Former RBS executive joins St Andrews-based impact investment firm
A former RBS executive who specialises in growing the market for mission-led businesses has joined St Andrews-based ‘impact investment’ firm Eos.
Jill Arnold, who also recently headed SIS Ventures, a social investment vehicle, joins the company as it goes through a period of expansion.
Arnold, who joins as investor relations director, adds to recent hires including Andrew Durkie as partner, and Andy Lothian and Sandy Kennedy as non-executive growth advisors in 2022.
Ana Stewart, Eos partner and chair – and author of the recently published Scottish commissioned Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship review – said: “From her time guiding RBS’s purpose-led strategy, to heading up the venture arm of Social Investment Scotland, Jill has demonstrated significant leadership and a highly-tuned understanding of the investment scene. The Eos team and I feel very fortunate to have her on board.”
Founded in St Andrews in 2014 and led by managing partner Andrew McNeill since 2018, the firm says strong deal flow and portfolio growth has led to an evolution of strategy.
McNeill said: “Access to capital and access to expertise are the two main challenges for all early-stage companies. We remain seed-stage investors, but as our portfolio scales we are reacting by bringing in more later-stage growth capital and a network to scale outside of Scotland into larger commercial markets.
“Eos specialises in knowledge-intensive science and technology that addresses key global issues, so our own evolution as a business is taking place in the context of individuals and family offices having more consideration of the purpose of their investments, alongside financial returns.”
Eos invests in four key impact areas: disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment; energy security, climate change and pollution; food and water security, and; sustainability of industrial processes and infrastructure.
The firm operates the Eos Syndicate, Eos EIS Innovation Fund, and Eos Venture Partnerships, as part of a wider strategy to support the funding of Scottish innovation at and beyond seed stage.
McNeill added: “As our portfolio continues to mature, we are seeing value inflection points with a number of Series A, B and C rounds, as well as exit opportunities. Our metric for success is growth and exits, as opposed to amounts invested.
“However, it can be helpful to quantify our inputs, investing in the region of £15m at seed stage on an annual basis. As our current portfolio moves up the gears, we are projecting that they will need in excess of £170m of growth capital requirements in the next 18 months.”
Three additional investments were announced during Q1 including the £9.7 million Series A round in clinical-stage diagnostics company Dxcover alongside Mercia Asset Management, Scottish Enterprise, the University of Strathclyde, SIS Ventures, and Norcliffe Capital.
Glasgow-headquartered foodtech scaleup ENOUGH, which produces protein through fermenting fungi using renewable feedstocks, is one of Eos’s early portfolio companies, was originally a spinout of the University of Strathclyde, and has raised over £60m of investment to date, including a Series B round of approximately £36m in 2021.
Eos’s current portfolio includes Bioliberty, Carcinotech, Chromacity, Cumulus Oncology, Dxcover, Nth, Green Bioactives, ENOUGH, GM Flow, ILC Therapeutics, Naturbeads, Novosound, Penrhos Bio, RAB Microfluidics, Rooser, Waire Health, Wobble Genomics, and Xelect.