Science-led testing designed for athletes benefits from investment boost
The winners of the ‘Welsh Innovation of the Year Award’ at the Welsh SME Business Awards 2019, Forth, are set to turnover £1m this year following a £250,000 equity investment from the Development Bank of Wales.
Founded in 2016 by female entrepreneur Sarah Bolt, the Chepstow based business creates personal biomarker profiles using at-home blood testing kits.
With over 10,000 users, Forth’s customers are provided with an understanding of their body’s key internal biomarkers for good health using a simple pinprick blood test. The scientific blood testing is undertaken at accredited labs then uploaded to their customer’s personalised results dashboard accessible through the web portal or the Forth app.
Working with an expert team of biochemists and medical doctors, Forth has identified the most relevant and accurate biomarkers for home blood testing including diet, fitness, general well-being and hormone health. Tests include female fertility, menopause, thyroid checks, testosterone, cholesterol and diabetes.
In the past two years, based on consumer demand, Forth has developed the only sports-specific bio tracker in the world designed to optimise endurance, power and strength, known as Forth Edge. The primary market is endurance athletes, such as road cyclists, triathletes and Ironman participants. The kits are designed for both amateur and professional athletes who want to improve their performance and set new PB’s. The results give athletes insight into whether they are over-trained, under recovered or need to improve their diet.
Each Forth Edge kit has been specifically tailored to the main type of exercise activity and include both a male and female version, ensuring only the most relevant biomarkers are analysed and interpreted.
Personalised test profiles can also be created. Using an unique algorithm which was developed in conjunction with the sports science team at Swansea University, users to build their own test tailored to their circumstances such as the number of hours spent training, the type of activity and any areas of concern or existing conditions.
The £250,000 equity co-investment from the Development Bank of Wales was as a result of an introduction by business angel Craig Gulliford, CEO of Creo Medical. Creo was the fourth company in the Development Bank’s technology venture portfolio to have listed on AIM within four years. The company has successfully raised over £100 million with their initial public offering (IPO) in December 2016 and subsequent raises on the London Stock Exchange through AIM.
Sarah Bolt is founder and Chief Executive of Forth. She said: “Our results dashboard is intuitive and easy to understand so that we can empower the consumer to understand more about their own health. Results of the at-home tests are processed within 48 hours via a personalised dashboard and I am proud to say that we are the only biomarker profiling company to offer our customer a mobile app.
“With the support of Craig Gulliford and the Development Bank of Wales, we are now well-placed to further develop our offering with plans to export to Europe later this year. This is a new market so it took confidence on their part to believe in our product and support us with our mission to help the new digital health consumer to be the best they can be.”