos managing partner Andrew McNeill.
Eos managing partner Andrew McNeill.

A Fife firm wants to help tackle major issues, such as cancer treatment and climate change, through making investments in high-impact companies.

St Andrews-based Eos Advisory is a “seed stage investor” that helps start-up firms in science, engineering and technology get off the ground.

It offers financial backing while its team of partners – which includes cyclist Mark Beaumont – offer their expertise in a range of areas.

It was founded by Kevin Grainger seven years ago and has invested more than £25 million into 14 businesses.

Eos ‘impact investors’

Managing partner Andrew McNeill described the investment house as “impact investors” who look to back businesses aiming to tackle major issues.

He also outlined plans to focus on oncology and diversify the Eos Advisory portfolio into climate change businesses.

Investment firm Eos Advisory’s partners in St Andrews.

The Fife-based organisation has grown with the creation of Eos Innovation Fund and Eos Venture Partnerships.

The latter was set up to capitalise on worldwide interest in investing in high-impact companies.

“A lot of people are interested in science and innovation in Scotland,” Mr McNeill added.

“There’s a real culture of innovation and it’s been under represented by investors to date.

“Investors from around the world want to invest in Scottish businesses in deals lead by Eos.

“They bring back that depth of pocket to support companies over a longer period.

“If you are investing in a seed stage company and going after a global market, chances are you’re going to need quite a bit of money.”

Earlier this year, Mr Grainger outlined plans to spend over £10 million over the next five years.

He wants to focus on oncology-focused life sciences ventures founded in Scotland.

Last year, the firm also led a £1.7m investment into cancer treatment company Cumulus Oncology

Last year Eos led £1.7m investment into cancer treatment company Cumulus Oncology.

Covid had a positive impact for Eos

The pandemic has had a “really positive” impact on the business, Mr McNeill said.

He said it had highlighted the important role science can play in people’s everyday lives.

Mr McNeill said: “In a way that they never had been before, people are aware of the impact of science on their lives.

Mr McNeill revealed plans to scale-up Eos before the end of 2022.

“That has driven a lot of interest in the science and innovation around us.”

Eos Advisory plans to grow its own team in the next 12 months as it continues its goal of investing in high-impact firms.

‘We help however we can’

One firm that has benefited from the firm’s support is Enough Foods.

Mr McNeill added: “We invested in them in day one and they developed their process and showed they could do it.

“They raised several millions of pounds and they scaled that up.

“They’ve just done a €53m debt and equity from a Dutch bank and signed a partnership with Unilever.

“That exemplifies what we do – we get in at day one and help however we can.”

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