LONDON Capital-E, a venture fund formed to cooperate with IMEC, the Belgian research centre for nanotechnology and nanoelectronics, has raised 35.5 million euros (about $43 million) for investment in early-stage startup companies, IMEC said.
IMEC took a decision to launch a venture capital fund in April 2005, having previously worked with the Flanders-based fund GIMV. Eleven months later Capital-E, together with a daughter fund called Capital-E ARKiv, are preparing to finance startups in the micro- and nanoelectronics sector. Capital-E aims to make two or three investments per year, IMEC said.
Capital-E secured investment from IMEC and from Belgian institutional investors, including the Arkimedes fund of the Flemish government. Initially the investment focus will be in Flanders, with a gradual shift of focus towards the whole of Western Europe.
Capital-E is managed by three people. Wim De Graeve, Pascal Vanluchene and Marc Wachsmuth. De Graeve and Vanluchene have industrial experience and Wachsmuth has experience in a Flemish investment company. The fund has been granted right of first refusal on IMEC spin-off incubation projects while free to pursue other opportunities, IMEC said.
Capital-E expects to announce a second closing of its fund with contributions from non-Belgian investors, bringing the total capital to 50 million euros (about $60 million). Capital-E looks specifically at early-stage microelectronics, but not only at spin-offs from IMEC. It is expected to branch out into various sectors impacted by electronics such as healthcare, biotechnology.
“It is our strong believe that through Capital-E, we will provide a solid base for future spin-off projects based on IMEC's intellectual property. The fact that Capital-E also invests in seed initiatives makes them an attractive partner,” said Gilbert Declerck, CEO of IMEC in a statement.