xénos' largest investment helps keep the UK’s 1.3 million horses in the best of health

12 September 2011

An equine health company which provides an innovative "Intelligent Worming‟ service for horse owners has received a £610,000 investment from a xénos business angel.

Carmarthen-based EPLA will use the investment to build a bespoke diagnostic laboratory and accelerate its growth. EPLA estimates that there are over 70,000 horses owners in the UK and the equine worming treatment market is valued at £75 million-a-year.

EPLA, which is the only provider of such a service in the UK, designs individual worming programmes for horses and delivers the treatment at the right time. Founder, Diane Gilby developed its service in partnership with the University of Liverpool.

"Our service is revolutionising equine healthcare by making it easier to administer an effective worming programme. We‟ve developed a convenient, cost-effective service that provides peace of mind for horse owners and we‟re already treating over 6,000 horses," explained EPLA‟s Managing Director, Graham Williams.

"Fewer than 10% of owners are worming their horses correctly and with our "Intelligent Worming‟ service we can assess a horse‟s worm infestation, carry out a risk assessment, devise an appropriate worming programme and automatically despatch treatments at the right time."

EPLA has previously received investment from two xénos angels, including Robin Williams who has made this latest investment.

Commenting on his latest investment, Williams said: "I was keen to increase my investment in EPLA because it provides a unique service aimed at the large animal health market. Demand for the company‟s service is growing and there are also some exciting plans for the future. They say the UK is a nation of horse lovers and EPLA has come up with a great service to make sure UK horses stay in the best of health."

Gilby was keen to secure investment for EPLA from an angel who could also play a part in developing the business, so she approached xénos, the Wales Business Angel Network.

Colin Lucas, xénos manager said: "This is our largest investment to date and it‟s an excellent example of xénos in action. We‟ve matched a great business with an angel who has invested twice and has the skills to help the company grow. I‟d urge other businesses to contact us to see whether or not they could benefit from angel investment."

EPLA estimates that there are over 1.3 million horses in the UK and the market for equine wormers and faecal egg counts is valued at £75 million-a-year.

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