Esco Lifesciences raises $200m in Vivo Capital, Novo Holdings-led round

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Singapore-based Esco Lifesciences, which provides products and services for the life sciences and healthcare industries, has announced the closure of an oversubscribed $200 million Series A and crossover round led by Vivo Capital and Novo Holdings.  

The round saw participation from new investors including EDBI, which is the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, and China Investment Corporation.

Esco said the financing is a significant milestone as the company embarks on a growth plan that involves strategic bolt-on mergers and acquisitions and an accelerated expansion in China, its priority market. 

Proceeds from the latest round will be used to establish an innovation hub in Boston focused on cell and gene therapy tools and technologies, said Esco chairman and CEO Lin Xiangqian. 

“We will increase our R&D and in-licensing efforts to develop and commercialise novel life science research tools in emerging domains, thus enabling fundamental scientific discoveries and, ultimately, the diagnostics and medicines of tomorrow,” he added. 

As part of the transaction, Novo Holdings Asia chief and senior partner Amit Kakar will join Esco’s board.

“Novo Holdings established its Asia presence with the opening of its Singapore office in January of this year and our investment in Esco is a very important milestone in the development of our regional ambitions,” Kakar said in a statement.

Founded in 1978 as a cleanroom technology company, Esco pivoted to life sciences two decades later, producing laboratory and biological safety equipment. It was the first Asian manufacturer to earn the EN 12469 certification for biological safety cabinets. 

Esco has a presence in 100 countries, with offices in over 20 countries as well as eight manufacturing and R&D hubs globally. 

In March, IFR reported that Esco was planning to go public in Hong Kong, possibly in the fourth quarter of the year to raise between $300 million and $500 million.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.