bm|t newsletter Q2 2021
In many sports there is an important concept of “playing to win” as opposed to “playing not to lose” (in tennis, playing predominantly low-risk shots; in football, playing very defensively, etc.). The strategy of playing not to lose or simply playing to stay in the game can sometimes be effective and even appropriate at times based on the circumstances. However, for young innovative companies and for venture investors, playing to win is the only strategy that makes sense.
In this Newsletter
Playing to Win
A herculean effort is required for a young company to break into an established market with a new product/service/solution or to establish a new market altogether (perhaps even tougher). Thus, the rewards for those extreme efforts must be immense, and the rewards are only immense for truly winning.
In our view, playing to win requires having a winning vision, taking risks to realize that vision, and being honest enough to know when the path and/or vision needs to be modified.
First, having a winning vision means ensuring that the company’s goal is one that is compelling and lucrative enough to pursue with full commitment. Having a worthwhile and inspiring “raison d’être” gives a company countless advantages: talented employees wanting to join, investors seeing what is possible, and partners being motivated to work together on excellent terms, to name just a few essential ones.
We have rarely seen big “wins” when founders simply are engrossed in their technology without an inspiring vision of how the technology can create massive positive change in the world.
Secondly, playing to win requires both founders and venture investors making a true commitment to taking the risks that are necessary to provide a chance to win. Although this concept might sound obvious, it is often difficult in practice, predominantly because it often requires relinquishing control. For example, this can mean investing more capital than originally planned when an opportunity is spotted, making a transformational addition to the team, engaging in a partnership, or the acquisition of a complementary company. And it certainly means founders and venture investors cannot sit back and wait for success to come to them and cannot be contented with minor confirmations that they are on the right path – they also have to find ways to sprint down that path.
Finally, while sprinting down this path, playing to win also requires perseverance to carry on and being brutally self-honest about whether or not one is still on the right path. Ultimately it is better to suffer disappointing setbacks on the road to victory than to experience pleasing “successes” on a road to nowhere. Companies and investors need to continually evaluate if the navigation system is pointing toward a winning destination, and must be decisive in pivoting (or pulling the plug) if the path is leading to a less than desirable result.
Over the last years, we have experienced significant wins here in Thüringen, and we and our Investee-Partners will continue to push ourselves extremely hard to create winning visions, to take risks when opportunity avails itself, and to not mistake progress of any kind for progress towards winning.
Now, let’s go out there and win together!
Your bm|t Team
Welcome to the Family
Newly-founded, ROBUST AO, closed an excellent seed round with Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF) and bm|t. The capital will allow the company to continue technological and market development of its extremely high-tech product, the Zwobbel. The Zwobbel allows for incredibly fast (100x faster than current methods) refocusing along the Z axis, which is of tremendous value for industrial laser machining companies – ROBUST AO’s first target market. Mid-term, the company also has identified additional attractive markets for its proprietary technology. We are extremely pleased to welcome ROBUST AO to the bm|t family and to have a seat on the company’s rocketship!
neuroCare group (nCg) closed over 10 Mio. EUR of investments in Q2 with 7.5 Mio. EUR coming from new anchor investor, re:mind, one of Christian Angermeier’s investment firms with an exclusive focus on mental health. bm|t joined the round with 2.5 Mio. EUR, raising our total investment in nCg to approximately 7 Mio. EUR. The company will use the capital for acquisitions, building greenfield clinics, and strengthening its digital therapeutics platform in order to add even more efficiency and capabilities to the company’s leading treatment options for mental health. nCg wasted no time in deploying a portion of the capital by acquiring Mag & More – a leading technology player in rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation). The following press releases provide further details on the capital raise and the acquisition:
rooom AG offers the first complete solution for 3D, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and digital and hybrid events. With rooom’s user-friendly platform, companies can easily and cost-effectively create, edit, and present their own 3D content online. rooom closed its series A financing round with a volume of over 4 million euros with bm|t and other well-suited, experienced private investors. The company will use the capital to continue sprinting on its explosive growth path, including an important new focus on international expansion. You can read more about rooom’s capital raise and plans here.
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. Partly driven by the company’s proprietary shape-sensing technology, demand for FBGS’s solutions is booming. Consequently, FBGS made the strong decision to build its own large-scale production facility. The total capital raised (debt & equity) for this purpose was over 7 Mio. EUR. bm|t led the nearly 2 Mio. EUR equity portion of the raise and was joined by pivotal co-investors X2 Equity and XENICS NV.
Nine out of ten strokes are preventable.
Preventicus develops technologies and managed care programs that make this goal more achievable every day.
The company’s proprietary, best-in-class technology uses pulse signals to screen and monitor cardiovascular disorders (e.g. atrial fibrillation) using smartphones and wearables. The company has further evolved into a more comprehensive managed care company by utilizing its core technology, a comprehensive IT ecosystem and connected care services with the involvement and connection of health insurers, telecare centers, and cardiologists.
bm|t led this growth financing focused on expanding capacity to onboard large numbers of users/patients, as Preventicus is now fully approved to provide its services in Germany and is rapidly adding customers.
In Germany, hospitals are legally required to ensure appropriate continued treatment for patients after a hospital stay. Patients are often either directly transferred to nursing homes or to their own homes with nursing care visits. For either option Pflegeplatzmanager’s cloud-based software enables an efficient transfer of the patient to the best-suited caregivers. Demand for Pflegeplatzmanager is exploding and is receiving a turbo charge from new legislation for the digitalization of hospitals (Krankenhauszukunftsgesetz). The company is also rapidly expanding into ancillary markets and services and is increasingly playing a central role in broader digital patient management. bm|t led this seven-figure investment round and was joined by key co-investors with excellent industry knowledge and networks.
HAPILA (Highly Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Labs) provides high-value services & solutions to a broad range of customers, 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.
Investor Days Thüringen 2021
This year we were again forced to have a digital-only version of Investor Days Thüringen (IDT), but that did not stop the event from being well attended with over 500 participants from across the globe. Considering the excellent and varied pitches as well as the great workshops on day two, there was undoubtedly something for everyone. A huge THANK YOU to all the sponsors, presenters, attendees, and organizers for their important contributions to this fantastic event, which has become the premier investor event in middle Germany. As usual, the pitchers, presenters, and hosts(!) simply stole the show with extremely strong and entertaining performances. In case you missed this year’s event, you can view videos (including individual pitches in case you want to easily view specific companies) here:
We look forward to welcoming you to Investor Days Thüringen again next year on June 14th and 15th in Erfurt, where we plan to again enjoy pitches, networking, and brats & beers with you.