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GSK Stockmann advises on the structuring of the international digital financing platform aescuvest.eu

The first European financing campaign launched on the digital financing platform aescuvest.eu, operated in cooperation with the European innovation network EIT Health, was launched on 27 August at a premiere celebration at Berlin’s Charité Museum of Medical History. The Dutch medtech company Surge-on Medical targets to raise up to 5 million euros in equity. It developed a platform technology aimed to set new standards in precision and robotic surgery.

The Frankfurt company aescuvest thus became operator of the first pan-European crowdfunding platform that is specialised in the healthcare market. Its cooperation partner EIT Health is a cross-border innovation network, supported by the EU, consisting of around 150 leading organisations in the healthcare sector. Being a “Knowledge and Innovation Community” (KIC) within the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU institution founded in 2008, EIT Health promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector throughout Europe.

GSK provided comprehensive advice on structuring the platform itself as well as on setting up the issue model and preparing the securities prospectus for the pilot issue across all locations. The issue model is based on venture capital market standards and is largely standardised in order to minimise the effort involved in preparing the prospectus.

The cross-border digital financing campaign enables private investors to invest on the basis of a securities prospectus, completely online and alongside with business angels and venture capitalists to benefit from the growth potential of early-stage growth companies. For this purpose, all investments are bundled in an SPV, that acts as one shareholder of the company. Through this SPV, the individual investors fully participate in the growth performance of the growth company via profit and loss participation certificates.

“What is so innovative about the structure in addition to this new growth financing model is that it is deliberately designed for international scalability”, explained Dr Tobias Riethmüller, lead Partner at GSK Stockmann. “Scalability was one of the main goals of the cooperation between aescuvest and EIT Health. It is achieved by using EU-harmonised regulations as much as possible for structuring the legal documents and processes.”

While digital financing platforms have so far only been active in individual countries for regulatory reasons, the aescuvest.eu platform can finance companies from all over the EU and attract cross-border investors thanks to its special structure. The initial funding focus of aescuvest.eu is on Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K. The platform will gradually reach investors from across the EU.

 “Our ambition was to not stop public funding of healthcare ventures at national borders”, commented Dr Patrick Pfeffer, CEO & founder of aescuvest.

Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health added, “The goal of EIT Health is to contribute to a stronger health ecosystem in Europe. We want to create a fertile environment for growth and innovation. Health innovation and entrepreneurship ultimately benefit the health economy and citizens.”

Dr Tobias Riethmüller added, “We are proud to have been a part of this very demanding and highly innovative European lighthouse project and that we as a law firm were once again able to demonstrate that we can support innovation leaders in the fintech sector at eye level.”

The cooperation between EIT Health and aescuvest for operating the platform – supported by advice from GSK Stockmann – had been tendered in a public award procedure.

Advisers of aescuvest international GmbH:

GSK Stockmann: Dr Tobias Riethmüller (lead, capital markets and corporate law), Dr Markus Söhnchen (corporate law, VC), Dr Oliver Glück (banking supervisory law), Dr Gerhard Gündel (corporate law); Associates: Kathrin Müller (capital markets and banking supervisory law), Lars Radziwon (capital markets and corporate law)