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Exit: Seed Fonds II Aachen sells shares in aquila biolabs

Photo: The foun­ding team of aquila biol­abs (from left to right) Daniel Grue­nes, Jens Bayer, David Frank, Konrad Herzog
3. May 2021

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

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