FastForward Innovations targets significant upside with portfolio of early stage tech firms

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What it does

FastForward Innovations Limited (LON:FFWD) is an investment company specialising in early stage emerging technology companies.

The group says its investments are those that its directors have identified as “having significant upside” for the company.

What it owns

  • The Diabetic Boot Company – Firm focused on the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers through its PulseFlow diabetic-friendly footwear
  • Factom – Blockchain company using the technology to simplify records management, record business processes and address security and compliance issues
  • Vemo Education – Education technology company that looks to solve student debt problems by developing income share agreement programmes and deferred tuition plans
  • Leap Gaming – Developer and provider of 3D gaming technology and products with a focus on virtual sports and virtual casino
  • Juvenescence – Therapeutics and development company focusing on improving and extending human lifespans
  • Emmac – Company focused on the production and supply of medicinal cannabis, hemp and other derivative products
  • Portage Biotech – Works to enable research & development to produce clinical programs for a variety of cancers by providing funding, strategic business and clinical counsel, and shared services
  • Yooma – Hemp-based wellness products firm planning to partner with some of Pan-Asia’s leading social and e-commerce platforms to create the first hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) lifestyle company in Asia

How it is doing

In September, Juvenescence signed a partnership deal to licence Evgen Pharma’s sulforaphane stabilization technology for use in several non-pharmaceutical applications led by its JuvLife division.

In August, the US bankruptcy court for the district of Delaware and shareholders approved a revised chapter 11 plan of reorganisation for its investee company Factom, which allows the company’s US$6mln simple agreement for future equity note to be converted to equity in Factom.

Leap Gaming entered an agreement with Vivo Gaming to join its third-party games portfolio. Vivo, which has over 15 years’ experience with live dealer and B2B gaming, will distribute Leap’s games – including virtual sports, table games, and slots.

Also in the summer, EMMAC Life Sciences secured a Swiss licence which allows it to import, distribute and export medicinal products, including medical cannabis, for domestic, EU and international markets.

FastForward noted it has a “great opportunity to scale up” and focus its capital on the areas of life sciences, longevity, healthcare and cannabinoid therapies. In the year to March 31, the company’s net asset value (NAV) stood at around GBP14.2mln compared to GBP19.07mln in the prior year.

What the boss says: Ed McDermott, chief executive

“During the year, we have maintained focus on our strategy to provide investors with exposure to disruptive growth opportunities that have near-term re-rating potential and which would otherwise be inaccessible.”

“As is the nature of investing in early stage venture capital investments, our investments have performed to varying degrees of success and it has become apparent that as a board we want to capitalise on our knowledge in the health and wellness arena and focus primarily on future investments within those sectors.”


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