Looking to Raise Capital? Look Across the Pond
Belluscura follows other medical device makers successfully raising equity on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM.
- By Bob Rauker
- Nov 10, 2022
Small- to medium-size DMEs and DME manufacturers are regularly faced with the difficulty of raising funds to expand operations. Too often, companies find that they must take on debt to achieve funding goals. With interest rates rising, this is becoming less of an attractive option.
On the other hand, the United States has trillions of dollars invested in venture capital and private equity firms, but this is not being deployed into smaller companies because of these venture capital and private equity firms’ restrictive policies on ownership percentage, minimum investment amount, business technology profile, revenues, location of operations, etc.
Many small to medium manufacturing companies, faced with this dilemma, have had to scale back their operational expansion plans. However, there is now a tremendous alternative opportunity available to small U.S. growth companies.
Case in Point: Belluscura
With the Food and Drug Administration’s clearance of its X-PLOR portable oxygen concentrator (www.XPLORoxygen.com), startup Belluscura LLC (www.Belluscura.com) needed to raise the capital necessary to perform a successful product launch of its next-generation portable oxygen device. Like many small medical product startups, Belluscura was finding difficulty raising the necessary capital to move the X-PLOR forward.
Frustratingly, several venture capital firms expressed interest in the company and its patented technology but could not invest. Belluscura was stuck between the proverbial venture capital “Rock and Hard Place:” The larger firms could not invest, as their minimum investment amounts would exceed their maximum ownership limitations. Conversely, the smaller firms wanted greater ownership at share values below what the company’s earlier funding rounds had conservatively established.
Enter the AIM, the growth market of the London Stock Exchange. The London Stock Exchange is one of the world’s oldest stock exchanges, with its origins dating back to the 17th century. On the Main Market, more than 1,000 companies operating in over 80 countries and representing 40 sectors fund their innovation and expansion and create new jobs by accessing the deepest pool of capital in Europe. Plus, there are nearly 150 American companies from many sectors listed in London, and collectively they are worth over U.S. $500 billion.
A Global Growth Market
Since its launch in 1995, AIM (formerly known as the Alternative Investment Market) has become the most successful growth market in the world. More than 800 innovative and growing companies are quoted on AIM, giving them the ability to access ongoing equity finance and further fund expansion.
In the past 25 years, more than £130 billion of growth finance has been raised by AIM companies — much of it from private investors — to support their growth plans. This capital helps to fund innovation, create jobs, and boost the global economy. It is a global engine for innovation.
Less Expensive & Open to Smaller Companies
Although there have been recent initial public offerings (IPOs) with market capitalization approaching $1 billion, the London Stock Exchange’s AIM is focused on smaller companies. In 2021, the average market capitalization at IPO for an AIM issuer was approximately $180 million.
“Increasingly, U.S. companies are looking to raise equity on AIM,” states Chris Mayo, Head of Primary Markets, Americas, at the London Stock Exchange Group. “In 2021, we had nine U.S. companies complete AIM IPOs. Besides providing an opportunity for smaller companies to raise equity, and providing founders, venture capital and private equity investors a route to partially exit, the AIM listing process has been shown to be significantly less expensive compared to U.S. exchanges and offers access to established U.K. and international institutional investors.”
With the assistance of a team of U.K. brokers and lawyers well-versed in the IPO listing process, Belluscura was able to complete its listing from start to finish in less than four months. On May 29, 2021, Belluscura had a successful, oversubscribed IPO raising just over $24 million at a value 350 percent higher than its last private financing round.
Belluscura went on to successfully launch its X-PLOR POC in September 2021. Presented with an opportunity to expand its manufacturing and distribution operations on a global scale, Belluscura entered into manufacturing agreements with an Asian manufacturer. Belluscura successfully went back to AIM in April 2022 and raised additional capital at a significant premium to its IPO price to fund its expansion.
As the United States enters a potential recession, interest rates increase and U.S. venture capital becomes even more difficult for small companies to acquire, AIM offers a viable option for many U.S. companies to consider.
To learn more about Belluscura or its products, please visit www.Belluscura.com and www.XPLORoxygen.com.
Bob Rauker is CEO and founder of Belluscura plc (www.belluscura.com). He has more than 25 years’ experience in the medical device industry in different roles including as an inventor, patent attorney, executive and business development leader. Belluscura is a United Kingdom and Texas based medical device company focused on developing high performing, cost-effective oxygen enrichment technology for use in healthcare and other industries.