Friday, February 29, 2008

Gasta News On Venture Funds Europe

Gasta News On Venture Funds Europe

Similar to previous years, European venture capital activity has started off with a bang this year. Already over 170 technology investments have been recorded, raising approximately €920 million. And there is more to come, judging by a series of successful fundraisings by Europe’s investors. This past week alone, 4 successful closings of new funds were announced.

German early-stage venture capitalist Target Partners announced the first closing of its new fund, Target Partners Fund II, at €61.5 million. The firm received commitments from private individuals, family offices and institutional investors, including Morgan Stanley, LGT Capital Partners, Bayerische Beamten Lebensversicherung, RWB RenditeWertBeteiligungen and CS Strategic Partners. The new fund has a target size of €120 million. It will mainly invest in start-up and early-stage companies from the German speaking countries, with sectors including IT, communications, Internet, media and clean-tech.

UK venture capital firm TLcom Capital also held a first closing of its second fund, TLcom II. Funding commitments were in excess of €50 million. The target size of the fund is €150 million. The new fund will focus primarily on revenue-stage technology companies across Europe. Returning investors, European Investment Fund and Access Capital Partners, have been joined by Italy-based Finlombarda Gestioni SGR - the investment arm of the development agency of Lombardy - and a group of limited partners associated with IDeA Alternative Investments. IDeA AI is an investment initiative recently launched by private equity group Investitori Associati, Wise and DeAgostini. TLcom II expects to invest in 12 to 15 companies over the next few years. A second closing is planned later in the year as the fund is now also talking to other institutional investors.

Meanwhile, Finnish venture capitalist Inventure completed the first closing of Inventure Fund Ky. The fund focuses on early-stage high-tech investments in the Nordic countries, primarily Finland. Investors investing in Inventure are European Investment Fund and Finnish Industry Investment, in addition to several undisclosed institutions and private investors. The current closing is completed at €35 million and has a final target of €50 million. Inventure aims to invest in 15 high-growth companies with significant value creation and return potential. The firm targets innovation clusters such as software, electronics, semiconductors as well as industrial production and material technologies.

Concluding, 360° Capital Partners announced its final closing with more than €100 million under management. The European Investment Fund, AGF of Allianz Group, Banca Sella Group and Natixis are the main new investors in the venture capital fund. It will invest in European companies, mainly in France and Italy. The new shareholders are joining CDC Enterprises, Credit Suisse – Alpha Associates, Partners Group, Gruppo Banca Intesa San Paolo, Wilshire Associates, Paul Capital and Coller Capital, who had already committed in the first closing which took place last year. 360° Capital Partners invests between €2 and €5 million in first or second rounds of financing of high-growth innovative companies operating in segments including ICT, Web 2.0, diagnostics/medical devices, and clean tech. 5% of the fund is dedicated to seed-stage companies.