neoteq ventures starts

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Here we are: After months of preparation we can finally announce we are live now! With a volume of EUR 30 million, we successfully completed our 1st closing at the end of September 2020. So we can get started, finally invest, talk to exciting founders about their ideas and help ensure that great new companies take off with our financing. But we are not yet finished with the 1st Closing. The target figure for the final closing is EUR 40–60 million. More investors can join the fund until summer 2021.

But who are we? We are neoteq ventures, an earlystage venture capital fund from Cologne. We help start-up teams to build companies that change industries. We are happy to support them from the very beginning with capital and our know-how.

Digitalisation is transforming entire industries. Change and disruption opens many new opportunities for unique business propositions and exciting ventures. That is what we specialise in. At neoteq ventures, we look to work together with earlystage start-ups rooted in technology — with the potential and ambition to become market leaders. Founders are at the centre of our attention. We invest throughout Germany with focus on the Rhineland.

We have acquired the knowledge and experience to build such a fund over the years in other funds, in start-ups, in corporates and family offices. Not only nationally but also internationally, we have been able to invest in many exceptional start-ups in the past and have worked with many great colleagues from the VC world. We are looking forward to continuing this cooperation now at neoteq ventures.

neoteq ventures is now our first own fund. For many, we are 1st timer, as we have been told often in the past months. We have experienced a lot in the course of fundraising, which is why there will be a separate blogpost on our experiences shortly. In any case, we now know what it’s like for founding teams when you hear again and again that it’s still a little too early…

Everything begins with a first step. What we could not have anticipated was Covid-19 and its impact on our fundraising. Over several months, there were almost no new meetings. What was very remarkable for us, however, was the experience that all investors who had already agreed to participate continued to do so. Thus, from the beginning of the summer, it was again possible for us to complete the fund step by step.

All this would not have been possible without the trust of our investors. This trust is now the basis for our further work. The first to mention here is our largest investor, NRW.BANK. In the following statement, Eckhard Forst, Chairman of the Managing Board of NRW.BANK, briefly summarized the reasons for the investment: “As the Förderbank for North Rhine-Westphalia, it is our goal that every good idea receives the right financing — and venture capital is the right fuel for young innovative companies. With its focus on innovative start-ups, neoteq ventures closes a financing gap for the Rhineland and thus helps to sustainably promote the start-up scene in the region. This is why we entered the market early on as an anchor investor”.

Other investors are hubraum, the Telekom tech incubator and Henkel AG: Axel Menneking, Managing Director of hubraum: “As hubraum, Telekom’s tech incubator, it makes sense to get involved in NRW and neoteq. The state with its excellent universities and numerous well-known economic players offers an ideal environment for start-ups. As part of the ‘TechCluster NRW’ initiative, we want to use the fund to support this ecosystem and offer start-ups the financial basis for a good start. And, of course, we also want to be involved in new ideas at an early stage and establish good contacts with the founders.”

Dr. Robert Günther, Head of Corporate Venturing at Henkel, describes the investment in neoteq as “Commitment to the growing startup ecosystem in NRW close to the roots of Henkel.” The positioning of neoteq ventures is the right one to focus on “on an underserved region from a venture capital perspective with strong academic centers and emerging technology clusters aside from European startup hotspots.”

In addition to these two corporates, we have succeeded in attracting three of the largest Sparkassen in Germany — Kreissparkasse Köln, Sparkasse KölnBonn and Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf — as anchor investors for neoteq ventures. All three have given us their investment-reasons in short statements:

Udo Buschmann, Member of the Board, Kreissparkasse Köln: “In recent years, the Rhineland has increasingly developed into one of the most exciting start-up regions in Germany. What is still missing from our point of view is an independent venture capital fund that takes care of financing the start-ups locally. In order to close this gap, we, as Kreissparkasse Köln, have invested in neoteq ventures, among others. We see the fund as the perfect complement to our own investment activities with KSK Wagniskapital GmbH, which has been investing in start-ups in the region for over twenty years.

Uwe Borges, Member of the Board of Directors, Sparkasse KölnBonn: “Promoting start-ups has a long tradition at Sparkasse KölnBonn with our Founder Centers. We support them not only with financial resources, but also with competent advice in all phases of the start-up process. Very successful start-ups have emerged from these centers. We are pleased that neoteq ventures is now able to close the existing gap in venture capital for start-ups and provide additional value-add. With the two founding partners Simon Schneider and B.J. Park, a professional and experienced team with many years of VC expertise has been found.”

Uwe Baust, Member of the board, Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf: “The Rhineland offers the best environment for technology-oriented start-ups in the midst of one of the strongest economic regions in Europe and a first-class university and research landscape. With our investment in ‘neoteq’, we are expanding our value chain as a market-leading financial institution both in terms of the financing of start-ups and their targeted networking with our corporate customers. We are thus securing future economic power and jobs in our home region”.

In addition, we were able to convince a number of very successful medium-sized companies, great entrepreneurs and founders, for whom we were previously investors ourselves, to neoteq ventures: Frank Asbeck, founder & former CEO of Solarworld AG, Markus Schmitt, Hamacher Gesundheitsdienste, Andreas Jacobi & André Schnitzler, founders make.tv, Arno Nonnen of Dr. Schwarz-Schilling & Partners and Benjamin Weber of the Weber-Group: “As a medium-sized family business with a 98-year history, the Weber group is the market leader in Germany in industrial pipeline construction for the process industry. The core competence of pipeline construction is meaningfully supplemented by other fields of activity such as maintenance services, engineering, energy service and scaffolding. As a company based in Pulheim in the Rhineland, we are very pleased to participate in the initiative of neoteq ventures in order to promote the establishment and development of start-up teams in the technology sector, to develop optimized working methods and to further strengthen the economic location NRW as a whole”.

With this unique network of LPs, we have the opportunity to offer our future investments a whole range of exciting added value in addition to our investment. In this respect, we are now looking forward to start. We have already strengthened our team with Jan Jeske. More on this shortly.

Feel free to contact us if you have an exciting business idea. Either via neoteq.de or simply by email to deals@neoteq.de. Our journey has just started.

Simon & B.J.

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