Mitra Biotech Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based biology research firm, has raised venture funding of an undisclosed sum from global venture capital fund Accel Partners and Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund (Kitven). This is the first investment of Kitven in the biotechnology and life sciences space, said a company statement.
Though the financial details of the transaction and the quantum of stake the funds are picking up in Mitra were not disclosed, a report in Deccan Herald indicates that the the investment could be in the region of around Rs 5 crore. The report said, quoting A R Jayakumar, CEO, Kitven Fund, that Kitven Fund 2 had invested Rs 2.5 crore into Mitra Biotech, along with Accel Partners, which also had invested in the region of Rs 2.5 crore.
Mitra Biotech is a spin-off from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its co-founder and CEO Dr Mallik Sundaram is an alumnus of Wharton Business School, MIT, University of Utah, while the two other founders include Prof. Charles L. Cooney of MIT and Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Cooney also serves on the board of two leading biotech firms, Biocon and Gnezyme. Mitra Biotech is focused on personalised treatment of cancer, and currently has 10 people in its team.
“We are pleased to receive equity financing from both global VCs like Accel, and Indian VCs like Kitven. The funding will help us focus more on cancer research and drug development,” Sundaram said in the statement.
The company has recently signed a partnership agreement with Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Centre (MSCC) at Narayana Hrudaylaya Multi-Specialty Hospital in the city. As part of the deal, Mitra will develop an analytical diagnostic platform in consultation with the hospital that will help in personalised cancer treatment.
Mahendran Balachandran, Partner, Accel India, said, “Mitra has ground breaking technology that has the potential to change the way cancer is treated worldwide. We are excited to partner with them to help bring this technology to market in India.”
Kitven Fund 2 is a Rs 26.25-crore fund, and has raised funding from a host of investors that include Karnataka State Industrial Investment & Development Corporation Ltd (KSIIDC), Karnataka State Financial Corporation (KSFC), Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Karnataka Bio-technology & Information Technology Services (KBITS). It targets investments in IT, biotechnology, nano-technology and other knowledge-based industries in Karnataka.