Cambridge artificial intelligence / machine learning company bought by customer

Sun, 21 Apr 2019 | BUSINESS SALE



Early stage advanced data analysis company Rinocloud has been bought by Dublin-based healthtech company Integumen, one of its customers, for €3.5m.

Rinocloud was set up in 2015 to develop a range of algorithms for the dissemination of big data specifically from scientific sources.

The company adds extra context to data including parameters, metadata, and discussion, allowing scientists at client companies to deduce more insights and generate more results.

Integumen creates laboratory-grown human skin that provides cosmetics companies with an alternative to animal testing. They only began using Rinocloud in November 2018, but were immediately impressed with the team and the data analysis product. With the purchase, Integumen gets control of an AI machine learning platform, enabling them to accelerate the development of skincare, cosmetics, wound care, personal hygiene and pharmaceutical topical drug delivery products.

Rinocloud MD, Fionan Murray, said "Our product is all about automating labs and managing the data they generate; they [Integument] have labs in Britain and we started installing software for them. The relationship got closer and closer until, like dating, we realised we wanted to cohabit.”

He had been about to start the process for raising an "A" round investment of €1m to €2m. However, that process would have taken around a year and taken Murray out of the business for a significant time.

Selling to Inegumen was an easy decision - he was able to able to secure his personal financial situation, get access to capital, access customers and access to labs.

Murray becomes a director of Inegumen as part of the deal and his team all take up senior positions at the firm.

Anyone trying to figure out the price paid as a multiple of earnings or any other financial valuation method would have no luck. This was clearly about buying in a highly skilled team that worked well together (and with the buyer) on a product with valuable IP, which slotted in perfectly to the acquirer's business.


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