Covid wastewater testing firm raises £10m to fund expansion

DeepVerge, a York-based firm that tests wastewater for Covid-19, has raised £10m to fund its expansion.

DeepVerge's chief executive, Gerry Brandon

The company, which also assesses skincare products, priced the new shares at 30p, representing an 11.8 per cent discount on the closing price on June 4.

DeepVerge's chief executive, Gerry Brandon, said the firm is seeing faster than expected growth in both its wastewater testing business and its Labskin human skin equivalent platform, which works with leading skincare companies such as L’Oreal and Kimberly-Clark.

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Mr Brandon said the firm is fitting new technology into its wastewater monitoring units, which number more than 3,000 installed in over 60 countries, to enable real-time detection of Covid and other contaminants.

“If the virus is actually there, it’s detected immediately and an alert is made,” he said, adding that real-time detection was about three days faster than sending samples to a lab.

Mr Brandon said: “DeepVerge has seen a dramatic change over the last year with the acquisition of Modern Water and hitting our maiden EBITDA positive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2020.

"Along with organic expansion, 2021 has already brought new and exciting service offerings such as our recently launched Skin Trust Club and initial installations of our real-time wastewater Covid detection products.

"With such progress, this fundraising enables the company, on three continents, to scale, to meet increased demand, while expanding revenues faster across the group.

“DeepVerge and its shareholders are well placed to reap the benefits from a much stronger balance sheet, built from the integration of tried and tested scientific innovation, 30 years of proprietary data, contributing to solving the current global health crisis and acting as society’s pandemic sentinel for the future.

"The £10m raised today allows us to maintain this momentum. I would like to thank both existing investors for their support and the high net-worth professional, family office and institutional clients of Turner Pope Investments, including Gresham House, who subscribed for a material proportion of the raise.”