BORN2GROW supports biotech start-up Venneos with its further growth

The CAN-Q is a versatile analysis platform with a new readout based on electrical cell properties (CAN-Spectroscopy). © Venneos

Venture capital fund BORN2GROW has invested in Stuttgart-based Venneos GmbH, a spin-off from Max Planck Society, in the current round of series A financing. The start-up is successfully developing and marketing the CAN-Q – a silicon chip-based imaging system for analysing biological cells.

“We are thrilled to have BORN2GROW on-board as a new investor, and that we will be able to benefit from its extensive expertise in the field of life sciences,” says David Wehner, one of the co-founders and co-directors of Venneos GmbH. The company is now aiming to consolidate its market entry. Also contributing to the current round of financing alongside venture capital fund BORN2GROW are the original seed investors – a consortium of business angels and family offices, the High-Tech Gründerfonds and the Max Planck Society.

“Germany’s bio-tech industry is growing, with a large number of research-driven innovations attracting global acclaim. Lots of start-ups in this sector are currently crossing the threshold into success,” explains Günter Steffen, Managing Partner of BORN2GROW. The privately financed venture capital fund from Heilbronn specialises in funding young technology companies in their early stages, and also supports their development by providing specialist expertise. “We are really pleased to have found in Venneos an exciting player for us to support in this field. The company is setting new standards in cell analysis and has outstanding growth prospects.”

Rainer Baule, of Venneos Beteiligungs GmbH, talking about this new round of funding: “The founding investors are happy that the investment from B2G will enable Venneos GmbH to pursue another successful stage in its development, and that funding is now secure for the future.”

Dr. Frank Hensel, Senior Investment Manager at the High-Tech Gründerfonds, is impressed: “The technology from Venneos has the potential to revolutionise the analysis of cell processes and thus set new quality standards and identify modes of action.”

“This new round of funding with an experienced investor consortium and a new investor confirms the great potential of this technology from the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, and will help expand the research and medical application base in a targeted way,” says Dr. Florian Kirschenhofer, Start-up & Portfolio Manager at Max Planck Innovation, the technology transfer organisation of the Max Planck Society.

The disruptive technology from Venneos is based on a silicon chip. Cells grow on this chip and it detects the electrical signals caused by cellular changes. The signals are then processed and can be represented in microscopy-like images. This makes it possible to identify changes, e.g. in cell adhesion, that other technologies cannot detect. The automated parallel analysis of up to several thousand cells at a single-cell level makes experiments more objective, more reproducible and more reliable. These systems are used in research, especially in tumour biology, immunology, pharmacology and drug development. Venneos was founded in 2014 as a spin-off of the Max Planck Society. With the additional funding, the company now plans to prepare new product generations and develop the technology further toward additional potential applications in the fields of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and chemistry.

About Max Planck Innovation

Max Planck Innovation is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With our interdisciplinary team we advise and support scientists of the Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. We offer industry a unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus we perform an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products, which contribute to the economic and social progress.


Since its foundation in 2013, Heilbronn-based BORN2GROW GmbH & Co. KG has been supporting innovative technology companies in their seed and start-up phases. The venture capital fund supports new companies with starting capital of at first 500,000 euros and with its own expertise, helping them from proof of concept all the way to market launch. This early-stage funding enables fast-growing, technology-based start-ups to develop their ideas and concepts. BORN2GROW, a subsidiary of zfhn Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn, works with other venture capital funds and business angels, and makes fast, straightforward financing decisions.


Venneos GmbH is a high-tech startup based in Stuttgart and was founded in 2014 as a spin-off from the Max Planck Society. It is developing ,CAN-Q’, the next generation of label-free biological cell analysis. CAN-Q is a versatile analysis platform with a fundamentally new readout based on electrical properties of biological cells (CAN-Spectroscopy). The Venneos team consists of eight people and was successful at the WECONOMY competition 2014, the Science4Life business plan competition 2015 and the TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield 2017.

About Venneos Beteiligungs GmbH

Venneos Beteiligungs GmbH is a consortium of private investors and investment companies, headed by Fabian von Kuenheim and Rainer Baule. Von Kuenheim and Baule regularly invest in syndicated groups of investors from their networks in high-tech companies that operate in the fields of autonomous driving, mobility and integrated mobile systems, life sciences, Industry 4.0, IT-infrastructured cloud systems and the interfaces between these technology sectors.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is Germany’s most active seed stage investor. With about EUR 820 million under management in three funds, it provide financing for technology-driven companies active in a wide range of fields, including robotics, IoT and energy, Medtech and Biotech, chemicals and software. Investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW, and strategic corporate investors.