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LifeCell raises Rs.35 Cr from Helion Venture Partners to fuel its growth plans

Chennai, 21 February, 2013:

LifeCell International Private Limited, India’s largest and most accredited stem cell bank, today announced securing an investment from Helion Venture Partners, an India focused venture fund, to support its plans of increasing market penetration of stem cell banking in India whilst also enabling the development of novel cell based therapies.

Started in 2004, LifeCell is the market leader in preservation of stem cells from various human tissues such as umbilical cord and menstrual blood, having serviced over 65,000 clients across 110 locations in India and abroad. Its central processing and storage facility is in Chennai, with a recently opened back-up unit at Gurgaon. It also is a provider of other key services such as bedside stem cell processing and newborn screening.

LifeCell has grown over 50% annually over the last 3-years, and this year its annual revenues are projected to exceed Rs 100 Crores. With this investment of Rs 35 Crores, Helion Venture Partners becomes the first venture capital firm to invest in a stem cell banking company in India.

With over 27 million births every year, India is the largest birthing country in the world. The concept of stem cell banking holds a huge growth potential considering the benefits of stem cells in modern medicine and the giant strides of stem cell research across the globe. However the category in India is still a very nascent stage with only 2 per thousand parents opting to preserve their babies stem cells at birth, compared with 50 per thousand in the US, and 250 per thousand in Singapore. With increasing awareness and affordability the uptake is expected to rise rapidly.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Mayur Abhaya, CEO & Managing Director of LifeCell said “As pioneers in this space we have the responsibility to make best-in-class stem cell banking and therapies accessible to more people, and believe that this investment will take LifeCell a step closer to realizing that vision. We’re delighted to have partners at Helion who share this vision, and look forward to leveraging their great experience in building a strong company that may soon graduate to become the world’s largest stem cell bank”. With this development Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, Senior Managing Director at Helion Advisors would join the LifeCell board. Mr Kanwaljit Singh said, “The investment is in line with our on-going strategy to invest behind high quality entrepreneurs in industries with high growth potential. LifeCell is the pioneer and market leader in a very exciting space. We are pleased to come on board as investors and look forward to working with the Management to help build a world class Company.”

LifeCell recently emerged as “Most Recommended Stem Cell Bank” by a market research conducted by Nielsen India amongst practicing gynecologists in India in top 8 cities.

Helion Venture Partners, is a Mauritius-registered early to mid-stage India focused fund, which manages assets worth $600 million and above. It is one of the most active risk capital players in the country, with a strong focus on consumer-facing and technology ventures.

About LifeCell International

LifeCell is India’s largest & most accredited stem cell bank and the first to bring the revolutionary concept of umbilical cord stem cell banking to India in 2004 in technological collaboration with Cryo-Cell International USA - the world’s first private stem cell bank. LifeCell is headquartered at Chennai with an advanced laboratory & research facility in adherence to strict International guidelines. The stringent standards followed by LifeCell have received many International accreditations from AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), CAP (College of American Pathologists), and NABL (National Accreditation Board for Calibration and Testing Laboratories). LifeCell is the first company in India to receive prestigious AABB accreditation for cord blood banking, and importantly its is also the second in the world to be accredited for cord tissue banking services.

A recent survey conducted by Nielsen India amongst Gynaecologists shows that LifeCell enjoys the highest brand equity in the country emerging as the most recommended Stem Cell bank by Gynecologists in India. Since inception LifeCell has grown at a consistent pace and has strongly established its leadership position in the industry, with its coverage extending to over 100 cities and towns in India. As leaders LifeCell had the responsibility of educating the public and medical fraternity on stem cell technology and through these efforts today over 65,000 parents have preserved their baby’s cord blood stem cells with LifeCell.

The company is also championing several initiatives in the stem cell therapy area through partnerships and in-house R&D efforts. LifeCell is the sole distributor for USFDA approved point-of-care medical device that can provide a patient’s stem cells from the bone marrow within 15 minutes from by the bed-side, which is useful for applications in orthopaedic, vascular and cardiovascular specialities. With these significant achievements and leadership, LifeCell has uniquely positioned itself as a comprehensive stem cells solutions provider with a complete spectrum of services in stem cells through multi-service stem cell banking, R&D, clinical trials and stem cell therapy.

For more information log onto: www.lifecellinternational.com

About Helion Venture Partners

Helion is a multi-stage, India-focused venture fund with over $600 million under management. The fund invests in businesses that are technology-powered or catering to the Indian consumer services space. The focus sectors of investment include -, internet, mobile, technology products, outsourcing, Healthcare, education, retail services and financial services. The fund's investors are well-respected global institutions including top tier university endowment funds, sovereign funds, foundations, pension funds, family offices and Fund of funds. . The fund and its portfolio companies are advised by an experienced and industry renowned team of professionals based in India and includes Sanjeev Aggarwal, Ashish Gupta, Kanwaljit Singh, Rahul Chandra and R Natarajan.

For more information visit www.helionvc.com