GorillaPark, the high tech European business accelerator, has raised a third round of funding worth $21 million. This brings the total raised by the company since its inception at the end of 1999 to $74 million. The new capital will be used to make new investments and support GorillaPark’s costs in managing its current portfolio. It also hopes to initiate an acquisition strategy aimed at consolidating the incubator market. The company is currently looking at possible candidates in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Sweden. The new investment is structured as a convertible facility.
A new investor, Fortis Bank, led this round. The Belgian financial services group was joined by NeSBIC, the Dutch VC firm, which is also part of the Fortis group. NeSBIC is the only existing shareholder to re-invest in this round. The investors hope to gain greater awareness of developing technologies at an earlier stage and identify investment opportunities on a broader scale.
Jerome H. Mol, the founder and CEO of GorillaPark, said: “Fortis Bank has again proven that it is a progressive organisation with a clear understanding of the critical requirements of early stage companies. At a time when others have exhibited an unnatural reluctance to support business creation, Fortis Bank understands that 2001 and 2002 will be viewed as the best vintage years for technology investment.”
Amsterdam-based GorillaPark provides young technology companies with seed funding, acceleration and incubation services and corporate infrastructure. The company now has offices in London, Paris, Stockholm, Munich and San Francisco and has made 17 investments to date, three of which have failed. Although GorillaPark initially targeted Internet start-ups its focus now encompasses sectors such as security and identification, short range wireless/Bluetooth, next generation wireless infrastructure and applications, digital broadcasting, telematics and artificial intelligence.
The company’s first funding round, for $13 million in January 2000, was led by Crescendo Ventures and included ABN AMRO Corporate Investments, Atlas Ventures, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and NeSBIC. In September 2000 GorillaPark raised a further $40 million, half of which was supplied by Cable & Wireless. Investors included Initiative-IP, ABN AMRO, Crescendo Ventures, Deutsche Bank, NeSBIC Group and Rabobank Nederland.