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Warwick University Spin-Out secures Funding for Fingerprint ID Technology

2006 is already proving to be a busy and successful year for Oxford Early Investments (OEI), a business angel investment network that helps innovative companies at the early stages of commercial development to raise investment capital. The latest company to secure funding through the OEI Network is Warwick Warp Ltd, a spin-out company from Warwick University that is developing a highly accurate fingerprint identification technology for use in personal ID cards, passports and access control systems.

Warwick Warp raised £15,000 from two of OEI’s business angel investor members at a recent OEI investment meeting held jointly with Warwick Ventures, the technology transfer office of Warwick University. The company will use the new capital for the development of the first prototype.

Li Wang, Chief Technology Officer of Warwick Warp, said: “OEI provided an excellent platform for us to not only raise investment funds but also build up a close relationship with investors, both of which are crucial to the success of our business.”

“We are delighted,” said Ederyn Williams, Director of Warwick Ventures. “Warwick Warp is an exciting new company, and OEI helped us raise the small amount of vital funding needed in record time.”

The Warwick Warp deal is one of several that the OEI Network has brokered for developing companies during the past 18 months, raising a total of £473,000. Other companies that have raised funding through the Network include Water Innovate, a spin-out company from Cranfield University that develops new technologies for the water and wastewater industries, NanoSight, which is developing a nanoparticle measuring system, and Zeta Studies, a software development house for web based services and mobile data collection solutions.

Joanna Sobek, Manager of Oxford Early Investments, said: “OEI was set up to meet investor demand for very early stage investment opportunities, and to help companies that need small but crucial sums to develop their product beyond an initial ‘proof of concept’ – often the most difficult stage of company growth to fund. The Network has now established a track record for filling this gap in the market.”

OEI also held a lively investment meeting as part of Venturefest during July. Companies making presentations at the meeting included Exilica Ltd, who produce micro-beads and silica nano-shells that can be used in the slow release of perfumes and dyes, and Novolytics Ltd, which uses bacteriophages, a small virus that only infects bacteria, to combat MRSA.

OEI is also delighted to announce that H2O Venture Partners has agreed to sponsor the Network. H2O Venture Partners is a new investment company developing very early stage technology opportunities from universities, research organisations and existing companies. H2O invests in transformative technologies in all sectors at the beginning of the commercialisation process.

Dr David Kelly, Chief Executive of H2O Venture Partners, said: “H2O Venture Partners is delighted to sponsor OEI. The OEI Network plays an essential role in helping companies secure the funds they need for early-stage growth. H2O looks forward to actively contributing to the future success of OEI.”

The next OEI Investment Meeting is on 5 September 2006 at the Oxford Science Park

To find out more about becoming an OEI member or sponsoring the Network contact Joanna Sobek on 01865 811120, email or visit

Margaret Henry | alfa
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