GlowDX, an Irish diagnostics start-up mainly focused on Latin America, has just closed a €1.1 million funding round led by angel investors such as former Nightline Logistics Group chief executive John Tuohy as well as Sean O'Sullivan's SOSV venture capital firm.
Founded by Blaine Doyle and Rodrigo Cervantes, the company is seeking to disrupt the diagnostics sector by making at-home testing more easily available to consumers. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it was primarily focused on providing testing for sexually transmitted diseases and for women's health. Since Covid-19 emerged though, it has started providing coronavirus testing for big multinational companies across Mexico.
Mr Doyle established GlowDx in 2015 while participating in SOSV’s Cork-based life sciences accelerator RebelBio and also undertaking a Masters in molecular cell biology at UCC. Mr Doyle is a previous winner of the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’s competition.
Among the other angel investors backing GlowDx are well-known entrepreneurs in the Irish medtech space, such as Aalto Bio Reagents' managing director Philip Noone and Dr Donal O'Shea, founder and chief executive of digital pathology start-up Deciphex, which itself raised $6.2 million earlier this month.
Dr Johnny Walker, founder and chief executive of JingaLife, whose previous company Global Diagnostics merged with Centric Health in 2008, is another participant in the funding round.
GlowDX, which has a facility in Mexico City that employs over 30 people, recently received a PandemicTech fellowship for a project to improve Covid-19 testing and enable saliva-based diagnostics. The fellowship is a $100,000 initiative to identify and support entrepreneurs leading the fight against infectious disease threats.
Mr Doyle said the company's main focus to date has been on expanding in Latin America. The company has a second lab due to open soon in Mexico and is considering a move into Colombia.
However, he said GlowDX also intends to expand its operations in Europe in the coming months with a number of R&D projects in the microbiome space underway that are expected to hit the market here early next year.
He added that the company was considering a further fundraise of approximately €2.5 million, which he expects to close late this year or early in 2021.