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bm|t newsletter Q4 2020

It is surely an over-used adage that cri­ses bring oppor­tu­nity, but the year 2020 and the extra­or­di­nary deter­mi­na­tion and crea­ti­vity that our Inves­tee-Part­ners exhi­bi­ted in the face of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic demons­tra­tes the deep importance of this say­ing. It was truly inspi­ring to see so many of our Inves­tee-Part­ners quickly adapt to the dif­fi­cult cir­cum­s­tances and find crea­tive ways to directly com­bat the pan­de­mic and con­ti­nue to drive their com­pa­nies forward.

In this Newsletter 

Inspiring Innovations in the Face of COVID

Investee-Partner: rooom AG
Innovation: EXPO‑X (online event platform)

We all know that the pan­de­mic quickly brought con­fe­ren­ces and lar­ger events to a scree­ching halt. At the start of the year, rooom, a soft­ware com­pany focu­sed on AR/VR/3D tech­no­logy, had not even thought about this pro­duct, but the com­pany quickly rea­li­zed its exper­tise and tech stack would allow it to quickly build a vir­tual con­fe­rence envi­ron­ment. EXPO‑X was crea­ted and it greatly enhan­ced the expe­ri­ence of digi­tal events. bm|t bene­fi­ted from this inno­va­tion not only as an inves­tor but also as a cus­to­mer, as Inves­tor Days Thü­rin­gen (which we co-host with the STIFT), was the first event to use EXPO‑X, and it was a great success.

The IFA used EXPO‑X to invi­go­rate its extre­mely large event, and this increased rooom’s visi­bi­lity mas­si­vely. This enhan­ced visi­bi­lity greatly acce­le­ra­ted cus­to­mer acqui­si­tion for the company´s core 3D soft­ware offe­rings, pri­ma­rily for pro­duct mar­ke­ting. Within a few months rooom went from not having con­cei­ved the EXPO‑X pro­duct prior to COVID-19 to having the pro­duct on the mar­ket and having it play a signi­fi­cant role in enab­ling con­fe­ren­ces during the pan­de­mic. This inno­va­tion was a cata­lyst to pro­pel the entire com­pany for­ward – that is powerful, turbo inno­va­tion at its finest!

Investee-Partner: InflaRx NV Innovation: IFX‑1 for COVID-19 treatment

The news is packed with coverage about COVID-19 vac­ci­nes; howe­ver, it will cer­tainly be important to have good tre­at­ment opti­ons as well for quite some time. InflaRx is deve­lo­ping its lead anti­body, IFX‑1, for its role in inhi­bi­ting the inflamm­a­tion cas­cade that is often the main cause of severe adverse effects (inclu­ding death) from dise­ase. The com­pany is pri­ma­rily focu­sed on der­ma­to­logy indi­ca­ti­ons, but it quickly reco­gni­zed that IFX‑1 could poten­ti­ally play a posi­tive role in com­ba­ting the deadly effects of the inflamm­a­tion cas­cade for COVID-19 pati­ents as well. InflaRx worked with the FDA to fast track IFX‑1 for severe COVID-19 indu­ced pneu­mo­nia. The results of the phase III cli­ni­cal trial should come shortly, and, we are hop­eful that the results will be posi­tive and that IFX‑1 tre­at­ment for COVID-19 pati­ents will be a life-saving innovation. 

Investee-Partner: Intercept GmbH
Innovation: Protective masks with polymerized copper-ion filters

Inter­cept’s core tech­no­logy is the inte­gra­tion of poly­me­ri­zed cop­per-ions in mul­ti­ple mate­ri­als to pre­vent metal cor­ro­sion and mold on fabric or food during ship­ping and sto­rage. With the COVID-19 pan­de­mic, the com­pany quickly rea­li­zed that it could use its tech­no­logy to pro­duce pro­tec­tive masks with poly­me­ri­zed cop­per-ion fil­ters to stop and deac­ti­vate the corona virus.

The com­pany is also curr­ently working on buil­ding its tech­no­logy into air fil­te­ring pro­ducts for enhan­ced safety in lar­ger areas. We can per­so­nally attest that Intercept’s masks are excel­lent, and we greatly admire this inno­va­tion that helps pre­vent the spread of COVID-19.

Investee-Partner: neuroCare Group
Innovation: Digital Onboarding of Clinicians

neu­ro­Care is a uni­que com­pany in the men­tal health space that pro­vi­des a Digi­tal The­ra­peu­tics (DTx) plat­form, pro­ven in its own cli­nics across mul­ti­ple count­ries and con­ti­nents. Its DTx plat­form inte­gra­tes neu­ro­mo­du­la­tion tech­no­logy and trai­ning to pro­vide per­so­na­li­sed the­rapy expres­sed in best clin­cial prac­tice SOPs (Stan­dard Ope­ra­ting Procedures).

His­to­ri­cally, the com­pany pri­ma­rily con­duc­ted cli­ni­cian onboar­ding phy­si­cally in count­ries where its own cli­nics are loca­ted or its trai­ners tra­vel­led to cus­to­mers. COVID-19 made tra­vel­ling for trai­ners or large gathe­rings of cli­ni­ci­ans from around the world impos­si­ble, so the com­pany greatly acce­le­ra­ted its efforts to move the entire onboar­ding pro­gram online. Not only did this allow neu­ro­Care to con­ti­nue to train cli­ni­ci­ans for trea­ting men­tal health dise­a­ses, which sadly will be gro­wing dra­ma­ti­cally due to the effects of the pan­de­mic, but the com­pany star­ted recei­ving requests from cli­ni­ci­ans all over the world.

Refu­sing to be derai­led by COVID-19 led neu­ro­Care to an inno­va­tion that increased access to important men­tal health trai­ning and expan­ded its busi­ness reach.

This news­let­ter does not have ample space to share all the impres­sive examp­les of our Inves­tee-Part­ners’ inno­va­tions in the face of COVID-19; howe­ver, we can con­fi­dently state that across the board our Inves­tee-Part­ners have impres­si­vely met the chall­enge of COVID-19. These inno­va­tions are inspi­ring and keep us opti­mi­stic that we will reco­ver from the pan­de­mic and that human pro­gress will con­ti­nue on its great arc.

Your inspi­red and opti­mi­stic bm|t Team

Welcome to the Family

Vision2B has deve­lo­ped a digi­tal health plat­form 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 was joi­ned by MBG Thü­rin­gen and an expe­ri­en­ced pri­vate inves­tor from the health­care admi­nis­tra­tion sec­tor in this seven-figure invest­ment round focu­sed on rapid mar­ket entry.

Revin­cus has deve­lo­ped an inno­va­tive method for con­ser­ving and reu­sing a large por­tion of the energy stored in hot or warm water. For sin­gle homes or lar­ger resi­den­tial buil­dings, the energy costs of hea­ting water are quite signi­fi­cant. Revin­cus’ inge­nius sys­tem extra­cts or reu­ses the heat energy from hot and warm grey­wa­ter (water coming from show­ers, washing machi­nes, dish­wa­shers, etc.) that other­wise would have exi­ted the buil­ding along with waste water. bm|t was joi­ned by Spar­kasse Jena and MBG Thü­rin­gen in this initial seven-figure invest­ment round focu­sed on fina­li­zing the tech­no­logy and brin­ging this pro­mi­sing and eco­lo­gi­cal pro­duct to market.

Follow-on Investments

siOP­TICA is a lea­ding deve­lo­per and sup­plier of switcha­ble screen pri­vacy-fil­ter tech­no­logy with many appli­ca­ti­ons in auto­mo­tive pas­sen­gers 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. bm|t led this nearly two mil­lion euro round and was joi­ned by Capital‑E from Bel­gium and seve­ral expe­ri­en­ced busi­ness angels. The funds will be used to drive fur­ther indus­tria­liza­tion and high-volume manu­fac­tu­ring of the company’s pro­ducts, mar­ke­ting, and R&D for future dis­play technologies.

read more ›

Infl­u­nate offers a paten­ted and revo­lu­tio­nary tech­no­logy in the field of social media pay­ment. With Influnate’s tech­no­logy, it is easy to send money directly within the comm­ents sec­tion of social media plat­forms – truly the easiest way to send money glo­bally, bar none. Infl­u­nate is curr­ently inte­gra­ted on Insta­gram, Twit­ter, Twitch (where live-stream usage of Infl­u­nate is gro­wing expo­nen­ti­ally in Ger­many) and Red­dit with more plat­forms to fol­low. The company’s mar­ket entry stra­tegy is initi­ally focu­sed on influen­cers and crea­tors but Infl­u­nate also has its sights set on the glo­bal P2P pay­ment space. bm|t was joi­ned by MBG Thü­rin­gen and NT.AG in this seven-figure round focu­sed on acce­le­ra­ting and mana­ging rapid user growth.

read more ›

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 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. 
Dash­fac­tory pos­s­es­ses an inno­va­tive pro­duct to help pro­tect bicy­cle riders from hit and run acci­dents. The company’s solu­tion is a rear-moun­ted camera that is GDPR com­pli­ant because it only saves video mate­rial when the legally requi­red distance of pas­sing cars has been brea­ched and the risk of an acci­dent is estab­lished. The Dash­bike dash­cam can also gene­rate urban and traf­fic data to assist in digi­tiz­ing bicy­cle traf­fic for smart infra­struc­ture plan­ning. Dash­fac­tory part­ners with cities to make a valuable con­tri­bu­tion to safer bicy­cle infra­struc­ture by pro­vi­ding data such as cri­ti­cal risk spots, fre­quen­ted rou­tes, and road con­di­ti­ons. The company’s foun­ders are well net­worked in the tightly-knit world of cycling, which will allow for eased mar­ket entry for this inno­va­tive, life-pro­tec­ting pro­duct that can also easily address tan­gen­tial mar­kets such as e‑scooters. bm|t, MBG Sach­sen and a U.S. Ame­ri­can Busi­ness Angel fun­ded this round focu­sed on pro­duc­tion and initial sales. 

bm|t Investment Statistics

In Q4, Start­up­de­tec­tor, a com­pany that pro­vi­des com­plete moni­to­ring of early-stage invest­ment acti­vity in Ger­many, ran­ked bm|t as the 10th most active VC inves­tor in Ger­many. This sta­tis­tic is a tes­ta­ment to the strength of #Thü­rin­gen­Tech­no­logy and is some­thing for which we are espe­ci­ally gra­teful, given that the majo­rity of our fourth quar­ter inves­t­ing acti­vity came from two recently initia­ted funds (one state-fun­ded and one fede­ral-fun­ded) to com­bat the effects of COVID-19 on early-stage companies.

This strong fourth quar­ter was an excel­lent finish to a very active invest­ment year for bm|t, in which 32 of our Inves­tee-Part­ners com­ple­ted finan­cings. Of those finan­cings, 21 were over seven figu­res – a record level of lar­ger inves