ioLight, which was founded in 2014 by Andrew Monk and Richard Williams, is the maker of a high-resolution portable microscope that displays images directly on tablets or smartphones. The microscope is considered among the first of its kind in the UK and delivers a resolution of better than 1μm. Among ioLight’s customers are Crowdcube #fundedclub member, The Eden Project, along with universities, schools, vets, pathologists, and micro-engineering companies. ioLight noted that the microscopes are priced at £700, with gross margins of 55-70% depending on sales commission. The company previously revealed:
“Good science relies on making primary measurements on samples in their environment. Yet for years scientists have had to collect samples in the field and take them back to a lab microscope for analysis. The ioLight microscope solves this problem capturing beautiful high-resolution images onto a tablet or phone anywhere. As well as improving the quality of science, it saves the cost and time of returning to site to collect better samples.”
During a recent update, the company announced it won a £62,296 grant for prototype Flourescence microscope:
“ioLight is delighted to announce that today we have been awarded an innovate UK grant to develop a Low-cost Fluorescence Microscope prototype and trial it with customers. The total project value is £88,994 which will be 70% funded by InnovateUK. The grant includes development of enabling features such as an Android App.”
The company continued:
“Flourescence microscopes are used every day in biochemistry. They are used to detect flourescent markers (beacons) that tag specific features or molecules that scientists want to look at. They allow researchers to look at molecules that would otherwise be too small to see and to watch processes in vivo by following the beacons through the animal. The problem is that flourescence microscopes are very expensive, starting from £15,000. This grant potentially allows ioLight to offer a product at a fraction of that price. Such a product could become an every day utility for bio labs across the world. This funding was not included in ioLight’s business plan because the success rate on these applications is low and as you know ioLight does not promise what it cannot deliver. The grant effectively increases what we can deliver with the current Crowdcube funding target by 25%.”
Funds from ioLight’s second Crowdcube campaign will be used for recruit sales and admin people; sales and marketing PR and exhibitions; product development to increase sales. The initiative is set to close on Friday.
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