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Home Forums Startup Investors Offering Questions and Discussion Delee on Startengine – initial assessment, would like to know your thoughts

  • Delee on Startengine – initial assessment, would like to know your thoughts

    Posted by Feli on October 5, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Hi, so I have been following these guys since their first raise on Republic last year (2020). I couldn’t decide if I wanted in on time but they opened a round on Startengine recently

    So second chance yay

    Can you guys share what are your key things to consider before investing in a company? does this looks like a good investment in your opinion? and if you have recommendations on what to look for especially for med/health hardware? that’d be wonderful, thanks.

    I made an initial assessment with Thiel’s 7 questions for product innovations and what i found about the company on the internet and their website

    They are a medical device company with one product not yet on the market called Cytocatch, used for early cancer detection.

    Engineering – tech looks solid, they have a couple papers on nature using it and they report 90% + capture efficiency

    Timing – CTC market is starting to pose as a real alternative to early detection of many cancers (according to market reports), but I’ve heard other investors say its too early to tell for companies in this field.

    Monopoly – Cellsearch is another ctc company that has the only fda approved test, but their tech is reported as having low clinical utility (by Delee and other ctc companies)

    People – They list 18 people + 3 founders, many engineers and scientists.

    Distribution – My understanding is they’re first distributing the machine as research use only. I don’t know how long the sales cycle is gonna be here.

    Durability – no idea honestly. We’ll have to see the first units roll out

    Secret – This one is hard to answer. My best guess is that the key is in the reproducibility of the assay in the machine they built, but also on the clinical utility the test will have. I mean this will help differentiate healthy patients from those with isolated cancers, and also those with metastatic cancers. They key will lay in how well they can differentiate those patients.

    Happy to read your thought on this. Stay safe!!

    Brian replied 2 years, 9 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Brian

    October 12, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Hi @FeliBV !

    Ah, Delee. I was a bit torn on this one myself.

    Full disclosure up front, I did end up investing last March 2020.

    It looks like you’ve already done some pretty solid research on them, so kudos to you.

    I will say that bio/pharma isn’t an area I’m super experienced in, but I have made several investments in the space in companies that interest me, especially in the B2C HealthTech space. Anyway, in terms of things to look for, I always learn a LOT from reading the investor Q&A. There will be some much more experienced biotech investors who will ask some really insightful questions there, and you can learn a lot from them (as well as from how the founders respond).

    Anyway, back to Delee – I haven’t looked in-depth at their most recent offering, but some of my overall notes from the first time I saw them were:

    • One of my biggest concerns was around the amount of capital required to go to market and scale. As you know, anything that requires FDA approval can burn a lot of capital before (if ever) it gets a product that is approved. So I looked at this as more of a moonshot opportunity (very high risk and high chance of failure, but very high potential reward if it works out).
    • On the plus side, I thought that there could be a huge potential demand for their product if successful, they had some solid backers (Y-Combinator and looks like StartX now), and for me, it was backing a meaningful company that could do some real good in the world in terms of cancer detection.

    I know none of this is probably very helpful, but also don’t want to bias your (or others’) opinion of them too much.

    Might also be worth taking a deep dive into how much they really accomplished with the funds raised since the last round. Have they made any meaningful progress, or are they burning capital and likely to require even more in another few months?


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