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

publication date: Mar 20, 2024
author/source: CryoCloud


  • CryoCloud, a dutch biotech startup that developed a proprietary data analysis platform, closed a pre-seed round at 500k Euros
  • 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, the Netherlands, has recently secured a significant milestone in its journey to revolutionise the field of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), closing a €500,000 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 financing 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 visualise 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 specialised 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 optimise cryoEM data processing. This aligns with the broader industry trend towards digitalisation 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 analysed 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 researchers” 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 subscription-based web application, and is used globally by scientists at 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.


About Nina Capital

Nina Capital is a specialised 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.


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.



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