Earlybird backs Swedish biotech firm

The venture capital firm has made its first investment from its fourth fund, as it expands its portfolio into Scandinavia.

Earlybird Venture Capital is leading a Skr 68.5 million (€7.5 million, $10.2million) second funding round for Sidec, a Swedish biotech firm, alongside local groups Industrifonden and Investor Growth Capital.

Sidec, which was founded in 2000 as a spin-out from the Karolinska Institutet medical university, has developed a technology called Protein Tomography, which visualises cellular events in 3D. It plans to use the funding to expand operations and increase market penetration in Europe and the USA.

It is the first Swedish company backed by Earlybird, which has previously invested in software, communications and healthcare businesses in Germany and the US. Earlybird managing partner Rolf Mathies will sit on the Sidec board.

This is Earlybird’s first investment from its fourth fund, which closed earlier this month on €65 million. Earlybird’s funds under management now total €300 million.

Industrifonden was the first investor in Sidec, backing the company in 2003. The investment group was founded by the Swedish government in 1979, and invests largely in the Swedish technology sector.
Investor Growth Capital is the wholly owned venture capital arm of Investor. In May 2005 it had $1.8 billion earmarked for healthcare and IT investments. Investor, which is publicly traded on the Stockholm exchange and 44% owned by the Wallenberg family, is the largest listed industrial holding company in the Nordic region. It invests in both public and private companies.