Born in Spain and shipped to the UK, Capital Cell has officially launched in Great Britain.
Capital Cell , founded by Daniel Oliver and based in Barcelona, is the first European equity crowdfunding platform for Biotech projects. After several successful years of investment crowdfunding in Spain specialising in life science, Capital Cell has jumped the Channel and expanded into the UK market.
To date, Capital Cell has successfully closed 14 campaigns, with a success rate of 82% during the last 12 months. The platform carefully selectshigh quality scientific investment opportunities for investors. Capital Cell has raised over €4.4M for research and development in various branches of life science, including biotechnology, medical devices, therapeutics, genomics and drug discovery.
The UK is the most developed investment crowdfunding market with plenty of competition. But the market is quite robust and has grown rapidly as both early stage and later stage companies have warmed up to raising capital online. The UK also benefits from bespoke regulations that do not arbitrarely cap the amount an issuer may raise. The biggest hurdle starts at €5 million where an issuer must file a prospectus. There have been many multi-million pound crowdfunding rounds since the industry launched a few years back.
As newcomers to the UK equity investment arena, Capital Cell says they are ready to make waves from day one with solid partnerships with Angels in MedCity (AiMC), Biotech and Money, Health Education East (HEE), The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and RebelBio.
“We’re excited to have Capital Cell on board, hot on the heels of their latest life sciences equity crowdfunding campaign which was the largest in Spain’s records. This partnership will introduce our network of business angels to new and exciting life sciences investment opportunities, and present entrepreneurs to a fast-growing specialist investor network,” explains Sarah Haywood, MedCity CEO. “ Angels in MedCity has helped companies to raise over £14 million in just over two years and, with more investment streams, we can help more companies to get the funding they need to grow their innovations. Crowdfunding is an interesting, new investment opportunity for life sciences and we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”
The official Capital Cell UK launch took place as part of the AiMC Company Presentation Event on 26th April 2017 in London, where they met with many different prospective life science companies and investors. There was also a Capital Cell’s Demo Day event on 30th March in London.
The Demo Day showcased 6 promising life science companies who each pitched to a select group of life science investors, followed by Q&A, roundtable discussions and networking.
Ian Tomlinson, one of Capital Cell’s lead investors, commented on his relationship with the crowdfunding platform;
“I thought there must be hundreds of these crowdfunding outfits trying to invest into life science, but [Laura Ferguson, UK Director} said, “Well, it’s actually not the case. Although there are generalist crowdfunding platforms across the UK that are well established, there isn’t one that’s dedicated to life science.” I said, “That’s a bit bizarre! Why’s that the case?” She said, “It just hasn’t been done. But we have one in Spain and it’s doing very well.” And I’m thinking… Crikey, if they can do it in Spain and they want to come to the UK, which was the plan, I mean how good could that be!?”
Tomlinson said he was interested in helping entrepreneurs go from idea to actually having a product such as a new medicine or treatment.
“I’d like to see the platform be used by as many life sciences companies as possible, and I do think there’s a real issue in the UK, probably across Europe actually, of funding into that sweet spot, where people are looking for £250k to £2M,” said Tomlinson. “I think this platform seems to be to be a pretty good way of bringing [Angel investors] together – people who have money they want to invest in these, albeit high risk, opportunities, but with potentially high reward. High reward not meaning only potentially high reward for themselves financially, but something that’s going to make people’s lives better; whether it be a medicine, a device, a diagnostic or some other kind of kit.”
The new site, Capital Cell UK features a new concept for the company of ‘Invest and Discover’. Invest will feature the companies who are open for investment in a live campaign. Discover will host companies who are in the process of negotiating a lead investor, providing them with a platform for gaining visibility and building traction ahead of a live crowdfunding round. Capital Cell has embraced the concept of pairing professional investors with the crowd. Investors will be able to follow the progress of companies and indicate their interest in investing, once the campaign goes live.
Specialising in life science projects, Capital Cell’s launch features four companies:
In coming weeks Capital Cell says four more opportunities will be added from a variety of scientific advancement areas; including cancer treatment efficiency and drug delivery, fertility tracking, vein imaging technology, autoimmune disease therapy and natural vector control.
Capital Cell says that as an investment sector, life science is outperforming in the overall crowdfunding arena. Seed stage life science companies saw a 19% increase in deals in 2016 in comparison to a 39% drop in retail businesses .
“But the benefits of life science investment go well beyond the financial,” says Laura Ferguson, Capital Cell UK Director. “The companies we’re listing on our platform really do change lives. As an investment area, life sciences not only has potentially huge financial rewards, but also carries clear social benefits for everyone. Investors in Capital Cell campaigns will have the satisfaction of knowing that their money is directly funding cutting edge science that will influence the world around us.”