Value Creation Capital, a syndicate of ‘entrepreneurial’ investors announced yesterday the launch of its first fund with €8 million in assets under management.
The so-called TechNano fund focuses on early stage fast growing hard-core tech companies. The funds investment focus lies in the verticals nanotech, micro sensor technology, robotics and the Internet of Things.
Veteran investor Willem van den Berg is joining Value Creation Capital as one of the four managing partners. Van den Berg was previously director of the public regional development fund PPM Oost and co-founder and managing partner of the VC firm TIIN Capital. “We are looking for innovative companies that build disruptive technologies and are able grow into the top contender in their specific vertical”, says Van de Berg in the press release about the funding.
Top 3 in nanotechnology
Van den Berg highlights the opportunity of investing in hard-core Dutch technology startups by claiming that the Netherlands is ‘among the top three countries in the world’ in the field of nanotechnology. Nevertheless not a lot venture capital is invested nanotechnology. Explaining this lack of VC interest Van den Berg says that ‘for a lot of investors the technology is just too complex.’
But that’s not the only problem with this technology of the future. The time it takes before an idea turns into a ready-to-ship product can be extremely long and thus expensive. Eight million seems therefore to be quite meager stockpile of cash to fund expensive projects. Though Van den Berg agrees, he says that they are able to ‘at least double’ every early stage investment they make, referring to the range of private and public parties that will get on board on a deal-by-deal basis.
Value Creation Capital, previously called Value Creation Company has over the last 10 years invested and supported companies to grow. The company has currently twelve portfolio companies and managed to have seven successful exits in the same period. The other partners of the VC firm are Jos Bourgonje, Aldebert Wiersinga en Ronald Wissink. As a part of the new focus the firm has opened a subsidiary at the technological heart of the region Twente, Enschede.
PPM Oost, the Twente Innovation Fund provided the capital for the new fund as well as a few informal investors. Van den Berg expects to announce his first investments early next year. TechNano fund is supported by the SEED capital arrangement of the Dutch ministry of economic affairs.
The region seems to attract VC money with the expertise it has built over the years in nanotechnology. Just five days ago Cottonwood Technology Fund announced its investment in nanotech startup Eurekite. Cottonwood general partner Ray Quinta called the technology of Eurikite ‘very disruptive.’