LifeCell International, a stem cell bank, has announced that it has secured an investment of Rs. 35 crore from Helion Venture Partners, an India-focused venture fund, to support its plans of increasing market penetration of stem cell banking in India and also enabling the development of novel cell-based therapies.
Mayur Abhaya, CEO and Managing Director, LifeCell International, told this correspondent that the company, started in 2004, was the 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. The company had its central processing and storage facility in Chennai, with a recently opened back-up unit at Gurgaon, Mr. Mayur Abhaya said.According to Kanwaljit Singh, Senior Managing Director, Helion Advisors, the investment was in line with Helion’s on-going strategy to invest behind high quality entrepreneurs in industries with high growth potential. Helion was the first venture capital firm to invest in a stem cell banking company in India, he said.
Helion Venture Partners is a Mauritius-registered early-to-mid-stage India-focused fund, which manages assets worth more than $600 million. It is one of the most active risk capital players in the country, with a strong focus on consumer-facing and technology ventures.