Unique position and way of working
Thuja Capital holds a unique position as the only fully independent early-stage medical product venture capital investor with a focus on the Benelux today. In addition, we invest truly at an early stage (entry at the first professional investment round), which means in selected cases even just from scratch. As such, we are often the first VC to step in.
We invest not only the funds’ capital, but also our time and energy. Young companies are generally built on great science, but lack knowledge and experience on how to develop and commercialize their products. We leverage our extensive network, scientific advisory board and our own experience to help and turn good science into valuable medical products. In order to provide the hands-on support, we believe that frequent face-to-face contact is important. The central location of our office in the Utrecht Science Park warrants that we are always within short travelling distance.
Within each fund, we strive to build a balanced portfolio in terms of risk, exit horizon, and technology spread, to ensure an attractive return on investment for our investors. We invest in companies based in The Netherlands as well as in Belgium (with an emphasis on Flanders). In terms of technology focus, we take a broad view. Basically we invest in early-stage medical product companies: medical devices including diagnostics, therapeutics, medical food products, and cross-over products. The propositions we invest in still need to be clinically validated to prove their added value for doctors and/or patients. Product propositions need to have a credible business case, with scaleability, addressing true unmet needs and cost-effectiveness potential as important characteristics.
Over the years we have had a steadily increasing dealflow of currently over 150 business plans per year. While the majority of business plans are spontaneously submitted or reach us via our network, a significant propostion of our dealflow is obtained through active sourcing. We try to encounter start-up companies by active participation at life sciences conferences, young entrepreneurs meetings, and alike, and by maintaining a fruitful relationship with the various technology transfer offices, in particular with the technology transfer offices of University Medical Center Utrecht and Utrecht University (Utrecht Holdings) and Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen (Department of Valorization).
Benelux as an attractive investment region
Both Flanders and The Netherlands have a vibrant medical product company community. We see ample opportunity to help build the next generation of medical products, help bring these affordable medical products to patients, and thus contribute to a sustainable healthcare ecosystem. Apart from this societal return on investment, we also generate attractive returns for our shareholders.
Investing in early stage companies
We firmly believe that investing at an early stage is attractive from the perspective of the return on investment:
- Companies are still reasonably valued, allowing a significant stake to be obtained
- High capital efficiency: because the company has only few people on board, the investment is used efficiently to create value. Moreover, we do not set out to build large companies; rather, we promote project-centered organisations which work in part as a virtual company, in which significant value is created
- We reserve money for follow-on investment rounds to retain an attractive stake in the company
Good companies start with inspiring ideas, excellent science and a motivated and energetic team.