Stories: FET-Open financed startup Bionomous raises €1.2 million in funding round
Bionomous, a Swiss startup previously funded by the FET Innovation Launchpad, has recently closed a seed funding round of €1.2 million to finance the industrialisation phase of their product towards commercialisation. The seed funding round was led by Nivalis Group, with participation from SICTIC business angels and Venture Kick.
The startup Bionomous was created at the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in 2019. The co-founders, Ana Hernando Ariza and Frank Bonnet, were aiming to build devices to automate the visual inspection and sorting and dispensing of small biological entities. In this context, the company has developed the EggSorter which has been designed to handle zebrafish eggs and similar entities.
Bionomous’ founders identified the difficulty that researchers face to screen and sort the zebrafish eggs for breeding purposes: it is time-consuming, prone to errors and non-standardized among laboratories. By being able to automatically process eggs, the EggSorter is helping to release researcher’s valuable time. This robotic device is particularly suited for research in the Life Science industry, to find new treatments, perform toxicology tests or better understand the biology and genetics of living organisms.
The closing of this seed funding round represents a huge milestone for the startup. This fresh investment will allow the company to accelerate the testing phase of the EggSorter, to develop a certified product ready-for-market, and to prepare for industrialisation.
Frank Bonnet, CEO and Co-founder of Bionomous, stated: “Our team has demonstrated its capacity to develop products tailored to the specific needs of our customers. This new investment, in addition to the interest of early adopters and the first confirmed orders we received despite the COVID pandemic, allow us to confidently move to the next development phase of our final product and to target a commercialization over the next two years.”
From the investors’ side, Nicolas Corsi, CEO of Nivalis Group, explained why they have taken an interest in this opportunity: “We are confident that Bionomous is a great addition to the Nivalis Group family. With this investment, we ticked off all the boxes we look for in a startup: a growing market segment, a product with excellent traction, a great team, and several underlying technologies that match our existing investments and allow us to create interesting synergies.”
Bionomous received a FET Innovation Launchpad Grant to further study the application and the market potential of the EggSorter technology. FET-Open and FET Proactive are part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot (specifically, the Pathfinder).