Additional financing for JeNaCell: Investors once again back platform technology for the production of high-tech bio-material

The Jena biotech company successfully raises further venture capital in a Series A financing. The funds will be used for the expansion of its production capacity and the extension of its distribution network.

JeNaCell is a specialist for biotechnologically produced nanocellulose and has developed a unique continuous manufacturing process.. A seed financing round in 2012 with the High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF) and the Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research of Thuringia (STIFT) allowed for the spin-off from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena to scale up the automated production process for the manufacture of its high-performance bio-material and introduce quality management according to DIN EN ISO 13485. Due to its extraordinary properties, the bio-material is not only suitable for the treatment of slow-healing wounds, burns and other skin conditions, but also for wellness products and promising technical applications.

Now, JeNaCell has closed the Series A financing round with the renowned industry group Evonik Industries as well as with bm-t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen GmbH and Sparkasse Jena. The existing investors, HTGF and STIFT, also participated in the financing round. The capital is to be used for the expansion of production capacity at the Jena site and for the intensification of marketing and sales activities. Dr. Nadine Hessler and Dr. Dana Kralisch, the two founders of JeNaCell GmbH, are delighted that their viable concept convinced the investors.

“We have been watching the company with interest for quite some time”, says Udo Werner, Managing Director of bm-t in Erfurt. “Not only did we find the bio-material and investor base convincing, but also the female power in the management team. We expect a highly successful development here in Thuringia, in which we would like to participate.”

Dr. Nadine Hessler, founder and Managing Director of JeNaCell, about the transaction: “bm-t is a strong partner at our side who will accompany us in the growth phase of our company. In addition, we are also receiving support from Evonik, a strategic investor with considerable expertise in the development and operation of biotechnological production equipment, who can help us access further markets.”

“JeNaCell is an ideal strategic fit for Evonik. The company’s technology complements our expertise in the areas of biotechnology and carrier systems for active pharmaceutical ingredients”, explains Dr. Bernhard Mohr, Head of Venture Capital at Evonik.

Dr. Sven Günther, Managing Director of STIFT, says: “We are looking forward to an ongoing collaborating with the highly innovative company JeNaCell in its growth phase. By continuing our participation, we are sending a clear signal to JeNaCell and other innovative start-ups in Thuringia.””We believe that JeNaCell, with its innovative platform technology and know-how in the field of interactive wound management, is an interesting partner for established suppliers in the market. This is clearly underlined by the participation of Evonik Venture, which is also an investor of the High-Tech Gruenderfonds”, says Dr. Martin Pfister, Senior Investment Manager of the High-Tech Gruenderfonds.

About JeNaCell GmbH
JeNaCell specializes in the development and manufacture of biotechnologically produced nanocellulose. JeNaCell, which was spun off from the Friedrich Schiller University in 2012, uses a unique continuous production processes for manufacturing a high-performance bio-material that is suitable for use in innovative and future-oriented applications in the fields of medicine and cosmetics – for example in the form of an interactive wound dressing or moisturizing face mask – as well as in the area of technology and pharmaceutical products. Its comprehensive expertise for adapting the material properties during bio-synthesis also allows for customer-specific product development.

JeNaCell GmbH
Dr. Antje Mark, Marketing Manager, tel. : +49 3641 508 459

About Evonik
Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of specialty chemicals. The corporate strategy focuses on profitable growth and a sustainable increase of company value. The group’s activities focus on important mega-trends in the fields of health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits in particular from its innovative strength and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. Its more than 33,000 employees generated a turnover of around 12.9 billion euros in the financial year 2014 and achieved an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of around 1.9 billion euros.

Contact: Silke Linneweber, Corporate Press, tel.: +49 201 17 73 389

About bm|t
bm|t beteiligungsmanagement GmbH, which has its headquarters in Erfurt, Thuringia, is a subsidiary of the Thuringia Development Bank and a premier address for investments in Thuringia. bm|t is currently managing six funds with a total volume of about 250 million euros, which is invested in innovative companies in virtually all sectors and all stages of development, from the start-up and growth phases to succession situations.

Contact: Katrin Uschmann, Investment Manager, tel.: +49 361 74 47 610

The Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research of Thuringia (STIFT) supports innovative and technology-oriented start-ups in Thuringia within the framework of the Thuringian Network for Innovative Start-ups (ThEx innovativ). STIFT also acts as side investor, supporting selected high-tech start-ups with early-stage financing. Here, the focus is on the degree of innovation and entrepreneurial potential – without emphasis on any particular sector. The regional focus of investment is on the German state of Thuringia.

About Sparkasse Jena
Sparkasse Jena-Saale-Holzland has been a strong and reliable partner in the region of Jena and Saale-Holzland for more than 185 years. Due to its extensive network of branches, the consultants are in close proximity to customers and can make important decisions quickly and directly on-site. Sparkasse offers a wide range of financial services, including banking services, real estate brokerage, mortgage loans as well as corporate and commercial customer support, all from a single source. As a public-sector institution, it is committed to the common good, to economic development in the region and to the people who live here.

About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Martin Pfister
Senior Investment Manager
Schlegelstraße 2
53113 Bonn
Tel.: +49 228 823001–00
Fax: +49 228 823000–50