A firm that developed pioneering oil analysis technology expects to double staff numbers after securing a seven figure investment amid the challenging market conditions resulting from the coronavirus crisis.

RAB-Microfluidics has raised £1.24 million in a funding round led by the Eos Advisory investment syndicate.

The funding will allow Aberdeen-based RAB-Microfluidics to strengthen its team ahead of a push for growth. Its ‘lab on a chip’ technology allows firms to monitor the condition of oil used in heavy machinery on location rather than having to transport it to laboratories.

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The sectors served by the company include oil and gas, aerospace, transport and manufacturing.

The funding round provides a notable vote of confidence in RAB-Microfluidics at a time when the prospects for industries such as oil and gas and aviation are mired in uncertainty.

Businesses operating in areas such as the North Sea have slashed spending in response to the plunge in oil prices triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Associated lockdowns have resulted in a slump in the aviation industry.

However, RAB-Microfluidics may be able to capitalise on the efforts that are being made by many firms to cut costs and increase efficiency, to help them cope with challenging conditions.

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Rotimi Alabi, founder and chief executive of RAB-Microfluidics, said the company was revolutionising oil testing and analysis services.

He noted: “We do this by delivering oil analysis more than one thousand times faster and around ten times cheaper than the current approach that is based on sending oil samples to laboratories.”

Eos Advisory’s managing partner, Andrew McNeill, described RAB-Microfluidics as one of the most exciting early-stage Scottish technology companies in the energy sector.

He said St Andrews-based Eos had brought together a strong set of investors to support RAB-Microfluidics through its next phase of growth.

The latest funding round was supported by London-based Newable Ventures as well as existing investors.

Scottish Enterprise provided support.

With a background in geoscience, Mr Alabi founded RAB-Microfluidics in 2016 and span the business out of the University of Aberdeen.

The business employs five people currently.

The Eos syndicate was formed in 2014. The syndicate says it has made 12 investments in early stage science, engineering and technology companies, along with 23 follow-on investments.

Other firms in its portfolio included the Novosound sensor technology business and the ICL Therapeutics biotechnology operation.