c-LEcta lays foundation for further growth and closes financing round
c-LEcta already has a diversified shareholder structure. In addition to the founder, Dr. Marc Struhalla, private industrial investors and German institutionals, the company has now expanded its circle of shareholders by attracting international investors. c-LEcta has received growth capital from two new shareholders. Lead investor, Capricorn Venture Partners, is an independent, internationally oriented investment company, based in Leuven, Belgium. Capricorn invests in innovative, technology driven companies and has a multidisciplinary team of experienced investment professionals. Capricorn invested through two funds, namely the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund NV and Quest for Growth NV. The German investment company bm|t invests in high-growth technology companies led by entrepreneurial teams. bm|t invested via the MFT Mittelstands-Fonds Thüringen GmbH & Co. KG. These new funds are planned to be particularly invested in the approval, launch and scale-up of products from the project pipeline, further development of the pipeline as well as the expansion of international sales.
Mr. Ludwig Goris, Investment Manager of Capricorn, commented on the investment in c-LEcta: “We see that global mega trends and challenges in human nutrition are paving the way for industrial biotech companies like c-LEcta. Since its foundation, c-LEcta has built up a remarkable track record of technology and product development and has been able to validate that through a growing customer base of leading pharma, chemical and food ingredient companies. In addition, we were impressed by the highly qualified team in Leipzig. Founder and CEO Dr. Marc Struhalla and his motivated team have created a great company that has arrived at an attractive inflection point where the current product pipeline forms the foundation for an accelerated growth curve. We are proud to lead this growth capital round and contribute to the success of c-LEcta.”
Kevin Reeder, CEO of bm|t added, “bm|t, which has a substantial life sciences portfolio, is very optimistic about its investment in c-LEcta. The company´s strong team, track record of successful development, and a highly compelling product pipeline were extremely impressive. We feel c-LEcta is well-positioned to transition to a high-value biotechnology product company.” The two new investors expand the group of shareholders, which previously included the following investors: SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement mbH, High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH, KfW Bankengruppe, Dr. Marc Struhalla, Warning Beteiligungs GmbH, Dr. Bader Beteiligungs GmbH, and Arthur Steinmetz Beteiligungs GmbH.
In order to reinforce management and the board and support the anticipated growth, Thomas Pfaadt (45) recently joined c-LEcta as CFO. He enriches the company with his experience in corporate finance and M&A. Previously Thomas Pfaadt worked for a private equity-owned operator of rehabilitation clinics as well as for a family-owned integrated healthcare group. He also gained experiences as an investment banker and consultant with a strong focus on the healthcare sector. He commented on what excites him about c-LEcta: “c-LEcta is a young, lean, and dynamic company and a global player at the same time. We are fighting the serious challenges of today’s human nutrition. A growing population and a growing demand for healthy natural food require solutions from enzyme technologies that the chemical industry cannot provide. We are pleased to have won these two new investors to finance our work in addressing these large opportunities.”
c-LEcta is a fully integrated biotechnology company based in Leipzig, Germany, with focus on enzyme engineering and application in regulated markets like food and pharma. c-LEcta currently employs around 60 people. The company is well diversified and covers a large part of the value chain from discovery to engineering to the commercial production of enzymes as well as the manufacturing of other high-quality biotechnology products, either as in-house developments or in close cooperation with the industry. Over the last five years, c-LEcta has conducted more than 30 enzyme engineering projects with a success rate of >90%. Only a few weeks ago, the company announced a major breakthrough as the first company to develop a process to enable the mass-production of a plant-based sweetener with a real sugar-like taste. In addition, two further food ingredient products with high market potential are in an advanced development stage and the project pipeline comprises several promising candidates addressing the multi-billion-euro food ingredients market. This growth financing is intended to raise c-LEcta to a new level and elevate the focused food ingredients from the project pipeline to commercial scale production.
CEO Dr. Marc Struhalla commented on c-LEcta’s core technology and the capital increase: "The performance requirements for enzymes to be applied in industrial processes are in most cases very specific and vary from naturally occurring variations. Enzymes therefore need to be adapted to industrial conditions via enzyme engineering, and c-LEcta owns one of the most efficient technology platforms in this area. For enzyme optimization as well as for the development of artificial enzyme activities, we use patent-protected strategies that are inspired by nature. The industrial application of these technologies holds great market potential. The financial strength and valuable international network that we have gained through this financing round now offers us the opportunity to develop the full potential of our technology and people. With Capricorn Venture Partners and bm|t, we get two active investors on board that can contribute substantially to our international growth ambitions. Also, I am all the more pleased that our new CFO Thomas Pfaadt will support us in this endeavor. Our goal is that in the future c-LEcta´s technology will be employed in many things we encounter in everyday life.”