Emerging Europe’s start-up scene is thriving: new money and new ideas are coming onto the market all the time. To keep you up to date with the latest investments, innovations, movers and shakers, each Monday Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-up news.
Antegenes: Personalised cancer prevention start-up raises 2.3 million euros
The Estonian health technology company Antegenes has raised 2.3 million euros in funding to bring its innovative genetic tests for personalised cancer prevention into wider use in healthcare, scale the team and expand to new foreign markets.
Funding was received from investors led by Pipedrive co-founder Timo Rein, Pipedrive’s first investor Peep Vain, and entrepreneurs Aare Kurist and Andreas Henn Otsmaa. There were also contributions from Enterprise Estonia and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
Antegenes’ novel genetic tests assess patient’s personal cancer risks and include clinical recommendations for further personalised cancer prevention. Tests are based on innovative polygenic risk score technology which helps to clarify individual’s genetic predispositions to cancer.
It therefore allows for more accurate prevention and early detection measures – crucial in the fight with cancer. The tests are currently used to determine the genetic risk to four cancers: breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and skin melanoma.
“To reduce cancer deaths, the genetic predisposition of cancer should be analysed for all people, and our vision is to implement this internationally with our partners,” says Dr Peeter Padrik, founder and CEO of Antegenes. “This is why the current investment round is very important for our growth and next steps. We are glad that investors share our vision of the future of healthcare.”
Doctor.One: A collaborative approach to fighting chronic kidney disease in Poland
Doctor.One, a Polish start-up developing an app for the early diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) has won Nephrohero, a competition for innovative healthtech start-ups run by the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub (WHIH).
More than four million people suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Poland, of which only 200,000 are already diagnosed. It is the second most common chronic disease in the country and, if left untreated, can lead to kidney failure.
The winning team will receive a grant of 400,000 złoty from the initiator and funder of the competition, AstraZeneca, as well as consultancy support from public institutions and EIT Health InnoStars. The project will last around 12 months.
“Our project is to bring people at risk and in the early stages of CKD under the personalised, direct and continuous care of a doctor who knows the patient,” says Tomasz Rudolf, co-founder and president of Doctor.One. “Such a model of care will allow doctors to support patients in making lifestyle changes on an ongoing basis and to intervene medically – if necessary, quickly. We believe that in this way, medics can slow down the progression of the disease.”
Nephrohero is a demonstration of how the open innovation model can work in practice and has the potential to provide better care for patients,” adds Balázs Fürjes, managing director of EIT Health InnoStars. “As an engaged partner of the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub, we are eager to see the scalability potential of such solutions and other similar initiatives that strengthen collaborations between public and private sectors.”
Flashpoint: Emerging Europe-focused tech VC closes new fund at 102 million US dollars
Flashpoint Venture Capital, a technology investment firm that manages equity and debt funds focused on global Series A tech start-ups originating in emerging Europe and Israel, this week closed funding of its VC III fund after Hungary’s Széchenyi Funds committed 20 million US dollars.
The input from Széchenyi Funds – which becomes Flashpoint’s first institution investor – brings the total raised for Flashpoint’s VC III to over 100 million US dollars.
“We are delighted to reach our initial goal of over 100 million US dollars in commitments for our VC III fund despite the extremely challenging backdrop for fundraising,” says Michael Szalontay, co-founder and general partner at Flashpoint.
“Being a Hungarian, I am especially proud that our first institutional investor is from Hungary as we are pursuing a shared mission in developing the venture capital ecosystem in Hungary and the Carpathian basin.”
Dénes Jobbágy, CEO and president of Széchenyi Funds adds: “We know from experience that emerging Europe talent and professional investment is a highly efficient combination. Especially so in the following years when increasing cost efficiencies through technology will be more important than ever before.”
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