By Kristy Dorsey

Biotech start-up Dyneval has secured more than £1.8 million in funding as it prepares to launch its first product at the start of next year.

A spin-out from the University of Edinburgh, Roslin-based Dyneval has developed portable technology that analyses cattle semen in a bid to boost conception rates, which have fallen by 20 per cent during the past four decades. It has been estimated that this costs the average dairy farmer in the UK approximately £37,000 per year.

The company has raised £1.29m of Series A equity investment in a funding round that included Northern Irish entrepreneur Jim Dobson of Cottagequinn Enterprises, Scottish investment groups Kelvin Capital, Par Equity and Gabriel Investments, and Scottish Enterprise. A further grant of £575,000 has been secured from InnovateUK through its Transforming Food Production partnership.

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Set up in April 2020 by chief executive Tiffany Wood and chief technology officer Vincent Martinez, the company’s Dynescan instrument provides more reliable measurements of livestock semen quality to ensure only the right samples are used for reproduction. Independent analysis has suggested that a 27% increase in conception rates could cut the carbon footprint of farming by 20%.

With the launch scheduled for January, Ms Wood said it is “an incredibly exciting time” for the business.

“Dyneval’s technology is automated and easy to use so that anyone can check semen quality, from the time it leaves a genetics company, during storage on farm, and prior to insemination by a technician,” she said. “Through regular checks, our tool will improve the quality, handling and storage procedures for semen across the livestock production industry.”

Earlier this year, Dyneval was awarded £100,000 as winner in the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation category of the Scottish EDGE competition. This latest funding will lead to an expansion of the team, with seven new recruits to be hired.

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Mr Dobson is founder and former chief executive of Dunbia, one of the UK’s largest meat processors exporting to more than 50 countries around the world. Having now retired to head up his Cottagequinn investment vehicle, he has joined Dyneval as a non-executive director.

“Dyneval met our criteria of being an early-stage company, looking for smart money with a focus on a solution that is a clear win for agri-production, not only in the UK but globally,” he said.

“We look forward to an exciting journey with a great team in Dyneval as they aim to address key challenges in the agri-food supply chain.”