Exclusive: Bioprognos CEO Sergio Calleja Discusses Crowdfunding with Spanish Platform Capital Cell

BioprognosBioprognos, a Barcelona-based biotech company that seeks to improve both clinical outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients ―as well as other diseases (cardiovascular, neurological or endocrine)― through the development of innovative tools for non-invasive, accurate detection from biomarkers found in a simple blood test (or urine or other body fluids), recently listed a 300K € for 4.76% equity on Capital Cell.  At this writing, over 12 investors have backed the startup valued at 6M € with over 80,300€.

bioprognosSpanish equity crowdfunding has gained significant ground  in the last months with Crowdcube Spain and Capital Cell leading the way, both in campaigns and regulatory pushes.  I recently caught up with Bioprognos CEO Sergio Calleja via email to learn more about what led him to choose crowdfunding with Capital Cell. Active in the Barcelona startup scene, Calleja previously  served as CEO of Liffebox, CEO of BeeLoop, Manager at T-Systems; CTO of Viasalus and CTO in La Vanguardia. Introduced to Capital Cell Director Daniel Oliver through a mutual contact at Caixa Capital Risk, Calleja learned more about equity crowdfunding and decided that it would be a good fit for Bioprognos, citing how Capital Cell allows to everyone to be part of Bioprognos from 1,200€.

Sergio J. Calleja Freixes“Capital Cell is more democratic, allowing people of any possibility to invest (Venture Capital has been always linked with pretty rich people and also a distant world for anyone, althought they have money to invest),” explained Calleja. “I am very happy to see how several friends are entering with little amounts such as 1,200, 3,600 or 6,000€ (or maybe not so little), but sharing Bioprognos with friends and former colleagues is very important for me. One colleague sent me a Whatsapp message telling me, ‘Sergio, I have just invested 6,000€. I have not read anything, just entered because you are the entrepreneur.'”

Writing candidly, Calleja noted his own medical experience,

esade ban“When I overcame stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma one year and a half ago, so many things changed in my mind, including priorities, money, sharing, social…Related to my current versus prior experience, I worked with ESADE BAN and Inveready (formerly Talent Ventures) in 2010 and, in my modest opinion, Capital Cell’s online platform is the future (really is the present) where all Funds will move  (althought ESADE BAN is already in Gust.com).”

Rafael Molina PortoThrough his own treatment, Calleja met his future Bioprognos partner, Dr. Rafael Molina, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Course coordinator en Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, who is now Chairman of the Board.  Calleja’s expectations remains very positive for the campaign — which ends in 65 days –between his own contacts and that of Capital Cell. For more details about the scope of Bioprognos’ business plan, please click here.

As readers may already know, Capital Cell targets the biotech industry — having launched with ZeClinics.  In addition to two new offerings, current Capital Cell campaigns include a second round for Cebiotex, which already has exceeded 83% of its 300K € goal; Braingaze, which is on the cusp of hitting its 200K€ goal and Iproteos, which has raised over 80K € toward its goal.

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