Since 2015, it has raised €5.6 million and has helped finance over 15 companies
Why did you opt to create a crowdfunding platform specifically for the health and biotechnology sectors?
Despite the fact the biotechnology companies present the highest survival and success rates, and offer higher potential for profitability, we realized that Spanish business angels and investors insisted on investing mostly in internet, consumer products and the commonplace real estate. Why? From our perspective, the reason for this is a lack of understanding, basically. Entrepreneurs in science tend to explain their projects in highly technical terms, and this scares off most investors. That's why we decided to create Capital Cell, a platform in which scientific projects are understandable and offer the guarantee of having been screened by our experts' analysis and selection. Our intention is to offer a trustworthy source for laypeople who are not experts in the field to invest in a highly profitable sector with tremendous social impact.
In which countries have you opened delegations and in how many are you present?
Right now, we have offices in Cambridge (United Kingdom) and in Barcelona. We are currently negotiating to open another in Australia, but this most likely won't be materialized until 2018.
What percentage of Spanish investors participate in your platform?
In the Spanish platform, www.capitalcell.es, approximately 80-90%. Remember that we are an investment platform for investing in Spanish companies, and to invest in a Spanish company, a NIE (foreigner tax identification number) is mandatory. Unbelievably, it's still necessary for a foreigner who wishes to invest money in a Spanish company to obtain documentation from a Spanish Embassy; this limits our growth.
How many companies in Spain have you helped finance?
We have raised capital for 15 companies, the majority Spanish. In one case, the beneficiary company of the capital was North American, though with offices in Spain. We are continuously approached by companies from abroad, though we have a limitation: private investment by individual investors tends to be done in companies in that person's home country. We have tried to raise capital for companies in Israel and Italy, but always with very little response by Spanish or British investors.
One of the companies you have financed is the pharmaceutical company Aromics. What process has this company pursued to obtain the financing it needed?
The investment strategy of Capital Cell consists of completing an extremely thorough analysis of all projects. From a financial analysis to an expert review of the business plan, including all of the complex, technical details and issues related with patents, all of this is done by the team of Capital Cell and by our team of experts. Capital Cell uses a network of experts called BioExpert Network, which brings together over 800 opinion leaders and experts in biomedical investment. All projects launched for investment have necessarily passed this rigorous filter. Furthermore, all of the companies published in Capital Cell must have the guarantee of already counting with a reference investor; in the case of Aromics it was Narcís Clavell, one of the business angels from Barcelona with the most experience investing in health.
Who can invest through Capital Cell and how does one choose the projects in which to invest?
Absolutely anyone can freely choose a project to invest in and how much money to invest.
What amount of financing have you obtained, in total, since the launch of Capital Cell?
When we close our currently active campaigns (in a couple of weeks), we will have raised €5.6 million in Spain. In the United Kingdom, we have only had enough time to complete a campaign to raise GBP125,000.
Have the expectations with which the company was launched been fulfilled?
They are being fulfilled. Increasingly more people trust us, and we are an increasingly effective means through which to finance companies in their critical stages of development. We have positioned ourselves as an important tool for promoting the arrival of high techn to the market while also facilitating access for the average citizen and for non-specialized investors to one of the investments with highest potential for profitability that exists.
What positioning do you have in the Spanish market?
We continue to be the only specialists in the health sector. I think that this already positions us in a sufficiently unique spot!