Portfolio November 24 2020
Voluntis successfully completes a capital increase of €5.9m and finalises the financing of its strategic roadmap
Voluntis, a leader in the field of digital therapeutics, announces today the completion of a capital increase without preferential subscription rights exclusively reserved to the category of investors defined below for a total amount of €5.9 million. The securities were subscribed by quality European investors, most of them specialized in the healthcare sector, including Debiopharm Innovation Fund, Corporate fund of Swiss company Debiopharm, and Indigo, the holding company of M. Eric Carreel, Chairman & co-founder of Withings, which strengthened its position. The issue price of the new shares was set at €4.43 per share, i.e. a discount of 15% on the average of the volume-weighted average price of the last three trading days prior to its setting. The net proceeds of the capital increase (€5.7 million) will be used by Voluntis to strengthen its financial resources, in particular to develop its commercial activities with the pharmaceutical industry and to contribute to the financing of R&D activities. This capital raising complements the financing tools already in place, notably the €2 million state-guaranteed loan (PGE) and the recently obtained €1 million R&D Innovation loan, and enables the Company to cover its financing needs beyond the next 12 months. The Company's Board of directors has also decided to appoint Mrs. Tanja Dowe, CEO of Debiopharm Innovation Fund, as a Board’s Observer. Pierre Leurent, CEO, said: "First and foremost, I would like to thank the investors who have placed their trust in us and contributed to the success of this operation. We were committed to providing ourselves as quickly as possible with the financial visibility necessary to execute our strategic roadmap with confidence. We can now focus on completing the developments for the commercialization of digital therapeutics within the framework of our commercial agreements already concluded and on the negotiation of new collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.” Eric Elliott, Chairman of the board of directors, said: "We are delighted to welcome Tanja Dowe as a board’s observer following this transaction. We look forward to capitalizing on her excellent knowledge of the digital health sector and her extensive international network.” Tanja Dowe, CEO of Debiopharm Innovation Fund, adds: "Debiopharm is very pleased to join Voluntis and to contribute to its further growth. The company's positioning at the forefront of the rapidly growing digital therapeutics sector is perfectly aligned with Debiopharm's priority areas of interest, particularly given its industry lead in oncology.” Guillaume Floch, CFO, added: "We have opted for a hybrid financing, combining the capital increase announced today and debt, in order to optimize our balance sheet structure while limiting the dilutive impact of our financings.” The placement was led by Banque Delubac & Cie - CIB as lead manager, advisor and overall coordinator of the transaction.
Portfolio November 23 2020
Scandit expands into the Japanese market to enable digital transformation through computer vision and augmented reality
Scandit, the leading technology platform for mobile computer vision and augmented reality (AR) solutions for enterprises, announced that it is expanding into the Japanese market with the establishment of Scandit GK, scheduled to be completed by the end of November this year. The Zurich-headquartered company is focusing its local sales, marketing, and partnership activities on the leading Japanese companies in industries such as retail, transport and logistics, and manufacturing. Scandit is a unique computer vision and machine learning platform combining leading-edge barcode scanning, text recognition (OCR), object recognition, and AR for any camera-equipped smart device – from familiar smartphones to drones, wearables, and robots. The software is unmatched in terms of speed, accuracy, and the ability to scan in bad light conditions, at any angle and with damaged labels. “Our early results in Japan prove that there are tremendous opportunities for our scanning solutions here,” said Masahiro Sekine, Senior Sales Director at Scandit GK. “Once companies see how they can replace dedicated scanners with smart devices that blend the physical and digital world and display real-time insights with AR-overlays, they start to accelerate their digital transformation, rapidly.” Organizations in retail, transport and logistics, and manufacturing are using Scandit to power mobile apps, for operations such as mobile shopping, self-checkout, inventory management, proof of delivery, and asset tracking. Scandit’s solutions help take time and cost out of operations in any industry, empowering employees and improving customer engagement and satisfaction. Mr. Minoru Yamamoto, Operating Officer, and Chief Officer of System Solution Division, AEON Retail Co., Ltd., which is one of the leading users of Scandit in the Japanese market, expressed his expectations for the company. ““RegiGo” is a new style of shopping where customers scan products and pay at the cash register. The applications that integrate Scandit’s solutions allow the scanning process to be faster and stress-free, making the shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable. With the establishment of Scandit’s Japanese office, we expect that our usage will go over the User Interface improvement at the shop-front system, but also to productivity improvement at the back office.” Scandit’s global customers exceed 1,000 organizations including 7-Eleven, Inc, Alaska Airlines, Macy’s, FedEx, Coach, Levi Strauss & Co and Toyota Motors USA, and perform tens of billions of scans every year on 100+ million active devices, that includes more than 20 companies in Japan mainly in retail and distribution, starting from AEON Retail (headquartered in Chiba-city, Chiba, Japan). “The COVID-19 pandemic has made contactless experiences a critical part of what companies offer to customers and employees,” said Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit. “Our new presence in Japan ensures that the Japanese market will have access to the best contactless scanning solutions, both now and in the future, and we are glad that we could better serve the Japanese customers and users in that way.”
Portfolio November 20 2020
Warburg Pincus backs German real estate broker McMakler
Warburg Pincus has invested in German real estate agents and brokerage company McMakler, alongside existing shareholders. “Since inception, McMakler has grown very quickly to become a market leader, providing outstanding service to clients looking to buy and sell properties. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid 19 Pandemic this year, the business has continued its strong growth. Thanks to our innovative technology platform and our 300 highly qualified local brokers across our numerous locations in Germany, McMakler provides a modern and transparent real estate sale and purchase process," says Felix Jahn, CEO and founder of McMakler. And further: "We are very pleased to welcome Warburg Pincus as a new partner. They bring a wealth of relevant experience in scaling up high growth businesses both in Germany and overseas and they share our desire to improve the customer experience throughout the residential real estate transaction process." “The traditional real estate sale process is inefficient, often opaque and does not harness the full potential of available data and technology. McMakler, optimises cutting-edge technology and data, to provide a highly professional and efficient service for customers. Felix and his team have the potential to redefine the real estate market and the Warburg Pincus funds are proud to support McMakler on this journey. This partnership underlines Warburg Pincus’ strong commitment to the German market and its ability to support young, innovative companies with growth capital and global expertise," says René Obermann, Co-Head Europe and Managing Director at Warburg Pincus Deutschland GmbH, which advises the Warburg Pincus funds. The next phase of growth will be focused on expanding McMakler’s proprietary technology and digital tools to expedite a more transparent and faster marketing process for customers. The company is also planning to further expand its more than two dozen existing locations in Germany and abroad.
Portfolio November 19 2020
Zerto launches security solutions for containerised applications
Zerto has launched new continuous data protection (CDP) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities for containerised applications. The company has launched its beta program of Zerto for Kubernetes (Z4K), an extension of its Zerto Platform, to support next-generation, cloud native applications. Organisations can now protect, recover, and move any Kubernetes application and its persistent data for accelerated deployment within their application development lifecycles. According to the company, by applying its always-on replication for backup, DR, and mobility capabilities for Kubernetes applications that utilise persistent data, Zerto is bringing its CDP and journaling technology to containerised applications, and making it available to customers who want to participate in the beta program. Zerto for Kubernetes is also being made available for access by anyone, anywhere with a new hands-on lab running the Z4K beta code. For organisations just starting out with a containerised strategy, the hands-on lab provides a simplified way to test drive Z4K in the comfort of a home or office at any time with no additional setup required, the company states. The lab provides complimentary, on-demand training on how to set up, configure, and manage a Z4K environment. According to Zerto, the release comes against a backdrop of what ESG calls pervasive adoption of containers, illustrated in a recent survey in which 71% of respondents said they have deployed or plan to deploy container-based applications in a hybrid-cloud strategy. Zerto states it's clear to see why 57% of respondents indicated multi-cloud support as one of the most important features when it comes to backing up their organisation’s container environments. Since Zerto announced its plans to extend its platform to support next-generation applications at ZertoCON in June, the company has seen a rapid increase in demand for Z4K globally. Organisations such as IFDS are making Zerto an integral part of their development cycle to protect, recover, and move applications for accelerated software development and delivery, the company states. Zerto director of product strategy Deepak Verma says, “An evolution has been happening in the IT landscape for some time now. "Organisations want their applications updated as frequently and as granularly as possible. These continual updates require utilising microservices that often prove too big for the virtual machines. “Z4K provides all the unique functionality our customers love in the Zerto platform but for containerized Kubernetes applications and with the DevOps engineer in mind. "That means backup, DR, and data mobility for Kubernetes applications can be part of an on-premises or cloud deployment and be easily integrated and managed without requiring every Kubernetes application to write its own solution.”
Portfolio November 19 2020
Pyramid Analytics earns 92 top rankings and 90 leading positions in BARC’s The BI and Analytics Survey 21
Pyramid Analytics, the next generation trusted analytics platform designed for the enterprise, is pleased to announce 92 top rankings and a further 90 leading positions in this year’s The BI & Analytics Survey 21, the latest BI survey report from leading analyst firm BARC. Pyramid is featured in seven peer groups in this year’s report, including dashboarding-focused products, ad-hoc reporting-focused products, OLAP analysis-focused products, self-service analytics-focused products, EMEA-focused products, Americas-focused products, and embedded analytics-focused products. “It’s an honor to be recognized as an industry leader in BARC’s annual BI and analytics report,” said Omri Kohl, Pyramid Analytics co-founder and CEO. “BARC does an excellent job at providing an unbiased analysis of BI vendors, then pairing that with in-depth reviews from customers—actual practitioners using BI to improve their businesses. It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm remain so high for Pyramid in this year’s report.” In its 19th year, The BI & Analytics Survey 21 from BARC is the world’s largest and most comprehensive survey of over 2,500 business intelligence end users. The BI & Analytics Survey 21 helps organizations assess analytics and business intelligence vendors’ performance across 36 criteria (KPIs) including business benefits, project success, business value, recommendation, customer satisfaction, customer experience, innovation, and competitiveness. The survey assesses 33 leading BI solutions. For more information, go to https://bi-survey.com/. According to BARC, “Pyramid Analytics has created a product that meets today’s needs, is very stable and reliable and steadily delivers best-in class query performance. At the same time, it is very competitively priced, attracting customers with challenging requirements but limited budgets, which is increasingly commonplace in these times of economic hardship.” Key highlights from the report: 100% of surveyed users say they would recommend Pyramid. 100% of surveyed users rate Pyramid’s price-to-value as excellent or good. Highest product satisfaction in the whole survey. Number one rankings in all of its peer groups in the “Query performance” and “Performance satisfaction” KPIs constitute Pyramid Analytics’ most remarkable result in this year’s survey. Customers claim to have a typical query response time of 2.6 seconds, which is most impressive when working with a median of 536 GB of data. Key customer quotes from the report: “Incredible amount of functionality at an incredible price.” – Head of BI & Analytics Competence Center, Banking and Finance Organization (>2,500 employees) “A great tool with more exciting developments on the horizon.” – Head of Business Department, Retail/Wholesale/Trade Organization (100-2,500 employees) “It is a flexible and powerful BI solution, ideal for our BI user structure with lots of self-service users and limited IT support resources. The support team are excellent.” – BI Project Manager, Manufacturing Organization (>2,500 employees) “Overall very happy with use of tool. New features continue and this is great to see. The pace of new features has improved considerably. I am very excited for Pyramid 2020.” – External Consultant, Public Sector Organization, (>2,500 employees)
Portfolio November 18 2020
BioLineRx announces initiation of Phase 1b clinical trial in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections
BioLineRx Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical Company focused on oncology, today announced that the Company's lead drug candidate, the CXCR4-inhibitor Motixafortide, will be evaluated in an investigator-initiated clinical trial in patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections. The open-label, single-arm, Phase 1b study will be conducted at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, with Dr. Yasmin Maor, Head of the Infectious Disease Unit, as lead investigator. "Severe COVID-19 cases, where patients are hospitalized with ARDS and require ventilation, have generated renewed interest in the underlying pathology of acute respiratory stress disorder," noted Dr. Maor. "Substantial data is emerging regarding the involvement of neutrophils, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), monocytes and macrophages in the development of ARDS secondary to COVID-19 and other viral infections; as well as the key involvement of CXCR4 as a mediator of those cells in the inflamed pulmonary tissue. Based on the scientific data indicating the importance of blocking the CXCR4/CXCL12 axis during ARDS, Motixafortide could be of potential benefit for such patients. COVID-19 case counts are again surging in many parts of the world and addressing ARDS has become a top global health priority." The primary endpoint of the study is to assess the safety of Motixafortide in patients with ARDS secondary to COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections. Respiratory parameters and inflammatory biomarkers will be assessed as exploratory endpoints. Up to 25 patients will be enrolled, with a preliminary analysis planned after ten patients have completed the initial treatment period. Based on the preliminary evaluation, a decision to continue or not will be conducted by Dr. Maor, together with the Company. "We believe there is strong scientific rationale for exploring Motixafortide in ARDS, and we are grateful to Dr. Maor for initiating this study," stated Philip Serlin, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx. "We have compiled a significant body of data demonstrating Motixafortide's utility as a best-in-class CXCR4 inhibitor and we are eager to evaluate its effectiveness in blunting the cytokine storm that is associated with poor COVID-19 infection outcomes. We look forward to results from the preliminary analysis in the first half of next year. "In parallel, we remain on track to announce full data from our Phase 2a COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 study in pancreatic cancer, as well as interim results from our Phase 2b BLAST study in AML, by the end of this year," Mr. Serlin concluded.