Cheshire-based life sciences startup Cryoniss secures £500,000 investment from NPIF – Maven

The investment will allow Cryoniss, a specialist provider of temperature controlled storage and logistics management services for the life sciences sector, to scale up their operations and sales team.

Cheshire-based life sciences startup Cryoniss is targeting accelerated domestic and international growth after securing a £500,000 investment from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

Founded in 2018 by Sonia Houghton and Phil Hargreaves, Cryoniss provides temperature-controlled biological sample storage and logistics solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, universities, and clinical research organisations.

The company has sites at the Alderley Park bioscience campus near Macclesfield and The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn.

The funding will enable Cryoniss to create new jobs, expand its service offering and invest in green technology as it seeks to create new jobs in the North West and grow its customer base initially in the UK and Europe.

Gavin Bell, senior investment manager at Maven, said: “We are delighted to invest in this growing North West business within the life sciences sector that is aiming to revolutionise a delicate and critical variety of outsourced activities. Sonia and Phil are both highly skilled operators and are complemented by an experienced board to help steer the growth plan. We look forward to working with them as they embark on an ambitious programme of growth.”

Sonia Houghton, co-founder and CEO at Cryoniss, said: “Cryoniss has always been passionate about enabling exceptional science – taking the headaches and the stresses away from the scientists at the bench so that they can continue to put patients first. With this investment, we can extend the range of services we offer and broaden our customer base as a truly global provider.

“We plan to more than double our workforce, ensuring that sample integrity remains at the heart of what we do and that our standards are never compromised, and also to invest in greener technologies and sustainable solutions for our storage facilities. It’s a massively exciting time for the whole team, who are looking forward to building on the strong foundation we’ve established in order to make Cryoniss a world-class bio-service provider.”

Sue Barnard from the British Business Bank, said: “Cryoniss is the latest in a series of life sciences businesses to secure backing from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. Operating out of Alderley Park – one of a number of hubs for scientific excellence in the North – this deal demonstrates how support provided by our fund managers can help to facilitate business growth in the region, create new job opportunities and catalyse innovation, in turn creating a more prosperous regional economy.”

Bamburgh Capital advised Cryoniss on the transaction, with Alex Clarkson and Edward Thompson leading the team.

Alex Clarkson, Director at Bamburgh Capital, said: “We are delighted to have helped Cryoniss secure prominent investors capable of supporting management’s exciting ambitions in the UK and internationally. This investment validates the strong foundations that have been laid by the team as they seek to deliver the growth plan.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Slater Heelis provided legal advice on the transaction, with partners Rhian Owen and Simon Wallwork, and Solicitor Mark Warburton from the North West law firm’s commercial division overseeing the deal.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project, which is designed to boost SME growth in the North of England, is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

investment | Cryoniss

Further information

For media enquiries or any questions about the investment, please contact:

Cryoniss Ltd.

01625 460235
Maven Capital Partners
Emma Neal 0191 731 8590
Sapience Communications
Tania Wild 020 3195 3240

Notes to Editors

About Cryoniss Limited 

As a North West-based bioscience company, Cryoniss offer end-to-end lifecycle management of the temperature-critical storage, processing and distribution of biological samples, cell & gene therapy products, including vaccines, and other life sciences materials. The dual site, world-class facilities, at Alderley Park Bioscience Park and The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn, provide resilient and secure storage for all biological materials, from ambient temperature down to -196˚C. Next-day or same-day access to samples is standard for UK customers. The specialist services are available to clients on a 24/7/365 basis.

As scientists, Cryoniss care about the research generated by the scientific community. Outstanding customer service is the primary focus and priority of the organization, driven by the team’s deep domain experience in the life sciences sector. Cryoniss’ quality philosophy ensures an agile and responsive culture that ensures the safety and integrity of every sample.

About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP


Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (Maven) is a lower-mid cap private equity house focused on the provision of growth capital and mezzanine finance to SMEs across the UK. It is one of the most active private equity fund managers in the country, managing over £415 million of assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, UK regional debt and equity funds, and Maven Investor Partners – a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.

Headquartered in Glasgow, and with ten other offices throughout the UK, Maven has nationwide coverage of the market for SME finance and is introduced to around 400 deals per year through 20 regionally based investment executives. With over 50 staff and partners, Maven executes a range of private company transactions, offers hands-on proactive portfolio management to investee companies and provides a fully integrated back-office support function to client and third-party fund managers. Since 2009 Maven has invested over £285 million in SMEs across the UK.

About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium-sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.
  • The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit
  • The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
  • The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available here.