bm|t newsletter Q2 2022
As hope for a quick end to the war in the Ukraine has sadly evaporated, and the profound and damaging impacts on many levels are being digested by investors, there has been a flurry of foreboding and warnings in the startup/venture capital space. There can also be no doubt that in light of the mounting direct effects and derivative effects of this war, including of course an increase in investor risk-aversion, prudence and caution are replacing risk and boldness as the memes that are currently shaping our ecosystem. Indeed many of the most recent statistics show that a slowdown in deal activity is arriving.
In this Newsletter
The Times, They Are a Changing
We at bm|t have also joined the ranks of many (if not all) VCs in communicating clearly about this changed environment to our Investee-Partners and working closely with them to assess appropriate steps and the best paths forward. However, we certainly should all remain cognizant not to let fear itself prevent us from achieving impactful progress and converting on value-creating opportunities.
In many ways we feel somewhat (although certainly not entirely) insulated from the immediate difficulties many are experiencing and believe that the start-up ecosystem in Thüringen will, for many reasons, prove to be quite robust relative to other innovation investment ecosystems. Firstly, we have not ridden the big venture wave of the last 10–15 years so high as most of the well-known innovation geographies. The valuations and the round sizes never over-extended so that the often existential threat of larger down-rounds is not pronounced here. Secondly, the Thüringen innovation ecosystem is very focused on B2B markets such that large marketing expenditures, that may now prove to have much lower impact than was originally planned, are nearly non-existent. Furthermore, the region´s focus on deep-tech generally has been accompanied by longer-term planning and conservative, largely technological-milestone-based corporate development, so that very few companies are caught off-balance by the recent macro developments.
With generally smaller financing rounds (due to lower burn-rates) focused largely on value-creating technological developments, which often have a special strategic appeal to longer-term focused investors (including family offices and corporates), we believe Thüringen´s top innovative companies will continue to receive the necessary funding to progress and grow in most cases. In fact, as you can read in this Newsletter, our Investee-Partners closed several seven-figure plus rounds in Q2 – a strong validation of this view.
We would like to conclude with an important acknowledgment: no matter the state of the world, and in some cases driven even faster by turbulence, the need for innovation in order to continue to advance humanity and protect the planet will remain extremely high. In this essential way, the more things change, the more they stay the same!
Your, continuing to push forward, bm|t Team
Welcome to the Family
Jena based Coachwhisperer GmbH offers the world’s first live communication and monitoring system for coaches and athletes, consisting of an innovative combination of hardware and software that allows coaches to seamlessly communicate with any selection of players during live training while monitoring player vital signs and statistics. Due to the company´s highly-innovative wearable sensors, in many ways Coachwhisperer is a combination of a med-tech company and a sports-tech company. Coachwhisperer will launch shortly in European Football, where the founders possess an excellent network, and will then quickly expand to other sports, and compelling applications outside of sports are also part of the planned growth over the coming years. bm|t led this seven-figure round focused on finalizing the next-generation tech and initial market entry.
PreciPoint has created a highly-innovative suite of products and services for digital microscopy and is poised for explosive growth as it enters the clinical laboratory and intraoperative diagnostics market after perfecting its craft in the research market. Amazingly, today still over 90% 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 breakthrough eight-figure Series A investment round was raised from bm|t, multiple family offices and business angels. The capital will fund PreciPoint´s entry into the laboratory and intraoperative markets and positions the company extremely well for rapid growth.
With clinics across seven countries, neuroCare group is quickly becoming a leading global care deliverer in the mental health space. Through its Digital Therapeutics Platform, the company possesses an impressive (and in many areas world-leading) hardware and software tech stack, which it also sells to third-party clinics. neuroCare is now in an aggressive growth phase, on track to double its owned clinics from 20 to 40 this year alone. bm|t led this seven-figure growth investment and was joined by two additional institutional investors. The company will use the capital for acquisitions, additional 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.
Nine out of ten strokes are preventable.
Preventicus develops technologies and managed care programs that make preventing these strokes 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 specialized 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.
This seven-figure round was led by private investors with participation from HTGF and bm|t. This growth financing is focused on expanding capacity to onboard large numbers of users/patients, as Preventicus is now fully approved to provide its entire solution set in Germany and is rapidly adding customers.
Vision2B has developed the digital health platform mebix focused on helping people manage disease more easily and effectively by providing valuable information/feedback, increasing compliance with prescribed regimens, and facilitating physician-patient interactions. The company is initially focused on two large categories with high costs for society: diabetes and heart disease, and will be rolling out additional indications in the future. The digital health space, aided by new supportive regulation and reimbursement pathways in Germany, is booming. Vision2B sets itself apart from competitors through excellent clinical results in a rigorous, third-party administered trial and the strength of its platform, which has been developed over many years. bm|t led this nearly seven-figure investment round focused on furthering Vision2B´s strong clinical data and enabling rapid market entry.
Redwave Medical is focused on creating medical algorithms that improve patient care. The company´s first approved and marketed product is Antares, an algorithm that converts data gleaned from the measurement of peripheral blood pressure to a reliable estimate of central (aortic) blood pressure, which is much more relevant for a person´s health and treatment. In this field, Redwave has entered into multiple commercial partnerships with blood pressure monitoring companies. Redwave also possesses a compelling pipeline of further life-improving biometric algorithms. bm|t led this investment focused on onboarding additional top partners, market expansion, further product development and placing the company in an excellent position heading into its upcoming Series A round.
Heyfair’s vision is to radically improve the use of hand disinfectant by making the application and coverage visible to the user and others. The company possesses strong IP around the addition of a special dye that makes hand disinfectant appear colorfully when applied and subsequently the color completely disappears. 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 germs, it is imperative that medical practitioners have a tool to visibly verify and incentivize their actions to minimize the spread of disease in their hospitals and clinics. With this investment from bm|t and multiple experienced business angels Heyfair is well positioned to achieve its mission of reinventing hand sanitation.
Everyone knows that you do not make money with printers; you make it with the ink (consumables). Ilmenau-based Lean Plastics believes that the same phenomenon will play out in 3D printing and has consequently focused on optimizing plastic consumables for 3D printing. The company already has a strong corporate investor with excellent expertise in the field of 3D printing, and we are extremely optimistic that Lean Plastics will play a significant, and highly-profitable, role in the additive manufacturing revolution. With this investment round Lean Plastics will deliver many high-value orders, finalize commercial scalability, and be well-positioned for its upcoming Series A round.
Investor Days Thüringen 2022
This year´s Investor Days Thüringen (IDT) was a smashing success and for the over 500 participants the event felt more like a cathartic celebration (finally coming together in person again after three years) than a pitch event. Since the last live IDT, the number of our valued Investee-Partners and Co-Investors has grown over 30%, and it was wonderful to welcome many new and active participants to our thriving innovation investment ecosystem here in Thüringen. This year for the first time and due to our burgeoning life science portfolio, we had a dedicated life sciences stream and partnered with Medways, the leading association of med-tech and biotech companies in Thüringen, who hosted their annual Future Conference in combination with IDT.
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 IDT, you can get a feel for the event (and what will be awaiting you next year) here:
We hope you will join us again next year, as we aim to continue to raise the bar with each iteration of Investor Days Thüringen! Save-the-date notices will be coming soon!