Bill Gates fund invests in Australian start-up Atomo


12th August, 2016 10:58:43 printer

Bill Gates fund invests in Australian start-up Atomo


An investment fund backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates has taken a multimillion dollar stake in an Australian biotech start-up.


Atomo Diagnostics has invented quick, cheap and accurate tests for HIV, malaria and Ebola.


Global Health Investment Fund purchased an 8.4% stake in the medical company for about A$3.3m (£1.9m, $2.5m).


The fund, a joint venture between the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan, finances initiatives that benefit global health.


The US fund focuses on infectious diseases that include malaria, pre-eclampsia, cholera and river blindness.


Atomo's valuation after the latest round of investment is around A$30m.


Other major investors in the company include Macquarie Group chief executive Allan Moss and billionaire property developer Lang Walker.


A spokesman for the medical device company said that it was one of the few groups the Gates-backed fund had invested in directly.


"Their focus is on the developing world - that's why Atomo caught their attention," a company spokesman said.


"The company has decided to focus on some of the biggest global diseases like HIV and malaria."


It will continue to focus on user-friendly and accurate medical testing devices to treat global diseases.


"The focus for the next 12 months is to launch a rapid home blood test for HIV in South Africa," the spokesman said.