bm|t newsletter Q2 2023
As an investment firm mandated with generating returns and playing a contributory role in the development of Thüringen’s economy, it is probably not surprising that we at bm|t think of ourselves as responsible investors. Due to our extremely high market share of venture investments in Thüringen, we feel a large responsibility toward the entire innovation ecosystem in Thüringen and are dedicated to contributing to that ecosystem in a positive way with every investment we make.
In this Newsletter
The Responsibility of Venture Investing
In our view, being a responsible investor means believing that we owe something far beyond our capital commitment to the companies in which we are invested. It means we will strive and fight for their success while always acting with integrity. Classically, we contribute more than capital to our Investee-Partners by using our network and other resources to benefit them as much as possible. More specifically, responsible investing can also mean communicating clearly, transparently, and honestly with our valued co-investors and Investee-Partners and proactively informing them of our ability and willingness to participate in future fundraisings.
Although some may argue that private investors have the right to view their investments simply in a transactional way, we strongly believe that, especially in the early stages, when companies are still in the process of finding their best path and each investor is of extreme importance, all investors should have some sense of additional commitment to further assist the companies in which they are invested. It is surely true that the best way for an investor to ensure a strong financial return in early-stage investments, where the bulk of value creation lies in the future, is to cooperatively contribute value to the company.
The definite actions that an investor can take to contribute to their venture investments vary greatly depending on the company and investor. However, at a minimum, early-stage investors should have a willingness to open their network to the company and efficiently and correctly process all documentation/voting requirements without playing any unnecessary games.
Importantly, being a responsible investor in a company does not mean that an investor agrees with all of management’s decisions or that valuable criticism is withheld. Exactly the opposite is true, because engagement is the prerequisite for constructive contribution, and engagement means sorting through the various initiatives and challenges with a discerning eye in order to assist the company in achieving its ultimate goals.
In Thüringen we are extremely fortunate to have attracted private investors who understand investing is a two-way street. The nature of our high-tech B2B companies means that it is clear from the beginning of the relationship between company and investor that this is a marriage and not just a fling. This marriage takes diligent work from both sides, as exceptional corporate development and exponential investment returns are only attainable with contributions from all.
We are grateful to have a clear mandate to be a responsible investor and we look forward to continuing to make mutually-beneficial matches between other like-minded investors and our outstanding Investee-Partners for the benefit of all involved.
Your bm|t Team
Although our current fund mandates did not permit us to invest in this capital raise, it is always noteworthy when a bm|t Investee-Partner raises 46 Mio. USD, as InflaRx did this quarter. This capital ensures that InflaRx will be able to fund its pivotal phase III clinical trial for PG through to final data release and beyond. We remain a significant shareholder and continue to have high aspirations for InflaRx and the company’s first-in-class compound IFX‑1 across multiple diseases. This quarter InflaRx also received FDA emergency use authorization for IFX‑1 for the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients, which is an important milestone for the company.
The Organ-on-a-Chip market remains red hot, and Dynamic42 has developed many unique technologies to improve the results of preclinical studies involving miniaturized 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 earlier in human-like conditions and with significantly lower costs is enormous. bm|t led this mid-seven-figure breakthrough investment round focused on broadening the company´s IP portfolio, the development of additional organ models, as well as on intensifying many significant projects and business links with large pharma companies. We were joined by a perfectly-suited family office with extensive experience in the pharma space.
For more details please read the full press release.
PreciPoint has created a highly-innovative suite of products and services for digital microscopy and is poised for explosive growth as it enters the intraoperative diagnostics market after perfecting its craft in the research market. 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 mid-seven-figure Series A2 investment round was raised from a VC fund, multiple family offices and business angels. The capital will fund PreciPoint’s entry into the intraoperative oncology market, for which the company recently achieved certification for its innovative iO:M8 product in Europe and the US.
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, which greatly enhances the smartphone and laptop opportunity. bm|t led this seven-figure round focused on market launch, and we were joined by two new well-suited investors.
Investor Days Thüringen – Recap
This year’s Investor Days Thüringen (IDT) was a smashing success and was even more interesting due to the multiple locations in Erfurt, with Day 2 taking place in the desert and rainforest exhibit at the EGA Park under the motto “Navigating the Investor Jungle”. Over 400 participants were treated to excellent pitches from 39 innovative start-ups and scale-ups during the two-day event. Another highlight was the keynote address about profitable, sustainable investing from Georg Schuermann, Head of Triodos Bank in Germany. As always it was wonderful to welcome many new and active participants to our thriving innovation investment ecosystem here in Thüringen.
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. 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 from our 2023 Photo Gallery.
Photos: Thomas Müller
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!