London-based mid-market private equity firm Kester Capital today announced an investment in Optibrium, a drug discovery software provider to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. 

The off-market deal is Kester Capital’s third investment in the life sciences sector and follows the closing of its latest fund, Kester Capital II, which had its final close last August at its hard cap. Kester stated that the fundraise was oversubscribed and exceeded its target with a diverse group of new and existing institutional investors.

Optibrium was founded in 2009 by chief executive Matt Segall and chief scientific officer Ed Champness and is based in Cambridge with offices in the US in Boston and San Francisco. The company claims its customer base includes five of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies. Kester Capital stated that it plans to develop the business through organic growth and acquisitions alongside the existing management team.

Optibrium’s StarDrop product is a platform of integrated software for small molecule design, optimisation and data analysis that enhances the speed and productivity of the drug discovery process. The company said its new Cerella product delivers artificial intelligence technology that learns from complex drug discovery data to target high-potential chemical compounds.

Adam Maidment, managing partner of Kester Capital, said: “Optibrium is a cutting-edge software business that is driving some of the most exciting developments within computer aided drug discovery. We had been tracking the business for some time and were really impressed by the team and the business’ achievements. We are looking forward to working with Matt and Ed to grow the business both organically and through acquisition.”

Segall added: “We are delighted to have Kester Capital on board as an investment partner to continue the successful evolution of the business. Kester has extensive experience in the life sciences sector and we are looking forward to working with them to capitalise on the substantial market tailwinds.”

Date published: February 9, 2021

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