Chinese Genomics Firm MGI Tech Gets USD 1 Billion in Biotech PE Bullpen

Healthcare Author: Yusuf Tuna May 28, 2020 12:30 PM (GMT+8)

The firm is the manufacturing sister of China's largest genome sequencing company, BGI Genomics.

The "Huo-Yan " nucleic acid test laboratory in Wuhan, jointly established by Chinese genomics giant BGI and MGI. Image credit: MGI media kit

MGI Tech (华大智造), a Shenzhen-based gene sequencing equipment supplier, has completed its Series B financing round, worth USD 1 billion, led by a series of venture capitalists and private equity heavyweights. The firm had previously raised over USD 200 million from Goldstone, Orient Securities and Green Pine Capital  Partners in 2019.

The firm was founded as the subsidiary of BGI Group, the parent company of the Chinese genomics heavyweight BGI Genomics (华大基因) (300676:SH). The BGI Group subsidiary has been primarily been producing clinical gene sequencers but has also been providing genetic sequencing, medical imaging, and laboratory automation products and services. 

Both MGI Tech and BGI Genomics are strategic companies in China's life sciences and healthcare scene. The sister companies are regarded as the country's first globally-competitive set of genome sequencing companies.

Check this in-depth article on how BGI Genomics helped Chinese companies to resume work after Covid-19.

Chinese genomics pioneers have used foreign acquisitions in their quest to become competitive in the field, as well. In March 2013, Complete Genomics was acquired by BGI Genomics. In 2018, Complete Genomics became part of MGI, which was the instrument manufacturing business of BGI.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, BGI Genomics has initiated a plethora of new businesses and expanded its operational network across geographies. It even received a formal Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in March 2020.

BGI Genomics' stock price jumped around 100% from CNY 66 levels to CNY 124 between January 1st and May 28 of 2020. Meanwhile, its total revenues reached around USD 394 million in 2019 with approximately 17.8% CAGR from 2012 to 2019. Healthcare, biotech and IT industry-related deals outperformed in private equity markets in the first quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 related paradigm shifts. 

MGI Tech did not immediately answer EqualOcean's inquiry about this financing round.