Creator of a pioneering cloud-based tool for quantifying brain scans, Finnish company Combinostics closed a €3.9 million series A funding round jointly led by Industrifonden and NordicNinja VC in November 2019. Combinostics’ cNeuro® tool helps radiologists and neurologists diagnose and track the progress of dementias and Multiple sclerosis in patients based on combining brain MRI, in-vitro biomarkers and clinical data.
Combinostics first made contact with Infustrifonden in March 2018 at the European Healthtech Investment Forum organised by Techtour and Business Finland, which brought together dozens of healthtech startups and investors from around the world.
"Industrifonden expressed interest in investing in us but they needed another VC to match their investment. We were looking for a second investor, and in 2019 we met NordicNinja – again at the European Healthtech Investment Forum in Helsinki," says Lennart Thurfjell, CEO, Combinostics. "EHIF has proved to be a very important event for us and I recommend it to all healthtech companies that are looking for investors to take their business to the next stage."
Finding the right investors at the right time for scaling up the business is often challenging for a startup.
"In our case, the seed funding process went very smoothly but when it came to raising series A, it took a lot of time and effort," Thurfjell explains.
"My advice to companies in a similar situation is not to underestimate the amount of time you need for series A. Participate in external projects like accelerators in Europe and the United States and build your network with other companies and investors. Talk to multiple partners, and hopefully at least one will decide to invest in your company."
Combinostics' credibility with investors was boosted by its selection for the high-profile MassChallenge HealthTech 2019 program in Boston, United States, which is part of a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. In July 2019, Combinostics signed an agreement with Japanese company Nihon Medi-Physics Co., Ltd which is now working on regulatory approval and will market Combinostics' cloud-based dementia diagnosis support tool cNeuro® in Japan.
"Our focus on Japan helped to get NordicNinja interested. We also have a global collaboration with Siemens for reselling our product as part of their cloud offering, which is very important for us," Thurfjell adds.
"We are delighted to hear that Combinostics closed Series A funding, with the help from our activities", says Nora Kaarela, Head of Industry, Health & Wellbeing, Invest in Finland. "They are the reason why we organise the European Healthtech Investment Forum in Helsinki the 4th time. Our health tech and life science companies need smart money to scale-up and grow in the international markets, many dedicated and specialised VC and corporate investors are the best partners at that stage of development", Nora continues. "In my previous work in the industry I have been myself pitching at similar events around Europe, there was definitely a need to bring such an event to Finland, where selected health tech and life science companies can meet with one and only focus-funding further growth. During events, many investors have shared with us that Finnish health tech companies are technologically more advanced and more developed that in many other countries."
More information about European Health Investment Forum, EHIF
nora.kaarela (at) businessfinland.fi
+358 400 897 020