CryoCloud secures a 500k pre-seed investment to accelerate structure- based drug design with their cloud-native cryo-EM data analysis platform

We are happy to welcome our new portfolio company Cryocloud! Together with Nina Capital and ROM Utrecht Region we have invested € 500K to help the company in their mission to accelerate protein structure determination.

We believe the company holds great promise to expand the use of CryoEM in drug development, with their cloud-based data analysis platform and are looking forward to working together! 🔬

For more information read the press release below:

• CryoCloud, a dutch biotech startup that developed a proprietary data analysis platform, closed a pre-seed round at 500k Euros
• Their cloud-based cryoEM data analysis platform enables the fast and scalable determination of 3D protein structures used for drug discovery
• CryoCloud will use the funding to expand the capabilities of its platform to better support scientists and streamline data analysis

CryoCloud, a biotech startup based in Utrecht, has recently secured a significant milestone in its journey to revolutionize the field of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), closing a €500k pre-seed funding round. Co-founded in 2021 by Robert Englmeier, Ilja Gubins, and Boy Persoon, CryoCloud has rapidly progressed from its conceptual stages, through various accelerator programs, to the launch of a pioneering cloud- based data analysis platform designed to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of cryo-EM in drug development and research.

This round was led by Nina Capital, with significant contributions from Utrecht Health Seed Fund and ROM Utrecht Region, underscoring the confidence in CryoCloud’s potential to disrupt the traditional cryo-EM landscape. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo- EM) is a Nobel Prize winning technique for determining the 3D structure of proteins, and is increasingly used for structure-based drug design. Unlike predictive tools such as DeepMind’s AlphaFold, cryoEM allows scientists to determine protein structures experimentally and visualize relevant targets in their native or drug-bound state.

CryoCloud’s platform addresses the critical challenges faced by the scientific community, including the high costs, complexity, and inefficiencies associated with traditional cryo-EM compute infrastructure. By offering scalable cloud storage and powerful data analysis workflows through a user-friendly web app, CryoCloud is making advanced research tools more accessible to scientists worldwide, reducing the need for extensive infrastructure and specialized knowledge.

This recent investment underscores the confidence in CryoCloud’s potential to disrupt the status quo. Marta-Gaia Zanchi, Founder & Managing Partner at Nina Capital remarked, “CryoCloud’s innovative approach to leveraging cloud technology in cryo-EM is not just a major step for structural biology, but a testament to the transformative power of digital solutions in the life sciences sector.”

The funding will be instrumental in further developing CryoCloud’s platform, with a focus on adding advanced data analysis features and integrating AI to optimize cryoEM data processing. This aligns with the broader industry trend towards digitalization and automation in the life sciences, which promises to enhance research efficiency and reduce turnaround times for critical projects.


On the company’s progress, Irene van de Poll, Investment Manager at ROM Utrecht, notes “The team at CryoCloud have managed to build out their cloud-based platform in a short time and are already creating traction. Their technology can have an enormous impact on the speed of development in the life sciences sector.”

Reflecting on the importance of innovation in the field, Robert Englmeier, CEO of CryoCloud, stated, “The landscape and throughput of cryo-EM has evolved significantly in the last 6 years, yet the way data is analyzed remained the same – leading to bottlenecks and creating entrance barriers. Our mission is to make cryo-EM more accessible and to streamline the research process, which is now possible with our platform.”

“We are happy to invest in CryoCloud’s solutions, to make the complex and costly process of CryoEM analysis more accessible to the researcher” said Timo Koopmans, Investment Manager at the Utrecht Health Seed Fund. “Their platform has the potential to greatly expand the use of CryoEM in the life sciences.”

As CryoCloud prepares for its next phase of growth, it is poised to attract further investment and forge partnerships with leading companies and key opinion leaders in the field. The startup’s vision to simplify and accelerate cryo-EM data analysis resonates with the broader industry’s move towards more integrated, efficient, and automated research methodologies, promising a brighter future for scientific discoveries and innovation.

About CryoCloud:
CryoCloud was founded in 2021 by Robert Englmeier, Ilja Gubins and Boy Persoon with the goal to make cryo-EM more accessible and eliminate current inefficiencies of data analysis, storage and management. CryoCloud’s cloud-based data analysis platform is accessible via a web-app through a subscription, and is used globally by scientists from universities, biotechs & cryo-EM facilities. CryoCloud is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where Robert Englmeier and Ilja Gubins conducted their PhD studies in applied and computational cryoEM, respectively.

More info on CryoCloud at

About Nina Capital:
Nina Capital is a specialized venture capital firm investing exclusively at the intersection of healthcare and technology. With an international outlook from our home in Europe, we seed and support need-driven founders committed to improving healthcare with the help of technology.

More on us at

About Utrecht Health Seed Fund

Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early-stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development. UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.

For more information, please visit

About ROM Utrecht Region:
ROM Utrecht Region is a social impact investor that increases access to capital for innovative companies in the region. The ROM invests in the major transition sectors that are important for tomorrow’s economy: digital, health and sustainability. To realize the financing for these companies, the ROM works together with many partners within and outside the region. The ROM has two funds: the Healthy Urban Living Proof Of Concept (HUL POC) Fund and the Participation Fund. The HUL POC fund is made possible by co-financing from the Province of Utrecht and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The investment in CryoCloud comes from the HUL POC fund.


Timo Koopmans appointed as new Investment Manager of Utrecht Health Seed Fund

The Utrecht Health Seed Fund is happy to announce the start of its new Investment Manager: Timo Koopmans. Timo holds a PhD in medicinal chemistry from Utrecht University and as a startup founder himself, understands the challenges young companies face.
Furthermore he has experience at a management & innovation consultancy firm, focussed on Life Sciences. His most recent project involved improving the management of the portfolio of public-private partnerships at a large pharmaceutical company. Among other things, Timo is responsible for managing UHSF’s portfolio, attracting and developing new investment opportunities and expansion of our financing instruments.

TargED closes seed investment and partners with UMC Utrecht for the development of Microlyse – a next-generation thrombolytic clot-busting drug

We’re thrilled to announce UHSF’s first investment, in TargED Biopharmaceuticals, together with Curie Capital and FIRST Fund. TargED is developing a next generation clot-busting drug with unique properties, initially focusing on acute ischemic stroke as its target, with several thrombotic diseases as potential spin-offs.

Please find the press release below:

TargED closes seed investment and partners with UMC Utrecht for the development of Microlyse – a next-generation thrombolytic clot-busting drug
November 24th, 2020

Utrecht, the Netherlands – TargED Biopharmaceuticals, a biotech spin-off of the University Medical Center Utrecht founded by Associate prof. Coen Maas, PhD, Steven de Maat, PhD, Marc van Moorsel and Kristof Vercruysse, raised EUR 1.35 million to develop a unique biotechnological drug for rapid degradation of blood clots that obstruct the vasculature. The funds include a seed investment from FIRST fund, Curie Capital and Utrecht Health Seed Fund as well as a public-private-partnership with UMC Utrecht, supported by additional funding from Health Holland.

Every year, approximately 1.3 million Europeans and 800.000 US citizens have a first stroke. Stroke is the second most common cause of death and a major cause of disability in developed economies. The majority of stroke events are caused by an occlusion of a blood vessel (thrombosis). TargED’s Microlyse, a new proprietary clot-busting compound, binds to a protein that is present in all forms of thrombosis, ranging from those that obstruct the largest vessels to the smallest vessels in the body (microvasculature). Due to its unique mechanism of action, Microlyse can stimulate a natural pathway that dissolves these blood clots. This therapeutic approach can be used to rapidly eliminate occlusive blood clots and has the potential to outperform current stroke care therapeutics. Next to acute ischemic stroke, thrombosis is seen in a wide range of cardiovascular conditions for which TargED expects that Microlyse is also applicable, such as the life-threatening disease TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura).

Kristof Vercruysse, interim CEO of TargED said: “The first results of Microlyse based on the work of Coen Maas and Steven de Maat underscore the potential of Microlyse to break down blood clots in various diseases. We appreciate the support from our investors to realize next development steps, and I am honored to be part of a company that has the potential to positively impact millions of lives by enabling patient access to these lifesaving treatments.”

Bart van der Worp, MD PhD, Neurologist specialized in cerebrovascular diseases at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, stated: “Given its mode of action, Microlyse has the potential not only to improve the chance of recanalization of an occluded artery as compared to intravenous thrombolysis using currently available drugs, but also to reduce the risk of intracranial bleeding, the most feared complication of thrombolysis. Greater efficacy and an improved safety profile could lead to better outcomes for thousands of patients worldwide. To assess the potential benefit of Microlyse, further preclinical and clinical research is needed.”

Rianne Ellenbroek, PhD, Investment Manager of FIRST commented: “We are very excited to support the TargED team on their journey to further develop the strong scientific work Coen Maas and Steven de Maat have established with support of the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA). Microlyse is a therapeutic innovation that has a strong potential to lower the burden of cardiovascular diseases related to thrombotic events.”

Background statements

Fonds InvesteringsRijpe STarters (FIRST) is a pre-seed fund that finances pioneering scientists in The Netherlands active in the emerging fields of regenerative medicine and cardiovascular diseases. FIRST is founded by the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA) and Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMed XB) with support of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) supports the FIRST fund as registered fund manager, making available its network, expertise, and facilities.
For more information, please visit

About Curie Capital
Curie Capital is a private life-science seed fund, based in Amsterdam, investing in early stage Dutch companies with skilled teams and promising medical products in healthcare, together with other VCs. Curie Capital is managed by the two partners, Mariette van der Velden and Han de Groot who both have extensive experience in investing, entrepreneurship and in creating value for companies. Curie Capital invests with the aim to make a positive impact on patients and healthcare.
For more information, please visit

About Utrecht Health Seed Fund
Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development. UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.
For more information, please visit

Marc van Moorsel

ROM Regio Utrecht Launched

The Regional Development Fund (Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij or ROM) for the region of Utrecht is launched. The ROM Regio Utrecht Fund aims to strengthen the economic structure and innovation power of the Utrecht region. We at the Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) look forward to collaborating with the ROM in the field of Life Sciences & Health.


A key opportunity of the formation of the ROM, is to support follow-up financing for the investees of the Utrecht Health Seed Fund. UHSF is primarily focused on start-up and early scale-up companies, whereas the ROM focuses on the scale-up and later stages of company development. The Life Sciences & Health sector is one of ROM’s focus areas.

Below you may find the press release of the Regional Development Fund Utrecht (in Dutch).


ROM Regio Utrecht opgericht

De akte voor de oprichting van de Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij (ROM) Regio Utrecht is ondertekend. Met dit ontwikkelingsfonds van 50 miljoen euro, wil de regio Utrecht het regionale economische ecosysteem verder versterken door te investeren in de innovatieve sectoren en maatschappelijke opgaven in de regio Utrecht.


Robert Strijk, gedeputeerde Economie provincie Utrecht: “De economie van de regio is een van de sterkste van Nederland en de EU. Met de ROM kan deze positie niet alleen beter bestand worden gemaakt tegen onverwachte crises maar ook beter inspelen op de maatschappelijke en economische uitdagingen in toekomst.”


Doel en ROM Regio Utrecht
De ROM Regio Utrecht levert een bijdrage aan de uitvoering van de Regionale Economische Agenda (REA), ondersteunt het brengen van innovaties naar de markt zodat belangrijke maatschappelijke vraagstukken opgelost worden en de ROM versterkt het innovatieve bedrijfsleven. Op die manier kunnen gemeenten, provincie samen met bedrijven en onderwijsinstellingen (‘Triple Helix’) de huidige economische toppositie zowel in crises alsook op langere termijn behouden. De ontwikkelingsmaatschappij deelt dan ook nadrukkelijk de drie belangrijkste speerpunten van de REA: een toekomstbestendige leefomgeving, gezonde mensen en digitalisering. Met business development, participaties en financieringen richt de ontwikkelingsmaatschappij zich dan ook voornamelijk op het innovatieve MKB dat actief is op deze thema’s.


Financiën en de ROM Regio Utrecht
De ROM Regio Utrecht beschikt over een fonds van € 22 miljoen, dat zal doorgroeien naar € 50 miljoen. Dit bedrag wordt ingebracht door het Ministerie van Economische Zaken & Klimaat, de provincie Utrecht, gemeenten Amersfoort, Hilversum en Utrecht, de Universiteit Utrecht en het Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht. Bovengenoemde partners zijn aandeelhouders in het investeringsfonds van de ROM Regio Utrecht.


Ondernemers en de ROM Regio Utrecht
De ontwikkelingsmaatschappij richt zich vooral op ondernemers en bedrijven die bijdragen aan de doelstellingen uit de Regionaal Economische Agenda; het verbeteren van het gezonde, stedelijke leven, zoals in de energietransitie, klimaatadaptatie, duurzame mobiliteit, circulariteit, welzijn, gezondheid, gezonde leefomgeving en digitalisering. Deze bedrijven kunnen bij de werkorganisatie van de ROM een ondersteuningsaanvraag doen voor hun businessplan en bedrijfsontwikkeling of een financieringsaanvraag. Een team van onafhankelijk experts beoordeelt of de aanvraag voldoet en gaat samen met het bedrijf op zoek naar financieringsmogelijkheden. Daarnaast zal de ROM zich ook bezighouden met het begeleiden van buitenlandse bedrijven bij hun komst naar de regio en het organiseren van handelsmissies voor bedrijven uit de regio Utrecht.


Governance en de ROM Regio Utrecht

Diana Monissen
Diana Monissen wordt voorgedragen als voorzitter van de onafhankelijke Raad van Commissarissen voor de ROM Regio Utrecht. Monissen was afgelopen jaren bestuursvoorzitter van het Prinses Máxima Centrum. Daarnaast is zij in het verleden actief geweest in diverse bestuurlijke en toezichthoudende functies. De RvC zal onder haar leiding worden uitgebreid naar 3 – 5 leden. Haar benoeming zal in de eerste aandeelhoudersvergadering van de ROM Regio Utrecht worden bekrachtigd.

Arjan van den Born
Arjan van den Born zal worden voorgedragen als kandidaat voor de functie van directeur/bestuurder van de ROM Regio Utrecht. Van den Born vervulde afgelopen jaren verschillende leidinggevende functies binnen de academische wereld en in het bedrijfsleven en heeft brede en praktische ervaring met ondernemerschap, technologie en financiering als speerpunten. Daarnaast is hij als hoogleraar digitaal ondernemerschap, gespecialiseerd in de impact van digitale technologie op ondernemers; van start-ups tot gevestigde bedrijven. Hij neemt op 1 juli 2020 het stokje over van de kwartiermaker en interim-directeur, Nathal van Rijn.


Internationale werkzaamheden in de gemeenten Amersfoort, Utrecht en de provincie zullen ondergebracht worden bij de ROM Regio Utrecht. Dit betreft meerdere medewerkers. De werkorganisatie heeft intussen huisvesting gevonden in Utrecht aan de Euclideslaan nummer 1 (gebouw YinYang). Op het internet is de ROM Regio Utrecht te vinden op


Coronacrisis en de ROM Regio Utrecht
De ROM Regio Utrecht gaat van start in een tijd waarin de economische realiteit wordt gedomineerd door de coronacrisis. Vooruitlopend op de oprichting van de ontwikkelingsmaatschappij is onder leiding van Nathal van Rijn in de provincie Utrecht een organisatie opgericht voor de uitvoering van de Corona-overbruggings-Lening (COL-regeling) van het Ministerie van Economische Zaken & Klimaat. De COL-regeling ondersteunt start ups, scale ups en het innovatieve MKB, die geraakt worden door de coronacrisis. Deze uitvoeringsorganisatie voor de provincie Utrecht zal komende periode ingroeien in de ROM Regio Utrecht.


Bericht: Provincie Utrecht

New Utrecht-based fund investing in Life Science & Health start-ups

The Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) officially launched at the end of March. Over the next three years, it’ll be looking to invest in promising start-ups based in the province of Utrecht and working in the field of Life Sciences & Health (LS&H).

Jaap de Bruin (UHSF Fund Manager) explains the reasons for setting up the UHSF, “Utrecht is a hotbed for medical start-ups. Yet there are many great ideas that simply aren’t being exploited due to a lack of early-stage funding. And this is hampering both technological and economic advancement. The UHSF will be acting as a catalyst in this respect with its €5.4 million investment fund.”


The fund aims to help around twenty promising companies accelerate and scale up their technologies in the field of Life Sciences (biotech, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics), Digital Health, Medical Devices, and Animal Health.

De Bruin paints the bigger picture, “The ultimate goal is to improve outcomes, and make healthcare more efficient and affordable. The province of Utrecht is home to a wide range of innovative public and private LS&H research organizations, healthcare providers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists, who together have created an ecosystem ripe for LS&H start-ups. However, we noticed that there is a gap in early-stage funding between research (public) and venture capital (private). It’s this gap we’re aiming to fill.”


The UHSF is partly financed by the Kansen voor West program [‘Opportunities for West’], which is in turn financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union. Kansen voor West is looking to boost the regional economy and innovation with its investment in the fund. Ronald van Raak (Kansen voor West Program Manager) explains its involvement, “I believe wholeheartedly that this will succeed. Utrecht is one of the last provinces to set up such a fund. This had to do with establishing a structure rather than anything to do with the region’s level of innovation. Utrecht is home to many researchers, and engagement is high.”

The UHSF aims to initially invest between €100K and €250K in the form of a convertible loan or equity, preferably in partnership with co-investors. Companies must be based in the province of Utrecht and in an early stage of development equivalent to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) between 2 and 7 to be eligible for UHSF funding.

TRL is a system used to define the stage of development for a specific product or service innovation. The higher the TRL, the closer the innovation is to proving its technological and functional viability, and the closer it is to be implemented on a large scale.


Expertise and positioning

The UHSF’s team members have been investing in early-stage LS&H businesses for many years now and will be applying their combined knowledge and leveraging their collective networks to benefit the new fund.

The UHSF works closely with the Utrecht Regional Development Corporation (ROM). ROM’s goal is to support local businesses and strengthen the region’s economic structure, with a particular focus on sustainable environments, human health, and digitalization. These goals are closely aligned with those of the UHSF.

Nathal van Rijn (ROM Coordinator) explains how he views the partnership, “Our partnership aims at identifying promising young businesses at an early stage so that we can then support them financially at a later stage when they need larger investments. Besides collaborating and coordinating, ROM business developers are also available to help UHSF-funded start-ups develop their strategies and plan their growth.

The fund has a lot of potential and provides an impetus and the much-needed investment to help start-ups develop their innovations at a stage when sufficient funding is generally unavailable.”

Van Raak (Kansen voor West) is of the same opinion, “I have a lot of faith in the UHSF team. They have a great deal of expertise between them and are ideally positioned in terms of their networks.”

Utrecht Health Seed Fund launced

March 24, 2020 a new investment fund starts – the Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF). The goal is to invest a total of €5.4 million in promising start-ups located in the province of Utrecht that are developing scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences & Health: Life Sciences (biotech, pharmaceuticals & diagnostics), Digital Health, Medical Devices & Animal Health. The Utrecht Holdings team manages the Utrecht Health Seed Fund.

Utrecht Health Seed Fund

The Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is a joint initiative established by Utrecht Holdings and the Economic Board Utrecht (EBU) with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), University Medical Center Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.