Portugal Ventures closes first half of the year with the investment in 14 new startups, corresponding toa total of Eur 9 million invested

  • 8 new startups and EUR 5 million in investment as a result of Call MVP.
  • 2 startups in the Digital sector, 4 in the Engineering and Manufacturing sector and 2 in Life Sciences.
  • 3 investments with Portuguese and international co-investment.

Lisbon, 10 July 2019 – Portugal Ventures adds 8 new startups to its portfolio: Azitek, Beamian, CellmAbs, Chemitek,Fyde, Lovys, Noocityand TargTex, which represent a total of over EUR 5 million in investment made in partnership with our Ignition Capital Network and international investors, who co-invested an additional EUR 2.8 million. Investments were also made in startups from the Tourism sector via Call Tourism announced on 6 June – Oliófora, XLR8,Homeitand TripWix, and in Advertio, disclosed on 5 February, and in Agrimarketplaceon 2 April, both as a result of 2018 editions of Call MVP.

We thus close the first half of 2019 with 14 investments made, totalling EUR 9 million.

With these investments Portugal Ventures adds to its portfolio a group of companies that bring important synergies in experience and knowledge sharing, and business opportunities for companies that are already part of the portfolio.

These investments are the result of the two editions held of Call MVP, launched in July 2018, which is currently accepting open-ended submissions, with entrepreneurs able to submit their projects at any time. Call MVP addresses a gap in the market in access to venture capital investment for innovative ideas, technologies, products or services that offer a Minimum Viable Product for the global market. One hundred and seventy-one applications have been submitted to the call thus far.

CEO Rita Marques says that “these new investments show how important Portugal Ventures is in stimulating the market together with other co-investment partners. Several projects were submitted from the various areas in which Portugal Ventures operates – Life Sciences, Digital, Engineering & Manufacturing – with significant potential and teams that have specialised know-how that enable us to look to the future with confidence. Ending the first half of the year with this volume of investment is also a testament to the effort made by everyone at Portugal Ventures and the result of the work we have been doing since May 2018.  We’d like to welcome the new startups in our portfolio to the Portugal Ventures community!”.

The investment in Azitek, Beamian, CellmAbs, Chemitek, Noocity and TargTex were made through the venture capital fund managed by Portugal Ventures, co-financed by the European Union through the Equity and Quasi Equity Fund managed by IFD (Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento, S.A.), through funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), via Portugal2020 and COMPETE  2020.

Brief overview of the 8 new startups:

Azitek has designed a low-cost indoor and outdoor geolocation solution for theautomotive industry, airports and seaports. Based on proprietary RFID technology,  the solution digitizes and locates high-value assets in large complexes and, through a platform, analyzes data and manages automated warnings, thereby optimizing resource management. The company currently operates in the car distribution centre and dealership market, with a potential 100 thousand customers in Europe and America. The investment from Portugal Ventures will help the team led by José Valente and Rui Gomes bring in new talent to the R&D  department and to expand to new verticals, such as seaports and airports.

Beamian offers a complete all-in-one events management solution comprising two major components: a cloud platform (that enables organisers to create and manage all tasks related to an event) and physical identifiers: smart badges (that identify visitors) and beamers (IoT devices that identify sites, brands and exhibitors) used during the event and which record all interactions between attendees, brands and exhibitors. The potential of the EMS (Event Management Software) market is valued at an estimated EUR 7 million and grows more than 11% per year. With the funds from Portugal Ventures, Sérgio Pinto, Sérgio Alves and the beamian team hope to accelerate their internationalization process and expand to the European market.

CellmAbs, a spinoff from Lisbon NOVA University, offers an innovative immuno-oncology technology. It develops a new class of immunotherapies to treat solid tumours, particularly in the approach to pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer and other cancers. The technology developed by Nuno Prego Ramos, Paula Videira and their team is one of the most recent advancements in the field of oncology and glycobiology in the world. They will use the investment from Portugal ventures to kick-off two development programmes for innovative and personalised treatments, with pre-clinical trials scheduled to start in 18 months.

ChemiTek offers innovative solutions for the maintenance and protection of different materials, namely solar panels and windows, keeping them clean for longer. Today, 70 thousand solar panels are installed an hour across the globe and this is the target-market for the company led by César Martins, whose technology reduces accumulated dirt from the glass and thus increases the energy produced by solar panels. The windows market is another vertical, where cleaning costs are high and Chemitek’s product helps cut costs and save on the required infrastructures. The investment from Portugal Ventures, in co-investment with SBS Startup Braga, BrainCapital and Nelp Five, will give ChemiTek the means and human resources to enable its internationalization.

Founded in 2017, Fyde is a cybersecurity company based in Palo Alto, California. Its goal is to protect remote access to enterprise information systems based on the Zero Trust Security model to mitigate security risks associated with traditional VPN access. Led by Sinan Eren, the product is developed in Porto, Portugal, by a team of 20 employees.  Portugal Ventures’ investment, in co-investment with Bright Pixel, Wells Fargo, DNX Ventures and Vertex Ventures, will help build engineering, product and sales capacity in Portugal and thus decisively contribute to the company’s sustainable growth.

Founded by João Cardoso in 2017, Lovys aims to revolutionize the insurance market. Based in Leiria, it set its sights on France as its first market, where it identified an opportunity in the consumers’ lack of confidence in insurance companies and the sector’s lack of digitization in the country. Lovys offers a 100% digital solution and can aggregate multiple insurance subscription policies into a single monthly payment, making household management easier. The co-investment with MAIF Avenir, PlugNPlay and Neftys Pharma will be used to expand the Lovys team in France and Portugal, and to increase the product offer and, consequently, the number of subscriptions.

Noocity wants to make Urban Farming accessible to everyone. The product the company has developed enables anyone living in an urban environment to grow and harvest their own vegetables in a practical, efficient and eco-friendly way. Designed and manufactured in Portugal, Noocity already has a strong international presence, with over 4,000 m2of vegetable patches installed worldwide. In 2018,  Noocity entered the French market and in less than a year nearly 50% of its growbeds sold were shipped to the country. With the investment from Portugal Ventures, the team led by José Ruivo will bolster its sales and marketing team to increase sales.

Targtex is a drug company that develops clinical candidate drugs for different oncology indications. Its most advanced product aims at developing an effective treatment for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a brain tumour that affects 2-3 in every 100 thousand people, an estimated 240 thousand patients worldwide. This product showed high efficacy in pre-clinical trials in rodents. The investment from Portugal Ventures will allow the team led by João Seixas to optimize the product and begin large-scale production and conduct pre-clinical trials. The main goal is to obtain approval from the regulatory authorities to begin clinical trials in humans.