Siemens sharpens VC focus

German electronics group, Siemens is reorganising its venture capital activity. With effect from October 1, all of its venture capital units will be integrated under the Siemens Venture Capital banner.

Mustang Ventures, the corporate venture arm for the information and communication networks and mobile groups, and the VC activities of the medical solutions and automation and drives groups will now be housed under Siemens Venture Capital. Siemens Venture Capital will also retain its responsibilities for direct investments as well as for investments in venture capital funds.

The Siemens AG incubators and accelerators, Siemens Business Accelerator, Siemens Mobile Accelerator, and Technology-to-Business, remain in their respective organisational units.

Bjoern Christensen, former president of Mustang Ventures, will lead the new division. He replaces Dirk Lupberger as managing director who will oversee the integration process before taking on new responsibilities within the group towards the end of the year.

The integration of all corporate venture activities will realign the corporate venture operations of all Siemens corporate and business groups with a view to creating “one voice to the market”, according to the company. The reorganisation will also enable Siemens to make more effective use of available resources.

Siemens Venture Capital focuses on investments in innovative technologies in the following segments: information and communication; automation and control; medical solutions; and power. The firm has invested over E500 million and currently has investments in over 70 start-up companies and in more than 25 funds. Successful exits include various IPOs on Nasdaq such as Openwave, Efficient Networks, Extreme Networks, and SignalSoft and two Neuer Markt IPOs Cycos and November AG.

Siemens says existing portfolio companies will be affected in a positive way through a clearer definition of responsibilities and competencies for the venture groups and the overall Siemens Venture Capital organisation. Integration of cross business venture activities will become tighter and companies with a broader product spectrum will see a more efficient integration into other Siemens businesses.

“Our goal is to seek out the latest breakthrough technologies to complement the Siemens portfolio and to fully support and nurture the start-up companies,” said Bjoern Christensen. “We are not only referring here to the financial support, but to the critical value we can give the start-ups together with the Siemens business units for example access to worldwide sales and marketing channels, R&D support, joint licensing or OEM agreements.”