SkyCell, the leading manufacturer of data-driven temperature-controlled smart containers for the pharmaceutical industry, has raised $62 million in an oversubscribed growth funding round. The investment was led by MVM Partners LLP together with a consortium of family offices and a leading Swiss insurance company. Existing investors including the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund managed by Credit Suisse and UBS, and the BCGE Bank’s growth fund, also participated in the round.
The growth funding will be used to expand SkyCell’s global footprint, with particular focus on the US and Asia. This follows an acceleration in business relating to world healthcare concerns as more pharma companies need to protect their crucial supply chains, with Q1 revenues up 3x from the previous year.
Modern pharmaceuticals have changed and are now even more sensitive to temperature changes and other common factors during air transport, such as vibration. The market is worth around $2.8 billion per annum, growing at a rate of 15 to 20 per cent as the regulatory environment around the world strengthens to place increased responsibility on pharmaceutical companies to ensure products remain viable after transit. Traditional logistics methods have remained largely static during the past few decades, with the market accepting a failure rate of at least 4 to 12 per cent depending on destination.
SkyCell’s approach brings this right down, reducing complexity through a highly innovative smart container that allows pharma companies to optimise supply chains using data to predict and control risk. Using over three-quarters of a billion data points on factors like temperature, location, and time, it allows the world’s largest pharma companies to enable a market-leading and audited failure rate of less than 0.1 per cent, whilst reducing CO2 emissions by almost half.
The company has been validated by 15 of the top 20 pharma companies, eight of whom have rolled out SkyCell’s solution globally.
The precision-engineered pharmaceutical containers, which are manufactured in Switzerland, have over 100 active patents to meet today’s cold chain environment. The insulation is the result of more than 50 man-years of research and the patented cooling technology stores five times more energy than competing methods. Each container is able to maintain a steady temperature for more than 160 hours without depending on any mechanical components. The containers can also automatically recharge in a cool environment, and are equipped with IoT sensors to measure internal and ambient temperature as well as other environmental factors.
Richard Ettl, CEO and co-founder of SkyCell, comments: “We are delighted to have raised this growth funding as we look to extend our operations further into the US and Asia. COVID-19 has put the pharma supply chain in the spotlight, and reliable vaccine delivery is now more in-demand than ever. From the outset, we have been focused on building a technology-driven solution that directly solves this problem, whilst also reducing costs and environmental impact. In recent months we have seen a further shift, as more pharmaceutical companies turn to us as their primary provider to eliminate risk in the current environment where time is of the essence.”