Green Angel Syndicate invests in environmental DNA pioneers NatureMetrics
Investors in this round: Led by Acuity Investments with funding from Green Angel Syndicate members and the recently launched Green Angel Syndicate EIS Climate Change Fund as well as investment from Systemiq
Green Angel Syndicate has completed Series A investment in fast growing nature-data business NatureMetrics, investing over £1.5m of a total £6.5m raised.
The Series A round, led by Acuity Investments, includes funding from both Green Angel Syndicate members and the recently launched Green Angel Syndicate EIS Climate Change Fund as well as investment from Systemiq, a consulting and investment firm that backs system-changing technologies.
Dr Kat Bruce, the company founder and CTO says:
“Forensic scientists have used DNA to identify individuals at crime scenes for years – now we can use our technology to identify the whole range of species, from bacteria to birds, present in the environment using small samples of soil or water. Our technology can identify tiny fragments of DNA left behind by species and pinpoint exactly which species it is from.”
Simon Acland, Chairman of both NatureMetrics and Green Angel Syndicate says:
“NatureMetrics’ ground-breaking technology is a game changer in the way that biodiversity is monitored and measured. If we can measure it, and highlight the terrifying decline that is taking place, we can protect it. I am proud of the support that Green Angel Syndicate has given NatureMetrics through two rounds of funding. NatureMetrics combines major positive environmental impact with very significant commercial potential. It is founded and run largely by women, and has a highly diverse team. It epitomises the principles that are fundamental to Green Angel Syndicate.”
The raise of £6.5m has enabled NatureMetrics to relocate to Surrey Research Park and to scale up the delivery of biodiversity data to businesses, NGOs and governments using DNA.
NatureMetrics will now embark on a three-month process to equip its new laboratory with cutting-edge technology. This will ensure that the tiny quantities of DNA present in the samples can be extracted and reported to clients, a method the team has perfected over the company’s five-year history.
The business has already processed tens of thousands of samples for clients all over the world, including the conservation charity WWF, helping businesses and conservation groups to survey a wide range of environments from ponds for infrastructure projects in the UK to coral reefs in Mozambique, as well as providing data for environmental impact assessments for wind farms, hydropower and mines. Now it expects to move up the value chain beyond just on-site biodiversity monitoring to deliver nature data to ESG investors, consumer supply chains and governments.
CEO Katie Critchlow, who has formerly worked on green strategy for Marks & Spencer, WWF and PwC added:
“It’s such an exciting time for the business, I’ve spent two decades working on green innovation but it’s really special to feel like we can grow a successful business and at the same time make a positive difference by helping our clients to understand and improve their impact on nature.”
This week NatureMetrics also signed a deal with Innovate UK for a £250,000 grant to develop in-field detection methods for invasive species which have a significant negative impact on natural species populations. The opportunity to detect species directly in the field using similar technology to the lateral flow tests for COVID, opens a whole new range of possibilities for the business including biodiversity conservation and the monitoring of diseases which originate in nature.
About Green Angel Syndicate
Green Angel Syndicate (GAS) is the only angel investment syndicate in the UK specialising in the fight against Climate Change and Global Warming. GAS has attracted over 250 members and invested more than £10 million in 25 start-up or early-stage companies across 10 different economic sectors.
NatureMetrics surveys biodiversity at scale using tiny traces of DNA left behind in the environment by all species, from bacteria to blue whales.
NatureMetrics is run by three women: founder and CTO Dr Kat Bruce, CEO Katie Critchlow and COO Dr Juliet Jones. This investment will help enable the company to expand its team from 45 to 70 by the end of the year.