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Askel Healthcare Oy

Invesdor Alumni
Growth company

We keep people in motion

If you wish to invest more than EUR 50 000, please contact the CEO of Askel Healthcare Ltd directly at

This funding round is a co-placement with OnePlanetCrowd, the Dutch financing platform for impact investments. The funding is also published on our partner website. The funded volume includes the combined investments on both platforms.

Marketing content

Key investment highlights

A large global market: Knee pain is familiar to most of us. Approximately one third of the general population have cartilage defects in the knee, although not all are symptomatic. The global knee cartilage repair market is estimated to be up to three billion USD. Current treatment methods are not sufficient to help all patients in need. There is a significant unmet global need for clinically validated and affordable knee cartilage repair solutions. (ref. 1-3, 6-10.)

Untreated cartilage damage leads to osteoarthritis (OA): Knee cartilage does not have the capacity to heal on its own. Untreated knee cartilage damage is one of the main reasons for developing osteoarthritis. There are over 650 million diagnosed OA sufferers in the world, making it the most disabling disease globally. (ref. 1-4, 11.)

Lack of a universal solution: Currently there is a lack of reliable and accessible treatment options for knee cartilage repair. The long-term results of the most common treatment, microfracture, are insufficient and the new methods that have entered the market are expensive, up to 40,000 USD, and therefore not available for all patients. (ref. 12-14) The COPLA® implant is designed to work together with the biological environment of the knee, allowing the cartilage tissue to regain its function and repair itself. It is the only knee cartilage repair method which allows immediate full weight-bearing after surgery. This shortens the recovery time and enables patients to return to their daily activities faster, which leads to shorter sick-leaves and improved quality of life. These clinical benefits combined with the favorable economics of the implant are the cornerstones of Askel’s future business. 

Favorable future unit economics due to product properties and a highly scalable production: COPLA® is made to be economical, universal, and very easy to use. Its use does not require special instrumentation or on-site training. Askel’s cost-effective and scalable in-house production and moderate supply chain costs enable an effective global business model with several sales channel opportunities and commercial strategies to choose from.

A world-class global network: Askel Healthcare has an extensive global network with world's top key opinion leaders (KOL) in knee cartilage repair. Askel has been working on establishing this network since 2010 and today the company's Clinical Advisory Board and extended KOL network consists of highly recognised orthopaedic surgeons and professionals specialising in knee cartilage repair allowing fast access to industry professionals and clinical experts across the globe. 

Virpi Muhone, CEO

„Askel Healthcare is on a major mission: keeping people in motion. Knee pain is extremely disabling and the number one factor preventing people from doing the activities they love. To solve this universal problem, we have developed the COPLA® implant. It works together with the biological environment of the knee, allowing the joint surface to repair itself. It is the only cartilage repair method that allows the patient to place full body weight on the operated leg immediately after the surgery. This shortens the recovery time and enables patients to return to their daily activities faster. Together with our world-class clinicians’ network we aim to be the global standard in surgical knee cartilage repair. We are in the clinical phase, and with the funding raised, we will continue to build a comprehensive set of clinical proof for market authorisations both in the EU and in the US. You can join our journey by participating in this digital funding round.”

Virpi Muhonen, CEO


Investment information

Equity offering
Invested so far:
Equity offered:
7.21 – 21.42 %
Price per share :
min investment 50 shares
Number of existing shares:
Fully diluted shares:
Pre-money valuation:
Offered units:
Funding purpose:
Offered in:
Invesdor GmbH


Company profile

Askel Healthcare is a Finnish medical technology company founded in 2017 set to transform surgical knee cartilage treatment and recovery. Askel's mission is to keep people in motion through the universal COPLA® implant, a ground-breaking innovation for repairing knee cartilage defects. 

Approximately one third of the general population have cartilage defects in the knee, although not all are symptomatic. In athletes, the numbers are higher up to 50%. It is well-documented that untreated knee cartilage defects can lead to osteoarthritis, the most common degenerative joint disease globally. (ref.1-2)


Askel's vision is to become the global standard of surgical cartilage repair. The COPLA® implant is the result of extensive academic research in the field of orthopaedics and tissue engineering, including extensive research by Askel co-founders, Dr. Muhonen and Dr. Haaparanta.

Askel has a proprietary, scalable, in-house manufacturing facility for global COPLA® production. The COPLA® implant is currently being tested in humans in Finland and Estonia.

Askel's strategic focus is obtaining EU and United States (US) market authorisations, strengthening the clinical evidence for the COPLA® implant and commercialising the product.

Developments since the last funding round with Invesdor

Find out more about what has happened since the last funding round.


Products & business model

There is a significant unmet need among patients and orthopedic surgeons for an intervention that enables a fast return to activities after a painful cartilage defect. Askel's product COPLA® is designed, developed, and manufactured to answer this need.

COPLA® is a medical device that is implanted in a simple surgical operation on the damaged area of the knee joint surface. It enables biological healing of the joint surface for the patient to regain pain-free movement of the joint. Once COPLA® has done its job, it slowly biodegrades, and only the healthy joint surface is left behind. 

COPLA® is the only cartilage repair method that allows the patient to place full body weight on the operated leg immediately after the surgery. This means that patients can start rehabilitation exercises leading to complete and pain-free functionality. Moreover, the patients can expect good cartilage healing, providing long-term results as cartilage needs physical loading to fully repair itself. 

Askel is in the clinical validation phase aiming for market authorisation (legal permission to sell) in the EU countries and the US by 2028. Askel is a pre-revenue company until market authorisation is gained and commercial activities can start.

Advantages of COPLA®

Fast recovery: The exclusive properties of COPLA® enable fast recovery to pain-free activity. This is based on COPLA®’s unique capability to allow full weight-bearing of the operated leg immediately after surgery, leading to faster rehabilitation and good tissue quality. 

Universal product: Can be used from small to large knee cartilage damages allowing also mild osteoarthritis.  

Surgical simplicity: Implanted in a single surgical procedure with an easy-to-adapt technique using existing instruments. 

Affordability: An off-the-shelf product with favourable production economics guarantee competitive pricing. 

Joint preservation: Early intervention can repair the damaged joint surface and postpone, or even eliminate the need for total knee replacement surgery. The economic benefits are evidently extensive. 




The number of people suffering from painful knee osteoarthritis worldwide has more than doubled over the past three decades. (ref. 4.) Market data reports estimate the total accessible knee cartilage repair market to be from around one up to over three billion USD with an average growth estimate of around 10% per year. (ref. 7-10.) Current treatment options are either expensive, up to 40,000 USD or are not effective in the long-run. (ref. 12–14.) There is a need for affordable and validated knee cartilage repair solutions that could be solved with Askel’s solution.

Askel will apply for market authorisation in the EU by submitting the data to the Notified Body (NB) once all the testing has been performed to demonstrate the safety and performance of COPLA®. The NB performs conformity assessment procedure, and with a positive resolution, COPLA® will be a CE-marked device and sales in the EU countries can begin. 

In the US, COPLA® has been granted Breakthrough Device Designation from the The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2021. Medical devices that are given the breakthrough status are devices that provide more effective treatment of irreversibly debilitating diseases that the devices that are currently on the market. The Breakthrough Devices Program offers manufacturers an on-going access to interact with the FDA’s experts and receive feedback from the FDA during the design and development phase. This means that the material submitted for market authorisation is more likely to comply with the requirements.


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Longer life expectancy and a growing focus on physical health and quality of life drive demand for innovations supporting joints' long-term functionality. Moreover, the strained public healthcare systems drive the need for cost-efficient surgical treatment that supports fast recovery and long-term health benefits. 


Askel's operational management team has vast experience ranging from R&D to commercial, clinical, and quality & regulatory. The team is supported by an experienced Board of Directors and a network of global opinion leaders in cartilage repair. 


first name last name, position

Dr. Virpi Muhonen

Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder, Board member

Virpi has an MSc in animal physiology and a PhD in orthopaedic cell biology. As a principal investigator, she has successfully raised funding for multidisciplinary research projects, which she has thrivingly led. She has supervised multiple MSc and PhD theses and is a credited author in over 20 academic publications. In addition, she has been recognised for her commitment to promoting academic entrepreneurship and the impact of research. Virpi also serves as a board member of the Finnish Research Impact Foundation.


first name last name, position

Dr. Anne-Marie Haaparanta

Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder, Board member

Anne-Marie has an MSc in biomaterials and a PhD in biomedical engineering. She has over 15 years of experience in research on biomaterials developing and manufacturing composite scaffolds and membranes for multiple biomedical applications. She has supervised multiple BSc and MSc theses and is a credited author in over 15 academic publications. Her scientific work and multidisciplinary cooperation led to the invention of COPLA®, the cartilage repair device. 


first name last name, position

Niina Huikuri

Chief Commercial Officer

Niina has been the CCO for Askel Healthcare since the fall of 2022. She holds an MSc in business administration. She has previously worked in various leadership roles in Optomed, Johnson & Johnson and Boehringer Ingelheim in business development, sales, marketing, and communications. She has experience in IPO processes, international financing rounds, and investor and analyst communication. She has been a leadership group member responsible for establishing a subsidiary and starting commercial operations in the USA. She is also a member of the Board of a medical devices R&D and manufacturing company.


first name last name, position

Petra Raatikka

Director, Clinical Operations

Petra has been the Clinical Operations Director for Askel Healthcare since the fall of 2021. Previously, she has led clinical research strategies for various business segments in GE Healthcare. Petra has over 15 years of experience bringing clinical insights to global medical device projects and medical innovations. She has a background as a registered nurse in Intensive Care and has been a company representative in academic health technology collaborations nationally. In addition, Petra has extensive clinical evidence-generation expertise for regulatory and marketing needs for different regions.


first name last name, position

Dr. Niina Ahola

Director, Research and Development (R&D)

Niina has been the R&D Director of Askel Healthcare since November 2021. She holds an MSc in chemical engineering and a PhD in biomedical engineering. She has a strong background in the research of bioabsorbable materials and the behaviour of these materials throughout their lifetime. She has more than 15 years of experience in the research and development of medical biomaterials and has worked in various roles in academia and industry.  


first name last name, position

Mirva Ekman

Director, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs (QA&RA)

Mirva has been the QA&RA Director at Askel Healthcare since November 2021. She holds an MSc in mechanical engineering. Before Askel, she led the QA&RA functions at ConMed Linvatec Biomaterials and Arctic Biomaterials as part of the management team. She has also worked in different quality positions at Perlos in Finland and China. Her over 20 years of experience includes implantable, biodegradable medical devices and establishing and maintaining quality management systems according to regulatory requirements.

Distribution of the company shares

Askel Healthcare has 687 shareholders, most of whom have joined through previous funding rounds with Invesdor. Askel Healthcare has one share series. The eight largest shareholders are listed in the table below: 




1 Anne-Marie Haaparanta  425 350  18,79 % 
2 Virpi Muhonen  425 350 18,79 % 
3 Cenitz AH  107 942 4,77 %
4 Biothom Oy 62 035 2,74 % 
5 Peter Uppstu 58 500 2,58 %
6 Timo Malvela  45 100 1,99 % 
7 UA Holdings Inc.  44 852 1,98 % 
8 Konho Capital Oy  35 357 1,56 % 
9 Other shareholders 1 059 641 46,80 % 
TOTAL 2 264 127 100 %

Developments at Askel Healthcare since the last funding round 

In the last financing round in august 2021, Askel raised 1.3 million euros in equity. In addition to the equity funding, Askel received a 2.5 million euros non-dilutive funding as a grant from the European Commission (EIC Accelerator grant, project period 01/2022-12/2023). With the help of this funding, Askel has been able to reach several critical milestones during the past 15 months such as:  

Recruited key talent: Askel has recruited key talent for quality and regulatory actions, R&D activities, and clinical and commercial operations. As a result, Askel Healthcare has a team that can deliver the next key milestones and get Askel closer to realising the vision of becoming the global standard in surgical knee cartilage repair.  

Excellent progress in regulatory and quality management work: Askel has developed the COPLA® implant and in-house production for the COPLA® to meet the stringent regulatory and quality standards required for authority approval of a clinical trial. 

Strengthened in-house production: Askel has made the strategic choice of producing the COPLA® in-house, which allows Askel to ensure that all COPLA®s meet Askel’s high-quality standards. Since the last financing round, Askel has increased the in-house production capacity and set up in-house packaging for COPLA®.  

Assembled a Clinical Advisory Board: Askel has assembled a Clinical Advisory Board consisting of global top key opinion leaders.  

Started clinical trials: Askel has successfully begun the multicenter Pilot Trial in humans to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the COPLA® implant. 

Use of funds

Askel Healthcare is aiming to raise a total of 5 million euros in equity in 2023. In this funding round arranged by Invesdor, Askel Healthcare aims to raise between 1.5 and 5 million euros. If Askel does not reach the maximum amount of 5 million euros in this financing round, Askel is likely to aim to raise additional funds in separate financing rounds during 2023.

Scenario I - Maximum – € 5M collected in the financing round 

If Askel raises the maximum of 5 million euros in the financing round, it enables Askel to reach several primary milestones: 

  • Demonstration of the safety of the COPLA® implant in up to 20 human subjects. 

  • Regulatory approval granted for the clinical trial aiming for market authorisation both in the EU and the US. 

  • Strengthening the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): progressing with three patent applications and securing new IPR. 

The other milestones Askel will target are: 

  • Recruit additional support to strengthen our production and R&D. 

  • Gain supportive scientific data for COPLA®’s unique mode of action in collaboration with academic partners in Erasmus MC, The Netherlands. 

  • Optimise the in-house manufacturing capability. 

The management of Askel Healthcare believes that in the future Askel will be an attractive financing target for global institutional investors, which can provide the resources needed for successful market entry and commercialisation of the COPLA® implant. 

Scenario II - € 1.5 – 4.9M collected in the financing round 

If Askel collects less than the maximum amount in the financing round arranged by Invesdor, Askel will aim to raise additional funds from other sources in order to reach its full target of 5 million euros. Even with the minimum target of 1.5 million euros, Askel is able to finalise the current clinical trial and demonstrate the safety of COPLA® in human subjects. The company has an excellent track record and even with the lower scenario, important value inflicting milestones will be reached, making Askel fundable to the next phase investors. Once the above-mentioned primary milestones are realised, the value of the company is expected to rise considerably. 

Financial figures & growth

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Examples of possible exit scenarios

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Trade sale to an industry partner: Askel Healthcare is acquired by an industry partner. Large industry partners include J&J DePuy Synthes, Smith&Nephew, Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, and Medtronic. 

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IPO: Askel Healthcare is listed on a stock exchange and becomes a publicly traded company. A listing could be executed to obtain additional financing and accelerate growth. A public listing as an exit scenario will be explored at the earliest in the post-regulatory and global launch phase. As such an IPO will be explored at its earliest in 2028–2030. 

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Industry consolidation by a VC or PE: A Venture Capital or Private Equity company acquires Askel Healthcare and merges it with similar med-tech companies. Merging multiple orthopaedic sector companies could be of interest to a VC or PE as this could allow for cost- and sales optimisation. 




Askel's Management Team Virpi Muhonen, Anne-Marie Haaparanta, Petra Raatikka and Niina Huikuri discuss in the investor event why Askel is an excellent investment opportunity.

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