SkyCell, the Zürich-based manufacturer of temperature-controlled smart containers for the pharmaceutical industry, has raised $62 million to expand through the US and Asia.
The growth funding round was led by MVM Partners, along with a consortium of family offices and an unnamed Swiss insurance company. Existing investors such as the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, managed by Credit Suisse and UBS, and the BCGE Bank’s growth fund contributed as well.
The issue of logistics in the global pharmaceutical industry is increasingly important, as regulators place more responsibility on pharma companies to ensure safe, uncompromised delivery. Plus modern drugs can be more sensitive to environmental factors that fluctuate throughout transport, such as temperature and vibration.
Founded in 2013, the Swiss company has developed a tech-enabled shipping container that not only predicts and controls risk but reduces CO2 emissions by half. Using a combination of IoT sensors and cloud software, SkyCell claims its containers relay three quarters of a billion data points on factors like temperature, location and time, allowing pharma companies to carefully control the supply chain to a failure rate of less than 0.1 percent.
So far, eight of the top 20 pharma companies are using the smart containers in their global operations. Richard Ettl, SkyCell co-founder and CEO, commented: “In recent months we have seen a further shift, as more pharmaceutical companies turn to us as their primary provider to eliminate risk in the current environment where time is of the essence.”
Image: One of SkyCell’s smart shipping containers