Capricorn Venture Partners is to move from its advisory routes to raising a €40m to €60m seed and start up fund, which will invest in spin offs from IMEC research centre in Leuven, Belgium. IMEC is a leading nanoelectronics and nanotechnology research centre focusing on next generation chips and systems and on enabling technologies for ambient technologies. IMEC has mandated Capricorn Venture Partners to raise and manage the fund on its behalf. The aim is to raise between €20m and €25m towards the end of this year for the fund, which is to be called the ITF seed fund. (ITF stands for IMEC Technology Fund.)
Previously Capricorn Venture Partners, since its inception in 1993, has advised venture capital funds that invest in technology-based growth companies based in Western Europe. It has not managed its own fund to date rather it has monitored and assisted venture investors having identified investment opportunities for them.
The agreement between IMEC and Capricorn Venture Partners involves IMEC identifying new spin-off initiatives within its research facilities that it coaches through the pre-seed stage. Once a first version of the business plan for the new spin-off has been completed, the relevant intellectual property defined and valued, and a management team appointed, the spin off will be presented by IMEC to Capricorn Venture Partners for investment consideration.
A separate unit will be created within Capricorn Venture Partners to manage the ITF seed fund.