Building financial infrastructures for Imophoron

Building financial infrastructures for Imophoron

Imophoron was founded in 2017 and is based at Science Creates in Bristol, UK. Imophoron has developed a novel next-generation nanoparticle platform, ADDomer™, initially focused on the development of vaccines to combat present and future infectious diseases. ADDomer also has significant potential to generate therapeutic candidates to treat diseases with high unmet needs such as oncology. Imophoron completed a seed financing of £4m in September 2021 and currently has nine employees.

The challenge

Imophoron, founded by Fred Garzoni, went from being a start up in the vaccine world to attracting the backing of investors to the tune of £4m+. As with similar stories across the tech space, this wasn’t an easy journey and one that is still far from over. Anyone who has been part of a start-up or managed a business themselves will know that what can seem like a very simple idea can turn in to a maze of technical, legal, and financial issues.

Fred explains that “as a small company, it is challenging to find a cost-effective way to run the financial needs of the company, which ranges from straightforward processing of purchase invoices to complex R&D tax credit claims. When setting up the company, it was evident that the best way to address this was to find an external accountancy company, with appropriate expertise across a broad range of areas, that was able to service all of our financial requirements as opposed to attempting to attempting to build this capability in house.”

Countex has a close relationship with the science incubator where Imophoron is located, with the team often being on site to assist the companies who are based here.

“Being on site also allows Countex to learn about the businesses they service. This strong interpersonal element was a key factor in deciding to work with Countex.”

The solution

Countex began its partnership with Imophoron at the end of 2021. Fred naturally wanted to be focused on the science, and bringing the ADDomer to further use following the Covid-19 pandemic, so immediately assisted with establishing the accounting and finance side of the business.

We worked closely with Fred and the team to develop accounting processes that would streamline the accounting function for Imophoron but also provide the transparency and clarity for management decisions and investor pitches. On top of this, we guided Imophoron through the R&D tax credit process to get Imophoron the maximum amount of tax incentives possible to put back into their projects.

As an outsourced finance function, completing tasks from basic bookkeeping and payroll, all the way to future investor forecasts, was part of our repertoire. We structured the finances around what Imophoron needed to provide to investors and reorganised management accounts to cut out anything that wasn’t needed.

“The Countex approach is to integrate themselves into the company team and processes as far as possible. One of the key challenges of working with external accountants is ensuring a seamless service when working remotely from the team and company facilities. Countex has been extremely proactive in suggesting and implementing cost-effective software solutions and processes that have streamlined our financial operations and enabled remote working to operate successfully.”

Ultimately our aim was to take the pressure off and to facilitate growth. We introduced our systems and took care of the finances so that Imophoron could spend more time preparing the vaccine for the future and less time looking at their books.

“The company benefits from the economies of scale Countex achieves by building a platform that services their client base, enabling the use of resource-saving solutions that may be prohibitively expensive for Imophoron to implement on a stand-alone basis.

“The platform that Countex provides enables us to deliver accurate and timely financial information to our board and investors, and to ensure strong financial controls can operate, which is particularly important as the company grows and develops. Through working with Countex, we have been able to benefit from a range of time- and cost-saving applications that it would not otherwise have been aware of, also saving significant amounts of management time in the process.”

The future

“As the relationship with Countex has grown and developed, we expect to work more closely with the Countex team on areas such as business planning and forecasting.”

As part of this closer working relationship, John Barrow will become an integrated member of the Imophoron team, acting as the company’s Finance Director. This will enable John to learn more about the business to better support its needs, and gives Imophoron increased access to John’s financial expertise.