Engender closes a $4.5m investment offer
Engender is developing a promising new technology that plans to separate female-bearing sperm cells from male bearing sperm cells for the dairy industry. The technology is expected to improve both the efficiency of sorting and performance of sex-sorted sperm by avoiding electric fields and reducing shear stress on the sperm membrane during processing.
Engender has successfully secured deals with two of the world’s largest bovine artificial insemination companies. One company has provided scientific and laboratory resources in exchange for an option to license and another has committed further trial resources and invested in return for an option to license.
Engender has recently closed a capital raise of $4.5m. Engender initially sought to raise a minimum of $2.5m, however the offer closed fully oversubscribed at $4.5m. The additional investment will allow the Company to develop further.
Last month, Engender won the AgTech category in the annual World Cup Tech Challenge, held at the Microsoft campus in California’s Silicon Valley. In addition, Engender’s Chief Scientist, Associate Prof Cather Simpson won the award for Best Entrepreneur Researcher as well as the Supreme Award at New Zealand’s KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards. The increased profile resulting from these achievements has resulted in further commercial interest.
Engender now intends to utilise funds raised to optimize its technology to sort bull semen by sex. Already, funds raised have enabled development of the ability to selectively manipulate bull sperm cells within a channel. Engender is currently focused on optimising the nudging of bull sperm cells into different output channels.
Engender will then undertake IVF trials, and develop its microfluidic chip into a commercial prototype suitable for mass production. It also intends to simultaneously design and build a laboratory prototype instrument to undertake an artificial insemination field trials.
Engender has identified and recruited a team of suitable R&D staff, led by Associate Professor Cather Simpson and project managed by Peter Hosking. In addition, Kieran Jina of Pacific Channel has been appointed as Engender’s Operations Manager.
The strong investor response to the capital raise is the result of the combination of a unique technology and a well-regarded scientific, management and governance team steering the company’s direction.
Engender has also received a ~$400,000 Callaghan Innovation grant to support its R&D.
These recent achievements have put Engender and its team firmly on the global radar.
Cather Simpson says the $4.5 million will allow the company to evolve the technology in a way they hope can prove its commercial merit and potentially transform a worldwide AI market of US$2.4 billion.
Engender’s board has appointed Independent Director, Jim Mervis, as Chairperson of the board. Jim specialises in company development in life sciences and has significant experience through his pivotal roles in Barrier Therapeutics, Cardiokine, Intercept Pharmaceuticals and CoDa Therapeutics. He has an extensive background in securities and commercial transactions; defining and establishing strategic alliances and securing the financial and human resources for corporate growth.