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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 mod