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Oculyze: a microscopy start-up is on its way to become a giant

The image recognition technology of the start-up from Wildau near Berlin withstands the critical eye of investors. A million financing is to push new products.

The smartphone as a microscope: With this business idea, Oculyze secures a seven-figure financing from venture capital investor Constantia New Business (CNB) from Vienna. The start-up headquartered in Wildau near Berlin wants to invest the millions in the development of new products, as marketing director Gordon Andrade declared today on request of WirtschaftsWoche founder. He did not name the exact amount of the investment. In addition to CNB since 2017, BFB Brandenburg Kapital has already invested.

Oculyze develops microscopes that can be plugged into smartphones and strengthen the camera with a special lens. An app can then analyze the images. Currently, the solution is mainly used by breweries that examine yeast cells using the image recognition software. Specifically, the program compares the images from the smartphone microscope via the cloud with a database. For example, in the case of yeast analysis, the software provides an estimate of whether the cells are viable.

The company, founded in 2015 by Kilian Moser, Ulrich Tillich and Katja Schulze, currently employs more than ten people and intends to grow in the near future by six team members – above all in sales and software development. A new product will come in two weeks on the market, marketing director Andrade announced, however, without giving details. It is already clear that in the second half of the year the start-up wants to penetrate into veterinary medicine. The plan is to help veterinarians diagnose fertility problems in cows.

Cooperation should open up the US market

To drive international sales, Oculyze has been partnering with Biotecon Diagnostics, a provider of quality inspection solutions in the food industry, since the end of last year. “As a local start-up based in Brandenburg, we have a hard time gaining new customers in the US, for example. That’s why we have a strategic partnership here in sales, “said Andrade, founder of WiWo.

To open new locations, is not yet planned. In the foreground stand the expansion of the own on-line shop. Again, the fresh capital should be used. “This latest funding comes at a very interesting time for Oculyze as we seek to consolidate and maintain our position as the world’s leading mobile image analytics platform,” says Kilian Moser, co-founder and CEO of Oculyze, in a press release.

The goal is mass deployment

The founding idea arose from a research project on image analysis at the Technical University of Wildau, where the company also has its headquarters. The aim of the start-up is to develop mobile and automated image analyzes for mass use – even for users without special expertise. According to their own statements, the young company has already been able to gain customers in 26 countries. The start-up recognizes other possible areas of application, for example in agriculture, biotechnology or human medical diagnostics.

Some start-ups, such as Anyline from Vienna, are currently working on image recognition solutions. The young company was able to collect two million euros in a financing round a few weeks ago. Anyline’s image recognition software is enterprise-friendly and helps evaluate electricity meters, badges, license plates or serial numbers. Customers include camera maker Canon and carmaker Porsche.

Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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