c-LEcta lays foundation for further growth and closes financing round
August 23, 2018
- Closing of financing round with new investors Capricorn and bm|t brings growth capital and valuable access to international network
- Growth financing to take c-LEcta to a new level by upscaling food ingredients manufacturing to commercial production in a multi-billion-euro market
- New CFO Thomas Pfaadt to manage and support growth
- c-LEcta, a world-leading biotechnology company focused on enzyme engineering and applications in regulated markets like food and pharma, has closed a financing round with Capricorn Venture Partners and the German investment company bm|t. The capital increase provides the company with growth capital as well as valuable access to an international network.
- c-LEcta already has a diversified shareholder structure. In addition to the founder, Dr. Marc Struhalla, private industrial investors and German institutionals, the company has now expanded its circle of shareholders by attracting international investors. c-LEcta has received growth capital from two new shareholders. Lead investor, Capricorn Venture Partners, is an independent, internationally oriented investment company, based in Leuven, Belgium. Capricorn invests in innovative, technology driven companies and has a multidisciplinary team of experienced investment professionals. Capricorn invested through two funds, namely the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund NV and Quest for Growth NV. The German investment company bm|t invests in high-growth technology companies led by entrepreneurial teams. bm|t invested via the MFT Mittelstands-Fonds Thüringen GmbH & Co. KG. These new funds are planned to be particularly invested in the approval, launch and scale-up of products from the project pipeline, further development of the pipeline as well as the expansion of international sales.Mr. Ludwig Goris, Investment Manager of Capricorn, commented on the investment in c-LEcta: “We see that global mega trends and challenges in human nutrition are paving the way for industrial biotech companies like c-LEcta. Since its foundation, c-LEcta has built up a remarkable track record of technology and product development and has been able to validate that through a growing customer base of leading pharma, chemical and food ingredient companies. In addition, we were impressed by the highly qualified team in Leipzig. Founder and CEO Dr. Marc Struhalla and his motivated team have created a great company that has arrived at an attractive inflection point where the current product pipeline forms theMr. Ludwig Goris, Investment Manager of Capricorn, commented on the investment in c-LEcta: “We see that global mega trends and challenges in human nutrition are paving the way for industrial biotech companies like c-LEcta. Since its foundation, c-LEcta has built up a remarkable track record of technology and product development and has been able to validate that through a growing customer base of leading pharma, chemical and food ingredient companies. In addition, we were impressed by the highly qualified team in Leipzig. Founder and CEO Dr. Marc Struhalla and his motivated team have created a great company that has arrived at an attractive inflection point where the current product pipeline forms the foundation for an accelerated growth curve. We are proud to lead this growth capital round and contribute to the success of c-LEcta.”Kevin Reeder, CEO of bm|t added, “bm|t, which has a substantial life sciences portfolio, is very optimistic about its investment in c-LEcta. The company´s strong team, track record of successful development, and a highly compelling product pipeline were extremely impressive. We feel c-LEcta is well-positioned to transition to a high-value biotechnology product company.” The two new investors expand the group of shareholders, which previously included the following investors: SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement mbH, High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH, KfW Bankengruppe, Dr. Marc Struhalla, Warning Beteiligungs GmbH, Dr. Bader Beteiligungs GmbH, and Arthur Steinmetz Beteiligungs GmbH.In order to reinforce management and the board and support the anticipated growth, Thomas Pfaadt (45) recently joined c-LEcta as CFO. He enriches the company with his experience in corporate finance and M&A. Previously Thomas Pfaadt worked for a private equity-owned operator of rehabilitation clinics as well as for a family-owned integrated healthcare group. He also gained experiences as an investment banker and consultant with a strong focus on the healthcare sector. He commented on what excites him about c-LEcta: “c-LEcta is a young, lean, and dynamic company and a global player at the same time. We are fighting the serious challenges of today’s human nutrition. A growing population and a growing demand for healthy natural food require solutions from enzyme technologies that the chemical industry cannot provide. We are pleased to have won these two new investors to finance our work in addressing these large opportunities.”
c-LEcta is a fully integrated biotechnology company based in Leipzig, Germany, with focus on enzyme engineering and application in regulated markets like food and pharma. c-LEcta currently employs around 60 people. The company is well diversified and covers a large part of the value chain from discovery to engineering to the commercial production of enzymes as well as the manufacturing of other high-quality biotechnology products, either as in-house developments or in close cooperation with the industry. Over the last five years, c-LEcta has conducted more than 30 enzyme engineering projects with a success rate of >90%. Only a few weeks ago, the company announced a major breakthrough as the first company to develop a process to enable the mass-production of a plant-based sweetener with a real sugar-like taste. In addition, two further food ingredient products with high market potential are in an advanced development stage and the project pipeline comprises several promising candidates addressing the multi-billion-euro food ingredients market. This growth financing is intended to raise c-LEcta to a new level and elevate the focused food ingredients from the project pipeline to commercial scale production.
CEO Dr. Marc Struhalla commented on c-LEcta’s core technology and the capital increase: “The performance requirements for enzymes to be applied in industrial processes are in most cases very specific and vary from naturally occurring variations. Enzymes therefore need to be adapted to industrial conditions via enzyme engineering, and c-LEcta owns one of the most efficient technology platforms in this area. For enzyme optimization as well as for the development of artificial enzyme activities, we use patent-protected strategies that are inspired by nature. The industrial application of these technologies holds great market potential. The financial strength and valuable international network that we have gained through this financing round now offers us the opportunity to develop the full potential of our technology and people. With Capricorn Venture Partners and bm|t, we get two active investors on board that can contribute substantially to our international growth ambitions. Also, I am all the more pleased that our new CFO Thomas Pfaadt will support us in this endeavor. Our goal is that in the future c-LEcta´s technology will be employed in many things we encounter in everyday life.”
About Capricorn Venture Partners
Capricorn Venture Partners is an independent European manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative European companies with technology as competitive advantage. It is based in Leuven, Belgium and licensed by the FSMA (the Financial Services and Markets Authority in Belgium).
Erfurt-based, bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh (bm|t) is the largest growth investor in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. bm-t invests in innovative companies with strong growth potential across all sectors and phases of the corporate lifecycle.
c-LEcta is a fully integrated world-leading biotechnology company with focus on enzyme engineering and application in regulated markets like food and pharma. The company is located in Leipzig, Germany, and has established itself as a leading player in the realization of high-value biotech products, either in the form of in-house developments or in close cooperation with industry. The company currently employs around 60 people.
c-LEcta delivers cost-efficient and sustainable production processes which open new markets and allow for better penetration of existing markets. The company is characterized by fast and efficient development of best-in-class biotech solutions and a rapid and successful market introduction and commercialization of the resulting products. This enables c-LEcta to leverage the unique potential of its core technologies. c-LEcta has a proven track record of more than 10 successfully commercialized high-value industrial biotech products.
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With EUR 886 million in total investment volume across three funds (EUR 272 million in HTGF I, EUR 304 million in HTGF II, and a targeted volume of EUR 310 million for HTGF III) and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge close to 506 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemicals and life sciences.
This group also includes a number of success stories, such as Mister Spex, Rigontec, 6Wunderkinder, Next Kraftwerke and Cumulocity, as well as Juniqe, an online shop for art enthusi-asts. To date, external investors have injected over EUR 1.5 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,200 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 90 companies.
Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies AL-TANA, BASF, B.Braun, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik and WACKER.
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