At the Family Day 2018 in Bonn, the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) announced – in front of more than 1,000 participants from the German and international startup scene – the second closing of the HTGF, which amounted to 316.5 million Euros. The seed-stage investor is continuing the success story of the first two funds and surpassing expectations: the third fund exceeded even the final target of 310 million Euros. The investors include public partners such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the KfW, as well as 32 companies from the industry and economic sectors. Recently, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH, Wilh. Werhahn KG and Bayer AG also participated in the fund. Since autumn 2017, the HTGF III has invested up to three million Euros – more in exceptional cases – of venture capital in high-tech startups, which are up to three years old, on freely negotiable conditions.
“We’re very proud that our third fund has received such a good reception from new investors. More and more companies are recognising that investment in new technology is required for all future-oriented industries in order to give Germany a strong stance in the international economy and to drive innovation,” says Dr Michael Brandkamp, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds. “We’re also glad that awareness of the advantages of cooperating with startups is growing steadily, particularly in medium-sized businesses. We are happy to build bridges to bring the two worlds together,” explains Dr Brandkamp.
Investors in HTGF III include both established commercial businesses and public sector partners. Due to the high proportion of private investors, amounting to over 30 per cent of the fund volume, the financing options are even more flexible: “Alone or together with partners, we are able to invest for a freely negotiable company evaluation or, as before, in a proven subordinated loan model,” says Dr Alex von Frankenberg, the Managing Director at High-Tech Gründerfonds. The third fund is able to react to the demands of startups in a more targeted way, with individually-developed conditions and greater capacity. Investments of up to one million Euros are possible in the first round of funding, alone or together with other investors. A total of up to three million Euros is available per company.
These high volumes of investment primarily benefit tech startups in sectors with high financing requirements right from the start. Furthermore, an important change in the third fund is that the funder’s own financial contribution – previously obligatory – is now optional. Another advantage: the third fund now supports companies that are up to three years old. The HTGF will continue to be active nationwide, but companies based outside of Germany can also be financed in exceptional cases.
The HTGF III as a seismograph for growing interest in new technologies
However, the HTGF is not just an investor: “Our core business goes far beyond our financial commitments: we view ourselves as a sparring partner for startups, assisting them with our expertise and our international network of investors, experts, analysts and (multiple-) founders – we support them for many years,” says Dr Alex von Frankenberg. The HTGF provides startups with direct access to fund investors. In return, medium-sized and large enterprises participating in the fund are likewise able to work together with the best founders in areas relevant to them and gain access to new ideas and innovations. “With the HTGF III, we have shown that we’ve got our finger on the pulse. Even among medium-sized enterprises, there is enormous interest in working together with startups and a real thirst for new technology in order to keep up with the competition,” explains Dr Michael Brandkamp.