When Industrifonden invested in CellaVision, it was a small research firm in the midst of developing a radically new technology. Fifteen years later, when Industrifonden exited, CellaVision had sales over SEK 200 million and customers across the world.
CellaVision in brief
CellaVision develops and sells instruments for digital analysis of blood and other body fluids. These analyses are used for rapid and accurate disease diagnoses. Its customers include clinical laboratories, usually in large hospitals. CellaVision products reduce the amount of manual work needed in the laboratory.
Entrepreneur Christer Fåhreus founded CellaVision back in 1994 to develop an analyzer for automatic blood analysis. With CellaVision’s system, a camera takes digital images of the cells, and a computer analyzes and classifies them. All lab staff have to do is insert the slides and study the results displayed on a screen. It was a completely new way of analyzing blood cells, and introducing a completely new technology does not happen overnight.
Industrifonden made its initial investment in February 2000. The purpose of the fundraising was a market launch of the company’s main product, the DiffMaster microscope for automatic classification of white blood cells.
The following year, the DiffMaster was launched. After a successful initial launch in the Nordic region, the geographic expansion into Germany and several other European countries continued.
Industrifonden continued investing in CellaVision through 2005, making the fund one of the major shareholders. Since 2007, the company has managed to fund its development and market expansion through profitable growth. In 2007, CellaVision was listed on the Stockholm First North stock exchange, and in 2010, it was re-listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, Small Cap exchange.
Still innovating and growing
The company is now thriving. After 20+ years in business, CellaVision has grown into an international company with over 1,000 instruments sold to customers in approximately 50 countries and through subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, and Japan.
“For 15 years, we participated actively in helping transform a small research firm into an internationally well-positioned medical technology company,” says Lars Henriksson, Investment Manager for Life Science.
The company maintains a high level of innovation and continuously refines its products and broadens its applications. CellaVision is now a world leader in its niche.
In 2015, Industrifonden sold its entire holding in CellaVision.
CellaVision at a glance
What they do: Instruments for digital analysis of blood and other body fluids
Founded in: 1994
Initial investment: 2000
Year exited: 2015
Headquarters: Lund, Sweden