Exit: Seed Fonds II Aachen sells shares in aquila biolabs
Aachen — The “Seed Fonds II für die Region Aachen GmbH & Co. KG” (Seed Fonds Aachen), together with KfW Bankengruppe, Qiagen co-founder Dr. Jürgen Schumacher and Dr. Robert Huber, Professor of Bioprocess Engineering, have sold their shares in the Aachen-based start-up aquila biolabs GmbH to Scientific Bioprocessing, Inc. (SBI), subsidiary of Scientific Industries, Inc. and developer of optical sensors for non-invasive real-time monitoring of cell culture systems, was divested.
This ends a six-year investment partnership that began in 2015 with the entry of Seed Fund II, the predecessor of TechVision Fund I, with a seven-figure investment in the biotechnology company. “It is gratifying that we can accompany such a great founding team to a successful exit with our early-stage funds. I look forward to seeing the success story of aquila biolabs continue along this path,” says Dr. Ansgar Schleicher, CEO of the S‑UBG Group.
Expanding the platform’s reach worldwide
Founded in Aachen at the end of 2014, aquila biolabs GmbH develops a platform of intelligent sensors and software for the non-invasive monitoring and analysis of bioprocesses in the laboratory. With the help of the patented measurement methods, researchers can automatically monitor process parameters and observe the cells as they grow, without having to take samples. This significantly reduces development times and costs and sustainably improves bioprocesses in academic and industrial research. The products of aquila biolabs GmbH are now used by customers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological and chemical industries in over 25 countries.
“We are excited to join SBI and expand the reach of our unique platform to bioprocess scientists around the world,” says Daniel Grünes, co-founder of aquila biolabs, who will assume the role of Vice President of R&D and Operations at SBI. Jens Bayer, co-founder of aquila biolabs, adds: “We would like to thank our investor consortium once again for the very good and harmonious cooperation over the past years. Especially the enormous wealth of experience of investors like Mr. Schumacher and the Seed Fonds Aachen, who have frequently accompanied technology companies from the start-up phase to the exit, was very helpful for us.” aquila biolabs will continue to offer its products and services around the globe from its headquarters in Baesweiler, where the company currently employs 16 people.
SBI expands presence in Europe
“When SBI was exploring the available technologies that could drive digitally simplified bioprocessing, aquila’s approach stood out as the most impressive,” said Reinhard Vogt, chairman of SBI and former vice president and member of the Sartorius AG Executive Board. “In addition to offering a broad range of advanced sensors and data analytics tools, this strategic acquisition also adds new talent to our strong team and strengthens our presence in Europe.”
About the S‑UBG Group
The S‑UBG Group, Aachen, has been the leading partner in the provision of equity capital for established medium-sized companies (S‑UBG AG) and young, technology-oriented start-ups (TechVision Fonds I) in the economic regions of Aachen, Krefeld and Mönchengladbach for over 30 years. S‑UBG AG invests in growth sectors; high quality of corporate management is a key investment criterion for the investment company.
2020, TechVision Fonds I für die Region Aachen, Krefeld & Mönchengladbach GmbH & Co. KG was launched together with NRW.BANK, the savings banks of Aachen, Krefeld and Düren, Kreissparkasse Heinsberg, Stadtsparkasse Mönchengladbach, Nomainvest, DSA Invest GmbH, investors from the Dr. Babor Group and other private investors. It provides around 40 million euros in seed capital for the start-up scene in the region. TechVision Fonds I emerged from Seed Fonds III for the Aachen, Krefeld and Mönchengladbach region. As an extension of Seed Fund III, TechVision Fund I now seeks to participate in subsequent financing rounds (Series A/B) of existing portfolio companies in addition to seed investments. The S‑UBG Group currently holds stakes in just under 40 companies in the region, giving it a leading position in the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. www.s‑ubg.de; www.techvision-fonds.de