HighTechXL founder and former CEO leads team to launch €100 million DeepTechXL Fund I.
“Deep-tech” is a category of advanced enabling technologies developed at research facilities to address the grand societal challenges as defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of healthcare, energy transition and sustainability, security and food. Deep-tech innovation enables long-term sustainable economic success and creates high value-add employment in the advanced high-tech manufacturing industry.
The Brainport region is the tech hotspot of the Netherlands and north-west Europe. Yet, many deep-tech startups spend on average more than 50% of their time raising early-stage funding, since many existing investors lack the specific knowledge to judge the technology potential for future business impact. As a result, each year dozens of promising deep-tech propositions remain unexplored in the Netherlands.
The fund team of experienced venture capital entrepreneurs engages in an unique strategic collaboration with leading tech corporates from the industry, regional and national investors and Dutch research institutes, aiming to offer promising deep-tech ventures access to the combined financial-innovation ecosystem to stimulate innovation, accelerate growth and make positive impact.
The fund received investments from ASML, PME Pension Fund, Invest-NL, Philips, BOM and TNO. The investments of ASML, Philips and PME Pension Fund are an important signal of the Dutch sector partners and their strong commitments to provide considerable contributions to further strengthening the Dutch deep-tech manufacturing industry. Invest-NL, BOM and TNO already belong to the most active players in deep-tech innovation in the Netherlands. In addition to the industry sector and impact investors, Dutch family offices and the fund manager itself are also participating in the fund.
Specifically for seed investments, DeepTechXL received a €9 million loan from the 2021 RVO tender “Seed Capital Deep Tech” of €21 million in total.
DeepTechXL Fund I expects to make approximately 20 early-stage seed investments and 15 follow-on investments to finance growth. As such, the fund aims to provide funding and support throughout the lifecycle of promising deep-tech ventures.
Due to the intrinsic complex nature of deep-tech venture-building, access to finance alone is not enough. Therefore, DeepTechXL aims to be much more than just an investment vehicle. Together with the investing industry partners, the fund provides deep-tech startups and scale-ups access to knowledge, network, technology, licenses and business development support. The fund aims to introduce launching customers, find partners in the supply chain, assist in the entry of new markets and scaling up in manufacturing. DeepTechXL originates from and will closely work together with HighTechXL, the prestigious deep-tech venture-builder also supported by ASML, Philips, TNO and BOM.
Management and industry partners
The management of DeepTechXL Fund I will be carried out by Guus Frericks, Teska van Vuren, Ron Maurer and Ronald Meersschaert. The four partners combine seasoned experience and proven track records in deep-tech venture-building and venture capital investments.
The fund operates from the High Tech Campus Eindhoven in the middle of the Brainport high tech ecosystem, a unique, highly concentrated cluster of knowledge institutes, tech companies, supply chain partners, co-investors and hundreds of tech experts providing active support. DeepTechXL is a long-standing desire of regional stakeholders and sector partners to provide leverage in creating sustainable high value-add employment. Due to the involvement of leading tech companies, the initiative will help attract entrepreneurial tech talent.
DeepTechXL is surrounded by a unique ecosystem to grow deep-tech ventures
“Through continued investment in long-term innovation, ASML plays an active role in further strengthening the sustainable competitive edge of our unique Brainport ecosystem. The fact that DeepTechXL can intensively tap into the strong deep-tech knowledge base and experience in the region makes this initiative stand out. In this way we are establishing the much needed combination of access to knowledge, talent and finance for promising deep-tech startups and scale-ups in the Netherlands,” according to Peter Wennink, President and CEO ASML.
“Innovation, entrepreneurship and cooperation are the lifeblood of both Philips and Brainport Eindhoven. Philips has a long history of successfully creating technologies, cooperations and companies. Through this, Philips stood at the cradle of sustainable innovation power of the Brainport region. We are proud to also participate in DeepTechXL, and we are convinced that through this initiative we will see even more start-ups and scale-ups to be launched in the Netherlands,” said Frans van Houten, President and CEO Philips.
“PME manages the pensions for the metal and technology industry. Through our participations we work on providing a good pension for our members and at the same time contribute to making positive societal impact. Because to enjoy a good pension, a sustainable living environment is needed. Deep-tech can contribute to finding solutions for the societal challenges we face today. This new investment fits seamlessly within our program to stimulate the Dutch technology and innovation sector. In this way we mobilize the money of our members to provide for a good pension whilst creating a flourishing tech sector and create a better world at the same time,” commented Eric Uijen, Chairman of the Executive Board, PME Pension Fund.
“BOM is one of the most active deep tech VCs in the Netherlands and co-initiator of DeepTechXL. This fund creates an important basis to deliver both societal benefits and financial returns, whilst realizing important transitions.” according to Brigit van Dijk - Van de Reijt, CEO Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM).
“Deep-tech venture capital is all about startups and scale-ups with novel and complex technologies. These ventures are in their early days, extremely time- and capital-intensive, and have difficulties getting access to finance and proper support. Yet these deep-tech ventures are the ones which have the potential to completely transform a sector or even an entire industry. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in deep-tech innovations which address the grand challenges societies are facing, but also to contribute to a sustainable future, securing the continuous creation of new high value-add employment in the region. We are convinced that with our fund and the strong support of our partners, we are going to make a positive impact on the creation of new fast growing deep-tech companies,” said Guus Frericks, Founder and Managing Partner DeepTechXL
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