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Further funding for JeNaCell: Investors won over again by platform technology for producing high-tech biomaterials

  • 2015

JeNa­Cell spe­cial­izes in biotech­nol­ogy-derived nanocel­lu­lose and pos­sesses a unique man­u­fac­tur­ing process in this area. With seed financ­ing from High-Tech Grün­der­fonds (HTGF) and the Thuringian Tech­nol­ogy, Inno­va­tion and Research Foun­da­tion (STIFT) in 2012, the spin-off from Friedrich Schiller Uni­ver­sity in Jena was able to build an auto­mated pro­duc­tion facil­ity for high per­for­mance bio­ma­te­ri­als as well as imple­ment a qual­ity man­age­ment pro­gram pur­suant to DIN EN ISO 13485.

Now, JeNa­Cell has closed a series‑A financ­ing round with the renowned indus­trial cor­po­ra­tion Evonik Indus­tries, bm|t (beteili­gungs­man­age­ment thürin­gen GmbH) and Sparkasse Jena. Exist­ing investors HTGF and STIFT also par­tic­i­pated in the financ­ing round. The cap­i­tal will be used for the expan­sion of pro­duc­tion capac­ity at its Jena site and the inten­si­fi­ca­tion of mar­ket­ing and sales activities.

We have observed the com­pany with inter­est for some time,” said Udo Werner, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of bm|t in Erfurt. “We were con­vinced not only by the bio­ma­te­r­ial tech­nol­ogy and the group of investors, but also by the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in the man­age­ment team. JeNa­Cell is part of the suc­cess­ful busi­ness devel­op­ment envi­ron­ment here in Thuringia.”

Dr. Nadine Hessler, founder and CEO of JeNa­Cell, said of the trans­ac­tion, “We are glad to have a strong Thuringian part­ner in bm|t that will accom­pany us in the growth phase of our busi­ness devel­op­ment. In addi­tion, we have gained a strate­gic investor in Evonik; their exten­sive exper­tise in the devel­op­ment and oper­a­tions of biotech pro­duc­tion facil­i­ties and sup­port us with mar­ket access will be invaluable.”

Due to its excep­tional prop­er­ties, JeNaCell’s bio­ma­te­r­ial is excel­lent not only for the treat­ment of slow-heal­ing wounds and burns but also in spa prod­ucts; addi­tion­ally, the mate­r­ial shows great promise in tech­ni­cal applications.

JeNa­Cell is great strate­gic fit Evonik. Their tech­nol­ogy com­ple­ments our exper­tise in both the fields of biotech­nol­ogy and trans­port sys­tems for med­ical agents,” said Dr. Bern­hard Mohr, Head of Ven­ture Cap­i­tal at Evonik, of the partnership.

We believe that JeNa­Cell, with its inno­v­a­tive plat­form tech­nol­ogy and know-how par­tic­u­larly in the field of inter­ac­tive wound man­age­ment, is a com­pelling part­ner for estab­lished sup­pli­ers in the mar­ket. This is clearly under­scored by the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Evonik, who are simul­ta­ne­ously invested in High-Tech Grün­der­fonds,” said Dr. Mar­tin Pfis­ter, Invest­ment Man­ager at High-Tech Gründerfonds.

About Jena Cell GmbH

JeNa­Cell, founded in 2012, is a spe­cial­ist in the devel­op­ment and man­u­fac­ture of biotech­nol­ogy-derived nanocel­lu­lose (BNC) with a defined shape and con­trol­lable struc­ture design. A spin-off from Friedrich Schiller Uni­ver­sity in Jena, JeNa­Cell offers a glob­ally unique con­tin­u­ous-pro­duc­tion method for highly effec­tive bio­ma­te­ri­als for use in inno­v­a­tive and pio­neer­ing appli­ca­tions in the fields of med­i­cine and cos­met­ics. Their com­pre­hen­sive exper­tise with adapt­ing the mate­r­ial prop­er­ties dur­ing biosyn­the­sis enables cus­tomer-spe­cific prod­uct development.


Dr. Antje Mark, Mar­ket­ing Manager
Tel.: +49 3641 508 459

About Evonik

Evonik, the cre­ative indus­trial cor­po­ra­tion from Ger­many, is one of the world’s lead­ing spe­cialty chem­i­cals com­pa­nies. Prof­itable growth and a sus­tained increase in cor­po­rate value are the focus of the cor­po­rate strat­egy. Evonik’s activ­i­ties are focused on key mega­trends in health, nutri­tion, resource effi­ciency and glob­al­iza­tion. Evonik ben­e­fits from its inno­v­a­tive prowess and inte­grated tech­nol­ogy plat­forms. Evonik is active in over 100 coun­tries with more than 33,000 employ­ees; the cor­po­ra­tion gen­er­ated rev­enue of around €12.9 bil­lion and an oper­at­ing profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 bil­lion in 2014.


Silke Lin­newe­ber, Cor­po­rate Press
Tel.: +49 201 17 73 389

About bm|t

Erfurt-based bm|t (beteili­gungs­man­age­ment thürin­gen GmbH) is a sub­sidiary of the Thuringia Devel­op­ment Bank and the pre­mier part­ner for invest­ments in Thuringia. bm|t cur­rently admin­is­ters six funds with a total vol­ume of around €250 mil­lion. bm|t invests in inno­v­a­tive com­pa­nies from all high-yield sec­tors and in all stages of a company’s life cycle, from start-up to IPO or MBO.


Katrin Uschmann, Invest­ment Manager
Tel.: +49 361 74 47 610
Email: katrin.uschmann@bm‑

About High-Tech Gründerfonds

High-Tech Grün­der­fonds invests in young, high poten­tial high-tech start-ups. The seed financ­ing pro­vided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through pro­to­typ­ing and to mar­ket launch. Typ­i­cally, High-Tech Grün­der­fonds invests up to €500,000 in the seed stage, with the poten­tial for up to a total of €2 mil­lion per port­fo­lio com­pany in fol­low-on financ­ing. Investors in this public/private part­ner­ship include the Fed­eral Min­istry of Eco­nom­ics and Energy, the KfW Bank­ing Group, and strate­gic cor­po­rate investors includ­ing ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daim­ler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more ven­ture Beteili­gungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qia­gen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Ten­gel­mann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Grün­der­fonds has about €576 mil­lion under man­age­ment in two funds (€272 mil­lion HTGF I, €304 mil­lion HTGF II).


Via the Thuringian Net­work for the For­ma­tion of Inno­v­a­tive Com­pa­nies (ThEx Inno­v­a­tiv), STIFT sup­ports newly estab­lished tech­nol­ogy-ori­ented and inno­v­a­tive com­pa­nies. Fur­ther­more, STIFT acts as side investor in the early-phase financ­ing of high-tech com­pa­nies. The concept’s degree of inno­va­tion and entre­pre­neur­ial poten­tial are decid­ing fac­tors for an invest­ment from STIFT, with­out any focus on spe­cific busi­ness areas. STIFT invest­ments focus on the region of Thuringia.

About Sparkasse Jena

For more than 185 years, Sparkasse Jena-Saale-Hol­z­land has been a strong and reli­able part­ner in the Jena and Saale-Hol­z­land region. Thanks to its large branch net­work, con­sul­tants are avail­able for their clients in the imme­di­ate vicin­ity, allow­ing impor­tant deci­sions to be made quickly and locally. Sparkasse offers every­thing in one place, from check­ing accounts to real estate bro­ker­age, and con­struc­tion finance to com­mer­cial and cor­po­rate lend­ing. As a pub­lic insti­tu­tion, Sparkasse is com­mit­ted to the com­mon good and eco­nomic devel­op­ment of the Jena-Saale-Hol­z­land region and peo­ple who live there.

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