bm|t newsletter Q4 2021
We strongly believe an investor base that corresponds well to a company´s evolving needs is an essential element for success, especially in early-stage companies, which evolve rapidly. In fact, one of the aspects we enjoy most about investing in innovative, growth organizations is working with entrepreneurs and co-investors to establish an optimal investor mix to enable the businesses to perform.
In this Newsletter
An Optimal Investor Mix
The establishment of an optimal investor mix is indeed a process rather than an achieved state and in many cases is never completed, as the optimal investor mix changes as a company progresses through various developmental phases. In the early stages of a company´s development, when the enterprise is rapidly developing and frequently reinventing itself, it is absolutely normal and usually quite healthy for the investor base to evolve as well.
To achieve an optimal investor mix, one key ingredient is having an abundance of investors from which to select the ideal partners. We are confident that our network of co-investors and our ability to attract new investors to our Investee-Partners is a valuable asset for founders and entrepreneurs who partner with us. The vast majority of our funds require the participation of private investors on a pari-passu basis with our investment, and this requirement has fortuitously led to the development of a varied and powerful network of private co-investors, including other institutional venture investors, family offices, business angels, corporates, etc.
Because bm|t is fortunate to have this broad and diverse set of co-investors, entrepreneurs who partner with us can gain access to investors who offer a healthy mix of capital, experience, advice, additional networks, resilience and versatility. We have found that a key element in maintaining a healthy investor mix is including investors who have diverse sources of capital and varying investment philosophies.
While having investors with differing underlying views or mandates can be challenging and strenuous, it is generally an advantage for a company, especially when the investor mix is structured and balanced appropriately. For example, we believe it is extremely wise for entrepreneurs, even those who are able to attract sufficient private capital at an early stage, to have an intelligent mix of private and public capital. Importantly, these two investor groups often have a low correlation in their access to capital.
Generally, private investors are less vulnerable to regulatory or politically-driven changes than public funds. Conversely, public investors are less likely to reduce their investment appetite (and in some instances actually increase it) when broader macroeconomic challenges emerge.
The Corona pandemic over the past two years has, for many of our Investee-Partners, certainly demonstrated the value of having public investors, as bm|t was able to access additional capital in the form of two new funds (Thüringer Zukunftfonds & Thüringer Zukunftfonds II) in the midst of a crisis period. We managed these funds with a very similar approach to our standard funds, and were active in deploying capital to ensure our Investee-Partners´ promising developments were not unduly compromised due to the pandemic.
In fact, Q4 was a remarkably prolific quarter of investment activity for us and capped off a record-breaking year, which we detailed in the following press release:
We look forward to continuing to work with all our valued Investee-Partners and Co-Investors in the important quest of establishing an optimal investor mix that catalyzes and propels business success,
Your bm|t Team
This excellent partial exit for bm|t is a perfect example of how an investor base should evolve over time in order to best position a company for ultimate success. bm|t acted as pre-seed investor for Pflegeplatzmanager, and along with a mix of outstanding and well-suited business angel investors provided the initial capital for the company´s platform development and market launch. Pflegeplatzmanager´s rapid market success and strong performance led to a point where the company had created so many growth avenues that it needed larger sums of investment to appropriately address its highly-attractive opportunities. In order to enable this further growth, Deutsche Balaton AG and a group of other investors invested an eight-figure sum in the company. In the context of this investment, and with an eye to achieving this excellent evolution in the investor base, bm|t realized a partial exit and remains a key investor in Pflegeplatzmanager.
For more information about this transformational transaction please see the following press release:
Welcome to the Family
We are extremely pleased and excited to be a core equity investor in Weinert Industries, a newly formed company to consummate the management-led buyout of Leoni´s fiber optics cable business. Weinert Industries will be a significant global player in the fiber optics cable business and will have its headquarters in Thüringen. Partnering with a highly-experienced management team to purchase a well-established player in an attractive space with intriguing growth opportunities, and having the epicenter of the global company here in Thüringen, is an ideal constellation for our Thüringen Industrial fund, with which we invested a seven-figure amount alongside management. We look forward to being a strong partner not only for this transaction but also for Weinert Industries´ future growth and success.
Weinert Industries and bm|t will be publishing much more information about this impactful company and investment in the future. Some background information was already issued by Leoni in this press release:
TrophoSYS is developing a new innovative method for the gender-specific selection of productive animals, which can dramatically improve productivity and enhance food security, all while making a significant contribution to the ethical handling of animals. Importantly, the innovation is based solely on the physiological differences of the cell surfaces and allows for gamete separation without any manipulation of genetic material. The significant progress that the company has made since our initial investment convinced Treuenburg Venture Partners, Sparkasse Jena, and other well-suited private investors to join bm|t in this seven-figure series A round aimed at enabling TrophoSYS to finalize its product development and prepare for market entry.
More information about this excellent Series A round can be found here:
rooom AG offers a complete solution for 3D, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), with which companies and individuals can easily and cost-effectively create, edit, and present individual 3D models and environments online. With this award-winning solution, e‑commerce shops can present their products in 3D and Augmented Reality without losing loading time; the real estate industry can visualize real estate conveniently; and museums can archive temporary exhibitions and make them permanently accessible. rooom AG has recently successfully expanded its original capabilities to become one of the leading metaverse companies globally. bm|t was joined by an ideally-matched private investor in this seven-figure investment round focused on turbo charging the company´s already explosive growth, including intensifying internationalization.
SmartDyeLivery develops functionalized nanoparticles in which therapeutic compounds are enveloped and safely transported to specific organs, which the medicines are targeting. This patented platform delivery technology can be utilized in a wide range of therapeutic applications and also allows for a unique theranostic use case. Currently, the SmartDyeLivery team is developing a therapy for sepsis-induced liver failure with the goal of reducing the mortality rate of such cases by 90%. With this seven-figure investment from bm|t and a renowned family office SmartDyeLivery is well positioned to take its unique nanotherapy through phase one clinical trials and have ample time to evaluate partnership options.
Q‑Sensei originally started with a vision to create faster and better-indexed query results (faceted search) over large amounts of data. The company built an excellent platform for this purpose and has won many well-renowned customers including Netflix and Sequans. Recently, Q‑Sensei has greatly enhanced its front-end user interface and has integrated machine learning and AI aspects into its offering. Q‑Sensei´s tagline is Automating Intelligence and its new ambitious vision is to advance analytics and human-data interaction with Slack-like usability and design — all with extremely easy installation and administration. bm|t and a group of US-based private investors led this investment round aimed at finalizing the new expanded platform development and accelerating sales globally.
LAXXON Medical has made excellent progress in its development of a unique 3D screen printing technology to develop novel pharmaceutical dosage forms. The company´s additive manufacturing process allows for the production of multilayered drugs with novel geometric structures, enabling a controlled release of active components. Importantly, the company’s technology also allows for high-throughput printing so that its production capabilities are almost as interesting as the technological possibilities regarding efficacy and safety aspects of conventional drugs. These include optimization of drug release by heterogeneous distribution, improving treatment success and patient compliance as well as watermarking to combat counterfeiting. Given the substantial medical improvements and the pharmaceutical industry’s strong interest in prolonging the patent life of key drugs through technology transfer, it is hard to imagine a technology with more potential than mass-produced 3D-screen-printed pharmaceuticals. LAXXON recently consolidated its shareholder base into its US Corp TopCo and in the process raised an eight-figure sum to advance its multitude of development projects, often in partnership with well-known pharmaceutical companies.
PreciPoint has done an excellent job creating a suite of products and services for digital microscopy and is poised for explosive growth as it enters the clinical laboratory market after perfecting its craft in the research market. Amazingly, today still approximately 95% of pathology slide analysis is performed analog – humans peering through the classic microscope, making an evaluation, and recording the data. Precipoint´s affordable digital microscope starts with high-resolution digital image capture, which opens many opportunities for additional value creation through algorithmic analysis and easy data transfer, thus breaking the restrictions of physical location for, at times life-saving, interpretation of the data. This seven-figure investment was initiated by multiple family offices and business angels, and the capital will fund the entry into the laboratory market and position PreciPoint well for its upcoming Series A round.
HAPILA (Highly Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Labs) provides high-value services & solutions to a broad range of customer segments, including medium-sized pharmaceutical companies, “Big Pharma”, Generics, R&D, Biotech and Fine Chemicals. The company offers extremely high-level expertise to solve demanding problems in the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients. HAPILA’s services range from early stage development through to GMP manufacturing in the fields of synthesis, purification and design. bm|t led this growth financing focused on expanding the company’s unique manufacturing capabilities and capacity in order to meet already contracted demand for a key product.
oncgnostics’ GynTect test allows women who have tested positive for HPV to quickly gain valuable information regarding the degree of seriousness of their diagnosis. GynTect is able to detect even early stages of DNA methylation which are the first indicators of cancer development. Earlier detection of cancer development allows physicians to treat patients sooner, which can often be lifesaving. Additionally, and very importantly, most HPV infections resolve without progression to cervical cancer, meaning unnecessary operations, treatments, and mental stress can be avoided if it can be demonstrated that an HPV infection has not caused DNA methylation. This investment is designed to allow the company to deepen its relationships with well-suited strategic partners.
siOPTICA is a leading developer and supplier of switchable screen privacy-filter technology with many applications in automotive displays, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and payment terminals. Data privacy is an extremely important topic, and siOPTICA is well-positioned to play an instrumental role in revolutionizing screen-based data privacy solutions. The company recently achieved a significant technological milestone. bm|t led this seven-figure round focused on furthering the industrialization and high-volume manufacturing of the company’s products, as they near market launch.
SpleenLab uses artificial intelligence to greatly improve the utility of aerial vehicles. The company´s tagline is: Safe Machine Learning Solutions. With drones and city air-taxis as key markets with current collaborations in place, SpleenLab is poised to take off and help aerial vehicles reach level 5 – full route and flight automation. bm|t led this seven-figure round focused on further accelerating the company´s revenues and additional technological developments.
APPsolute Mobility’s platform enables companies to design, create, and publish their own apps/environments for internal and external business process optimization. To enable this self-service, APPsolute Mobility has constructed a highly-intuitive and flexible development environment. The company has had significant success in its originally targeted verticals and is now expanding its offering to a wide variety of customers with a convenient SaaS offering. bm|t led this seven-figure round focused on deepening and broadening the customer base, which already boasts many top-name clients.
The Organ-on-a-Chip market remains red hot, and Dynamic42 has developed many unique technologies to improve the results of studies involving synthetic organ systems to test drug toxicity and potency by better mimicking realistic human body conditions. The savings potential for pharma and biotech companies to test compounds in human-like conditions earlier and with significantly lower costs is enormous. bm|t led this investment focused on furthering the company´s IP base, the development of additional organ models, as well as the deepening of projects with large pharma companies.
Dashfactory possesses an innovative product to help protect bicycle riders from hit and run accidents. The company’s solution is a rear-mounted camera that is GDPR compliant because it only saves video material when the legally required distance of passing cars has been breached and the risk of an accident is established. The Dashbike dashcam can also generate urban and traffic data to assist in digitizing bicycle traffic for smart infrastructure planning. Through its DASHTRACK product, Dashfactory partners with cities to make a valuable contribution to safer bicycle mobility and infrastructure by providing data such as critical risk spots, frequented routes, and road conditions. bm|t lead this round aimed at building on the early success of both the DASHCAM & DASHTRACK businesses.
More information about Dashfactory´s developments and this investment can be found here:
Green light for safe cycling and smart cities: Dashfactory GmbH closes follow-up financing round with bm|t
Jenetric is a biometric company focused on digital fingerprint capture. It is the pioneer and one of few companies worldwide able to effectively employ TFT technology for fingerprint sensing on screens. The company´s core market is homeland and border security, and its mobile devices are highly innovative and have opened up many new use cases for mobile fingerprint-based security, such as police forces. bm|t led this investment aimed at continuing to ramp up revenues and further the company´s increasing strength in complementary software.
mi2-Factory is one of the deepest tech companies in bm|t’s portfolio. The company is specialized on phenomenally accurate and structured ion implantation in silicon carbide wafers, which dramatically enhances the performance of the microchips. mi2-Factory already collaborates with many of the top chip manufacturers on cutting edge R&D projects. Since our original investment mi2-Factory´s thesis that silicon carbide chips will experience extremely high growth has proven correct. Silicon carbide chips are now being designed into many applications that require high voltages, such as renewable energy and e‑mobility. bm|t led this investment to advance the integration of mi2-Factory´s energy filter into the wafer finishing processes and enable the company to continue to deepen its relationship with leading players in the semiconductor space.
PaketIn has developed a cloud and app-based system for the management of parcel delivery boxes, which can, for example, be placed outside apartment buildings or homes in order to greatly reduce friction in the delivery and receiving of packages, which became even more of an issue during the pandemic. Delivery services and apartment or home residents can simply open or lock the box doors using the app, and push notifications and status updates are easily seen on users’ smartphones. The variety of applications for PaketIn’s technology platform is extensive, and this investment from bm|t will primarily fund expansion into additional markets.
More details about PaketIn and this investment are available here:
Parcel delivery for industry and local trade reimagined ‑PAKETIN closes new six-figure financing round
Save the Date — Investor Days Thüringen 2022
On June 14th and 15th, Investor Days Thüringen (IDT), the premier early- and growth-stage pitch event in middle Germany, will be welcoming over 500 participants, with approximately 60 start-ups presenting their innovations and visions. We are prepared for either a live event (our strong hope!) or a fully-digital version like last year. We are looking forward to seeing you in June!