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bm|t newsletter Q3 2018

Wel­come to bm|t’s Q3 newslet­ter at the end of a record-break­ing quar­ter for invest­ment activ­ity. If your part­ners or col­leagues might be inter­ested in our reg­u­lar updates, please don’t hes­i­tate to share this link.

In this Newsletter 

Wheeling and Dealing

The title of this quarter’s newslet­ter is not meant in the usual sense of loose trans­act­ing. In fact, quite to the con­trary. ›Wheel­ing and deal­ing‹ just per­fectly describes bm|t’s activ­i­ties in Q3. Wheel­ing, in the sense that we criss­crossed Thürin­gen and indeed Ger­many even more than usual this quar­ter, work­ing with our val­ued cur­rent investee part­ners to build suc­cess­ful busi­nesses and iden­ti­fy­ing and gain­ing new investee part­ners.  Deal­ing, in the sense that we closed 14 deals in the quar­ter, which con­sti­tutes a record quar­ter of invest­ment activ­ity for bm|t.  This year, the clas­sic sum­mer lull (Som­mer­loch) turned into a sum­mer foun­tain of com­pelling investments.

We will omit our tra­di­tional philo­soph­i­cal invest­ing com­men­tary this quar­ter, so we can focus your val­ued atten­tion exclu­sively on our many impor­tant invest­ments of the quar­ter.  We hope you enjoy the quick reads about the com­pa­nies as much as we did clos­ing the investments!

Welcome to the Family

We made our first ever invest­ment out­side of Thürin­gen this quar­ter.  Our Mit­tel­stands­fonds Thürin­gen (MFT) allows for a por­tion of the fund to be invested out­side of Thürin­gen, and we decided to employ this option for a truly excep­tional invest­ment.  c‑LEcta is a world-lead­ing Leipzig-based enzyme devel­op­ment com­pany, which raised a size­able invest­ment round in order to com­plete its evo­lu­tion from an enzyme research and engi­neer­ing com­pany to devel­op­ing and com­mer­cial­iz­ing its own enzyme-based prod­ucts.  We are extremely impressed by the breadth and depth of the man­age­ment team, the clear vision and direc­tion of the com­pany, and the large poten­tial of the company’s pro­pri­etary food and nutri­tional enhance­ment prod­ucts.  We could not be more pleased to be a co-investor with Capri­corn Ven­ture Part­ners from Bel­gium in this very high-poten­tial investment.

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Heyfair’s vision is to rad­i­cally improve the use of hand dis­in­fec­tant by mak­ing the cov­er­age vis­i­ble to the user and oth­ers. The com­pany has strong IP around the addi­tion of a spe­cial dye that makes hand dis­in­fec­tant appear col­or­fully when applied and sub­se­quently the color com­pletely dis­ap­pears within two min­utes of appli­ca­tion. Mak­ing the com­plete­ness (or lack thereof) of hand dis­in­fec­tant appli­ca­tion vis­i­ble helps to ensure that med­ical staff suf­fi­ciently dis­in­fect between each encounter with a patient.  With the rise of antibi­otic-resis­tant super bugs, it is imper­a­tive that med­ical prac­ti­tion­ers have a tool to vis­i­bly ver­ify and coerce their actions to min­i­mize the spread of dis­ease in their hos­pi­tals and clin­ics. With this invest­ment from bm|t and mul­ti­ple expe­ri­enced busi­ness angels with ideal back­grounds to help Hey­fair bring its prod­uct to mar­ket, Hey­fair is well on its way to rein­vent­ing hand sanitation.

Inter¦cus is a highly inno­v­a­tive designer and man­u­fac­turer of trau­ma­tol­ogy solu­tions.  The trau­ma­tol­ogy mar­ket is attrac­tive, gen­er­ally car­ry­ing even higher gross mar­gins than the ortho­pe­dics mar­ket, but it is also highly com­pet­i­tive with sev­eral large play­ers con­trol­ling a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of the global mar­ket. Impor­tantly, over 15 years Inter¦cus has repeat­edly proven its abil­ity to develop inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies, which make the company’s prod­ucts highly demanded by physi­cians.  This invest­ment round is pre­dom­i­nantly focused on bring­ing three new highly inno­v­a­tive and pro­pri­etary prod­ucts to mar­ket over the next two years. These prod­ucts alone have the poten­tial to increase the company’s sales many mul­ti­ples above cur­rent lev­els.  We are extremely pleased to be invested in a proven sub­stan­tial com­pany that pos­sesses a very attrac­tive near-term pipeline.

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Pamyra has built an impres­sive and effi­cient book­ing plat­form for ship­ping (spedi­tion) that allows cus­tomers to quickly com­pare options and to book a pre­ferred ship­ping provider.  Using Pamyra saves cus­tomers sig­nif­i­cant time and money and makes incom­ing orders much eas­ier to triage and process for ship­ping providers.  The com­pany has recently tested mul­ti­ple sales and mar­ket­ing chan­nels and the results in terms of cus­tomer acqui­si­tion costs vs. book­ing activ­ity and stick­i­ness are very com­pelling.  bm|t joined another insti­tu­tional investor and sev­eral pri­vate investors for this invest­ment, which Pamyra will use to fur­ther ramp vol­ume on its impres­sive ship­ping platform.

In Ger­many, hos­pi­tals are legally required to find place­ment in a nurs­ing home for patients that are unable to safely return to their home after a hos­pi­tal stay.  The search for an avail­able and appro­pri­ate nurs­ing home place­ment is extremely time inten­sive for both hos­pi­tals and nurs­ing homes.  Pflege­platz­man­ager has built a user-friendly and easy to oper­ate cloud-based soft­ware plat­form that allows hos­pi­tals to see which nurs­ing home beds are avail­able with full details about the care-level of the facil­i­ties. Nurs­ing homes can more opti­mally plan and book their avail­abil­ity and can more eas­ily avoid receiv­ing patients whose care needs dif­fer from the inten­sity level that they pro­vide.  Early results show that Pflege­platz­man­ager is reduc­ing the aver­age time required to appro­pri­ately match a patient to an appro­pri­ate nurs­ing home bed from days to under two hours, and con­se­quently avoid­ing much frus­tra­tion for facil­i­ties and fam­i­lies and sav­ing the sys­tem sig­nif­i­cant sums of money.  With this invest­ment from bm|t, the MBG Thürin­gen, and an expe­ri­enced busi­ness angel, Pflege­platz­man­ager has the resources it needs to focus on rapidly increas­ing its cus­tomer den­sity and cre­ate a pow­er­ful net­work effect.

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 used for a wide range of ther­a­peu­tic appli­ca­tions and also allows for a unique ther­a­nos­tic use case.  Cur­rently the Smart­Dye­Liv­ery team is focus­ing on a ther­apy for sep­sis induced liver fail­ure with the goal of reduc­ing the mor­tal­ity rate of such cases by 90%.  With this invest­ment from bm|t and a savvy busi­ness angel, Smart­Dye­Liv­ery is well posi­tioned to take its unique nan­oth­er­apy through the next stage of clin­i­cal development.

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Sixty per­cent of travel in Ger­many con­tin­ues to be booked through phys­i­cal travel agen­cies.  Despite con­sumer financ­ing hav­ing pen­e­trated most retail ver­ti­cals, with, for exam­ple, nearly every piece of elec­tronic equip­ment avail­able for financed pur­chase, the vast major­ity of travel agen­cies offer no financ­ing options for cus­tomers.  Ucan­doo has devel­oped a sleek and eas­ily inte­grated plat­form for travel agen­cies to quickly offer con­sumers financ­ing options for travel.  For many con­sumers, expe­ri­ences are becom­ing more val­ued than mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions, and we believe Ucan­doo is well posi­tioned to be a lead­ing plat­form for increas­ing access to travel experiences.

Follow-on Investments

Crowd Archi­tects has devel­oped a soft­ware that allows for the track­ing of online sales gen­er­ated by influ­encer mar­ket­ing. Cur­rently, there is not suf­fi­cient attri­bu­tion analy­sis across chan­nels and over time for mar­keters to prop­erly ana­lyze the effec­tive­ness of influ­encer cam­paigns.  Crowd Archi­tects’ IROIN prod­uct, now allows brands and agen­cies engag­ing in influ­encer mar­ket­ing to gen­er­ate a mean­ing­ful ROI for influ­encer spend. bm|t was joined in this round by a group of investors linked to a cor­po­ra­tion that is active in the mobile and influ­encer mar­ket­ing space, which, in addi­tion to the cap­i­tal, brings sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence to Crowd Archi­tects. The com­pany will use the invest­ment to add fea­tures to IROIN and advance its mar­ket penetration.

FBGS Tech­nolo­gies is a lead­ing devel­oper and sup­plier of advanced fiber-optic sens­ing solu­tions and com­po­nents based on Fiber Bragg Grat­ings (FBG) tech­nol­ogy.  The company’s prod­ucts offer many modal­i­ties of mon­i­tor­ing for a wide range of appli­ca­tions and are cur­rently being used in indus­tries such as med­ical, aero­space, oil & gas, tele­com, and test & mea­sure­ment.  This invest­ment was led by X2 Cap­i­tal, and bm|t and other cur­rent investors par­tic­i­pated in the round.  FBGS will use the funds to fur­ther develop its sys­tems solu­tions offer­ings, to expand and auto­mate its sen­sor man­u­fac­tur­ing capac­ity in Jena, and to build sales oper­a­tions and chan­nels in key Asian growth regions such as China.

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Häcker Automa­tion designs and pro­duces phe­nom­e­nally flex­i­ble machines for „mass-cus­tomized“ pro­duc­tion of elec­tronic com­po­nents and sys­tems.  Impres­sively, approx­i­mately 60% of hear­ing aids glob­ally are pro­duced on Häcker Automa­tion machines, which allow for intri­cate and del­i­cate pro­duc­tion work at a minia­tur­iza­tion level that very few com­pa­nies, if any, world­wide can offer.  The com­pany has recently evolved its line of machines, mak­ing them even more scal­able and cus­tomiz­able for cus­tomers.  This devel­op­ment has res­onated well in the mar­ket and is gen­er­at­ing unprece­dented demand for Häcker machines, as elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers endeavor to find flex­i­ble pro­duc­tion solu­tions for ever faster prod­uct cycles.  Our invest­ment is a clas­sic growth financ­ing aimed at allow­ing the com­pany to cap­i­tal­ize on its imme­di­ate sales opportunities.

Mas­ter­PIM has devel­oped a sleek and cloud-based Prod­uct Infor­ma­tion Man­age­ment (PIM) soft­ware that allows man­u­fac­tures, traders, retail­ers, and mar­ket­places to eas­ily man­age com­plex prod­uct infor­ma­tion datasets and effort­lessly project the processed data into online shops and cat­a­logues.  Cur­rently, over 90% of mid-sized man­u­fac­tur­ers have no PIM solu­tion, so the mar­ket is largely a green­field oppor­tu­nity.  One of the key rea­sons that a large por­tion of the mar­ket has not adopted a PIM sys­tem despite the increas­ing demands of sales partners/channels on prod­uct data is that tra­di­tional PIM solu­tions are heavy, hosted soft­ware with expen­sive and inva­sive instal­la­tions.  Mas­ter­PIM allows cus­tomers to be online with an effec­tive PIM sys­tem within hours and at a frac­tion of the cost of the old PIM sys­tems on the mar­ket.  This invest­ment round was com­prised of cur­rent investors, includ­ing bm|t, another insti­tu­tional investor, and a fam­ily office, and will allow Mas­ter­PIM to expand its sales organization.

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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 that are the first signs 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 pre­vented if it can be demon­strated that a HPV infec­tion has not caused DNA methy­la­tion. This invest­ment round by bm|t and many busi­ness angels from the life sci­ences com­mu­nity fol­lows oncg­nos­tics’ very suc­cess­ful Seed­match financ­ing at the begin­ning of this year.  oncg­nositcs will use the pro­ceeds from both invest­ments for mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties and the fur­ther devel­op­ment of addi­tional bio­marker-based tests for other forms of cancer.

Two of the 14 invest­ments from Q3 2018 have opted to stay in stealth mode for now while they final­ize impor­tant IP and busi­ness activ­i­ties. We look for­ward to report­ing about these invest­ments in the future.