22th December 2011
The Imprimatur Capital Seed Fund in Latvia, with capital of EUR 3 million from the European Investment Fund's JEREMIE programme, co-financed by EU Structural Funds, has signed an investment in SIA "MolPort" a fine chemicals e-commerce business.
Today millions of unique chemicals are made by thousands of companies and research institutions around the world. However, because of the specific way molecules are described with chemical structures (the spatial arrangement of atoms and bonds between them), standard Internet search tools are of limited use when searching for a necessary compound or reagents. A vast number of available chemicals remain difficult to locate and buy and therefore are inaccessible to scientists in the fragmented but multi-billion dollar global market.
MolPort's solution combines smart text and graphical chemical structure search with a database of several million chemical compounds. MolPort's database aggregates catalogues of a large number of international suppliers and its search portal is a great way for niche suppliers to make their high-value products accessible to scientists globally. MolPort's trading platform dramatically reduces marketing costs for suppliers and compound synthesis costs for buyers, enabling highly cost-efficient interaction between them.
Toby Moore, Managing Partner of Imprimatur Capital Fund Management in Latvia stated, "We believe that MolPort is developing a valuable niche in the global but fragmented chemical reagent and pharmaceutical R&D industries. Based on their direct experience, MolPort is building a large database with millions of easily searchable chemical compounds and incorporating suppliers and buyers in an efficient trading platform. This has great market potential on a global scale and therefore is an attractive investment."
Imants Zudans, CEO and co-owner of MolPort stated that "MolPort is becoming a popular resource for scientists looking to buy rare reagents and new compounds for testing in the drug discovery industry. Hundreds of universities, research institutes and firms from all over the world have used our chemical procurement services while we are still in the pilot testing mode. Our customers often place complex orders that would otherwise require several days of their work time to arrange and which our e-commerce platform can help to automate. This new investment from the Imprimatur Capital Seed Fund will allow us to use our accumulated knowledge of the market and build a full-service online shop that will span millions of unique chemical products that are sold by suppliers all around the world."
Graham Cope, Head of Region, European Investment Fund, stated "Niche business-focussed portals continue to prosper and this latest investment by Imprimatur Capital demonstrates their ability to invest in and support high growth opportunities from within the Latvian marketplace."
MolPort is a unique and global chemical compound marketplace for cost-efficient, centralized ordering of rare chemicals. By making available a large number of unique chemicals for easy search, ordering and delivery, scientists are able to focus their effort on new discoveries, instead of spending valuable time synthesizing chemical compounds that may have already been created elsewhere. To achieve this, MolPort has created a world-class searchable database of commercially available chemical compounds and the search portal, http://www.MolPort.com, features unsurpassed, advanced search capabilities for chemical structures that are expressly geared for customers in the chemicals industry.
JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) is a joint initiative launched by the European Commission (DG Regional Policy) and the European Investment Bank group to improve access to finance for SMEs in the EU within the Structural Funds framework for the period 2007 - 2013. JEREMIE enables the EU Member States and Regions to put money from the structural funds and also national resources into holding funds that can finance SMEs in a flexible and innovative way. Since the products will be provided on a repayment basis, funding will be reinvested and hence more SMEs will benefit from the EU resources. The new initiative aims at developing and fostering the role of entrepreneurship within the EU in order to meet the objectives of the Lisbon agenda and help structural funds to deliver greater benefits to the market.
EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. The EIF total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 4.6bn at September 2010. With investments in over 300 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF commitment in guarantees totalled over EUR 13.6bn in over 160 operations, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.
About Imprimatur Capital
Imprimatur Capital is an international seed investor in high-growth technology businesses with global market potential. To date Imprimatur Capital headquartered in London has invested in more than 20 start-ups in Europe, Russia and the Asia Pacific region, in sectors including Web-based businesses, enterprise software, electronics, life science and homeland security.