(News Bulletin 247) – The French company, which had only one month of cash in the coffers at the end of September, announced this Monday that it had raised funds amounting to 7 million euros to finance the development of his artificial heart. With financial visibility extended until the start of 2024, Carmat can breathe a little…

Carmat, which was to find itself short of cash in November, benefits from a small reprieve. The inventor of the first artificial heart announced this Monday morning that it had carried out a capital increase amounting to 7 million euros with the support of several historic financial shareholders.

The operation announced this Monday, October 16 thus offers new financial visibility to Carmat, until “the beginning of 2024”. On the Paris Stock Exchange, this operation which allows Carmat to end the year 2023 is welcomed, with a share which jumped 14.7% to 4.13 euros around 10:30 a.m.

In detail, this fundraising takes the form of a capital increase of 7 million euros through an issue of 1.94 million new shares at a price of 3.60 euros, i.e. without discount compared to the closing price on Friday October 13.

One installation per week

Three of the historical shareholders (namely Lohas, Santé Holdings and Therabel Invest) participated in the capital increase for an amount of 3.75 million euros, 2.5 million euros, and 500,000 euros, respectively. Note that Airbus, historic and emblematic shareholder of Carmat, did not participate in this fundraising.

The medtech plans to use the proceeds from the fundraising “to support its activities in the coming months, and more particularly the development of its sales and the continuation of its clinical trials”. The company indicates that the commercial dynamic announced during the publication of the first half results has been confirmed with a rate of one implementation per week over the last three weeks.

The company also confirms that it is targeting revenues of between 4 million euros and 6 million euros in the second half of 2023, before a clear increase in sales in 2024. Carmat still intends to reach a nominal production capacity of 500 at the end of the year. cores per year, particularly with the extension of its Bois-d’Arcy production site, located in the Paris region.

Pass of arms between BPI and Carmat

At the same time, Carmat intends to “apply rigorous financial discipline, and is working very actively on other financing solutions and measures, to improve its financial structure and alleviate its cash flow constraints”. The company warns, however, that it “will need to secure around 50 million euros in additional financing to ensure its operations and investments until the end of October 2024”.

This infusion of new money announced this Monday was more than crucial for the survival of Carmat. The company warned last September that it only had one month of cash to continue its activities. In other words, nothing more given the rate at which the company was burning its cash despite the approximately 72 million euros raised in two stages in 2022…

“It is good to have news on the financing side since the company had room to maneuver in terms of cash flow until the end of this month,” explains Degroof Petercam in its note dedicated to the French medtech. However, this operation acts as a bandage on a wooden leg for the design office: “However, financial visibility is only extended by two months since Carmat burns around 5 million euros per month. Consequently, “We believe funding remains a short-term concern.”

On this occasion, the French start-up sounded the alarm on BFM Business, pointing out in particular the responsibility of investors who do not support them enough in their development.

“Health is the chronicle of a predicted death,” lamented Stéphane Piat, the general director of Carmat, on BFM Business. “Health is not fast enough, returns are not guaranteed, it is clear that investors are ignoring health. If it is strategic for a nation, we must help,” he continued.

This cry from the heart gave rise to a skirmish between the boss of Carmat and the general director of BPIfrance, the public investment bank. Nicolas Dufourcq wanted to respond to Carmat who deplored the lack of support from public authorities, within the framework of the BIG (BPI France Inno Generation).

“Carmat benefited from a lot of public financing, then BPI invested in Carmat 7 or 8 years ago and we sold, recalls Nicolas Dufourcq. We have never completely agreed with the management of Carmat and on the perspectives”, said Nicolas Dufourcq of BPIfrance at the microphone of BFM Business.

“We are a professional investor, we have the right not to invest in Carmat, believes Nicolas Dufourcq. We cannot invest in everything, we are not going to nationalize the French economy,” he continued.