Capricorn raises €100m

Capricorn Venture Partners, the Belgian venture firm, has closed on €100m for its first cleantech fund.

Investors in the new vehicle include three LPs from the VCs previous two generalist funds – PMV (ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen), Ethias and a Dutch pension fund. Over 15 news investors also committed to the fund, including the European Investment Fund, PMV, LRM and Dexia.

The fund is targeting first and second round opportunities and looking to initially invest between €0.5m to €5m per company. It will occasionally do seed deals but its main focus is on early stage companies typically requiring funding for business development

A strategic partnership has been set-up with the Solvay Group, a Brussels-headquartered chemicals group. “We are confident that our participation in Capricorn Cleantech Fund will stimulate the expansion of Solvay’s portfolio of cleantech activities, through close contact with innovation throughout Europe,” said Jean-Michel Mesland, general manager of research & technology at Solvay. “We will be in a privileged position to spot the best in-class for possible partnerships and to run a reality check on our own early-stage developments.”

Capricorn’s previous fund, its second multi-sector offering, raised €22m in 2001 from KBC Private Equity, the interface unit of the University of Leuven and a group of successful technology entrepreneurs. The fund has made three investments in the biotechnology and life science sectors and three in information technology. In 2007, TiGenix realised a successful IPO at Euronext.