WideCells Group PLC (LON:WDC) Chief Executive Officer João Andrade caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the successful placing of £750,000, what it will be used for, the company’s bright future and Widecells being a successful investment opportunity
Q1: First off, congratulations on a successful placing. You’ve raised £750,000, how do you plan on using this money?
A1: Well, first of all, there’s two reasons why we decided to fundraise now, one of them is to rapidly accelerate the development of our 3 stem cell services divisions which are CellPlan with our insurance plan and WideCells we’ve started research and WideAcademy with education and training. Because we are on a standard list we had, at the beginning of this year, raised 10% of our share capital which was the maximum allowed by the market rules which have changed last month, companies on a standard list can now raise 20% because we have a great amount of opportunity that we can accelerate by having the funding, we decided to fundraise this month. We have seen amazing support from our investors, directors have invested as well so it’s mainly to drive the marketing efforts to generate more leads to convert them into sales across the 3 divisions.
Q2: You’ve had a number of milestone developments in recent months including the commercial launch of your proprietary insurance product CellPlan, the launch of a new synthetic bone graft treatment, INDUS and the commencement of a paid-for-research work following the granting of a research licence from the UK’s Human Tissue Authority just to name a few! With a bolstered bank balance supporting these growth initiatives, the future must look bright for revenues?
A2: Yes, I think that we are ideally positioned to build our position as a key service provider and the leading international innovator in the stem cell arena, that’s the first thing. Now, because all of our products are able to generate revenues, generally revenues globally, we are now really well positioned to drive more and to generate more revenues for the company. We started to do that last month with CellPlan and also via contract research so we’ve seen our first revenues coming up in July, starting to increase now in August and we expect to announce our quarterly results at the beginning of October. Our focus now is really on generating revenues across the divisions and having this extra funding will enable us to do that even faster.
Q3: The funds were raised with both new and existing shareholders as well as the Board of Directors, I believe all the Board members have chosen to participate in this placing which is obviously a good sign. Can you, from your perspective, expand on why you believe WideCells is an attractive investment opportunity?
A3: Widecells is a very innovative company, we are delivering the world’s first end-to-end services solution to make stem cell treatment accessible and affordable, globally. We are award-winning, we’ve been nominated 21st most disruptive company globally by Disrupt 100 and also been nominated for IPO Life Sciences of the Year 2016.
We have developed a number of products that are very unique we have a first mover advantage and all of them have the ability to generate revenue globally. There is a proven demand, we know there’s more than 3 million people globally that have already frozen their baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells to protect their family against future illness but they do not have an insurance to cover the cost of treatment. We have developed a product, we launched it in the UK and are now looking to launch it across European countries, Latin America and Asia in the next 12 months.
We have a clearly defined development plan across the 3 divisions, the market is growing a lot, the industry is worth $100 billion today and is expected to double in the next 4 years and we have a very experienced team across education, insurance, stem cell technology to execute the business plan.
So, I think that, as a summary, we have this unique positioning that might allow us to become market leaders in the stem cell industry globally in the upcoming years.