Akkure Genomics raising €500,000 through crowdfunding

29 Jan 2021

Prof Oran Rigby. Image: Akkure Genomics

Prof John Crown has joined the start-up’s medical research board as it turns to a broader investor audience to raise funds.

Health-tech start-up Akkure Genomics, which builds software for clinical trials, is the latest Irish start-up to throw its hat in the equity crowdfunding ring.

The start-up is looking to raise €500,000 through Spark Crowdfunding, a platform for investors to put money into early-stage start-ups in return for a stake.

Founded in 2019 by Prof Oran Rigby and Dr Amy Hollingworth, Akkure has developed a clinical trials platform using artificial intelligence, which allows people to find and participate in clinical trials based on data about themselves and their condition.

It has also developed COVIDMedBot, an online self-assessment tool, and is developing telemedicine tools for remote consultations.

Rigby is a consultant in intensive care medicine and surgery and Hollingworth is a respiratory and lung transplant specialist.

The start-up is now turning to equity crowdfunding to tap investors for €500,000 at a pre-money valuation of €4m.

“This campaign provides the perfect opportunity for our medical community and patient groups to join our established investors and own a part of Akkure Genomics, in turn owning the digital infrastructure to enable future virtual precision medical trials,” Rigby said.

Hollingworth added: “We’re very excited to be working directly with our audience, partnering with them to shape the future of clinical trials, providing not only the forum for patients to influence future trials but also the ability to be rewarded, own and control the future of their illness, helping to create new therapeutics and cures.”

The start-up, which is based at NovaUCD, previously received €1.6m through Enterprise Ireland, a number of investors in the medical field and the State’s Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund.

Prof John Crown, senior consultant medical oncologist and cancer trials expert at St Vincent’s University Hospital and a former senator, has joined the start-up’s medical research board as its chair. Crown has also worked with OncoMark, another health-tech start-up based out of NovaUCD.

Akkure is joining more and more start-ups that have turned to equity crowdfunding. While platforms such as Crowdcube have existed for years in the UK, Spark is the first Irish service, launched in 2018.

Last year bike-share start-up Moby raised nearly €800,000 from backers in a crowdfunding campaign. Other start-ups that have gone the crowdfunding route include car hire service Fleet, which was one of Spark’s first campaigns and raised more than €380,000.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin