21 February 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
LifeCell raises Rs. 35 crore from Helion Venture Partners
LifeCell International one of India's largest and most accredited stem cell banks, announced it securing an investment from Helion Venture Partners, an India focused venture fund. The Rs.35 crore funding will support its plans of increasing market penetration of stem cell banking in India whilst also enabling the development of novel cell based therapies.
Started in 2004, LifeCell is a market leader in preservation of stem cells from various human tissues such as umbilical cord and menstrual blood, having serviced over 65,000 clients across 110 locations in India and abroad. Its central processing and storage facility is in Chennai, with a recently opened back-up unit at Gurgaon. It also is a provider of other key services such as bedside stem cell processing and newborn screening.
LifeCell has grown over 50% annually over the last 3-years, and this year its annual revenues are projected to exceed Rs 100 Crores. With this investment of Rs 35 Crores, Helion Venture Partners becomes the first venture capital firm to invest in a stem cell banking company in India.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Mayur Abhaya, CEO & Managing Director of LifeCell said "As pioneers in this space we have the responsibility to make best-in-class stem cell banking and therapies accessible to more people, and believe that this investment will take LifeCell a step closer to realizing that vision. We're delighted to have partners at Helion who share this vision, and look forward to leveraging their great experience in building a strong company that may soon graduate to become the world's largest stem cell bank".
With this development Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, Senior Managing Director at Helion Advisors would join the LifeCell board. Mr Kanwaljit Singh said, "The investment is in line with our on-going strategy to invest behind high quality entrepreneurs in industries with high growth potential. LifeCell is the pioneer and market leader in a very exciting space. We are pleased to come on board as investors and look forward to working with the Management to help build a world class Company."
LifeCell recently emerged as "Most Recommended Stem Cell Bank" by a market research conducted by Nielsen India amongst practicing gynecologists in India in top 8 cities.
Helion Venture Partners, is a Mauritius-registered early to mid-stage India focused fund, which manages assets worth $600 million and above. It is one of the most active risk capital players in the country, with a strong focus on consumer-facing and technology ventures.