New funds to develop digital element of new test designed for use by authorities

Welsh MedTech company Bond Digital Health has received £800,000 equity funding to develop the digital element of a new rapid test to support authorities fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cardiff firm, one of BusinessCloud’s Wales Tech 50, is part of an international consortium that is producing a diagnostic test for patients suspected of having Covid-19.

The consortium was set up by Canadian company Sona Nanotech Inc. and includes GE Healthcare Life Sciences.

Bond Digital Health’s new test is based on lateral flow technology, which is used in a wide range of human diagnostics, including for infectious diseases such as cholera, malaria and HIV.

The firm said its test will be affordable, easy to use and can return results in minutes, and adds support the addition of digital connectivity to the test, allowing data to be captured, stored, analysed and shared in real time.

The firm hopes the addition of data capture could allow authorities to monitor the spread of the outbreak.

Incorporated in 2015 by founders Ian Bond and Dave Taylor, it has been developing its connectivity technology for the past two years and was due to launch its platform later this year before the increase in demand following COVID-19.

The new interim funding is hoped to fast-track the project and allow the firm to hire additional technical and admin staff to help speed up the development.

The £800,000 funding comes from the Development Bank of Wales and Wealth Club, the high net worth investment service.

Members of Wealth Club filled their entire £400,000 allocation within one minute of the offer opening and the Development Bank of Wales’ technology venture investments team provided a further £300,000.

Bond plans to launch its Series A investment round in the coming months.

Ian Bond, CEO of Bond Digital Health, said: “In the fight against Covid-19, we need affordable, accurate, rapid tests in huge volumes.

“To make a real impact we need to collect the test data to help authorities monitor the spread of the outbreak. Bond is proud to be adding its unique digital connectivity technology to such tests.

“Bond is proud to be putting Welsh technology and talent into the fast-growing global diagnostic market.”

Rafael Joseph, Assistant Investment Executive who worked on the deal for the Development Bank of Wales, added: “Bond is a great example of the many Welsh technology businesses that are supporting the fight against Covid-19.

“Our investment is testament to our belief in their ability to scale up and make a real difference at this difficult time and to their longer-term growth in the global diagnostics market. We wish them every success.”