Since 2005, High-Tech Gründerfonds has been searching Germany for the most promising, most innovative seed-stage tech startups – this is a major challenge as we are one of the few investors in Germany that invest in entrepreneurs at such an early stage. As such, we give some people the first real opportunity to make their vision a reality and to build up a company. Our commitment goes far beyond just pure financing: we see ourselves as a partner to entrepreneurs and want to accompany startups in the long term on their path into the future, opening doors for them to enter the world of business – doors to customers, partners and investors, in Germany and across the globe.
Operational launch of the HTGF III fund: the right solution for all financing needs
Our third fund now provides a further 250 million euros, with final closing expected to amount to 310 million. Twenty-eight large and medium-sized companies that wish to work with startups are already involved. This high proportion of private investors allows us to address the needs of entrepreneurs in a much more targeted way: with flexible financing options under individually negotiated conditions and a freely negotiable company valuation or, as before, following the subordinated loan model. In the first financing round, we will invest up to one million euros, either alone or together with other investors. All in all, three million euros of equity capital is available per company.
The third fund is more flexible and entrepreneurial. At the same time, it is based upon the experience and networks gained from the first two funds. These invested in around 500 companies, supported 1,200 further financing rounds with more than 1.5 billion euros of external capital and completed a total of 85 exits. One of these was Rigontec, a biopharmaceutical startup that develops immunotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and viral diseases. We have supported this startup as part of our portfolio since 2014, and a few weeks ago it was acquired by the pharmaceutical company MSD for a total of 464 million euros. In addition to life science, our investment teams focus upon future technologies in the fields of hardware, chemistry and material science, as well as software and internet media. For example, our portfolio also includes companies such as Mister Spex and eGym.
HTGF as a partner for entrepreneurs
With the high investment volumes in the HTGF III fund, our aim is to primarily address entrepreneurs in fields that require a high level of financing from the very beginning. One new feature – which is particularly important for young entrepreneurs – is that the contribution of the entrepreneur’s own capital is welcome, but not obligatory. Even the age restriction has been adjusted: the companies we invest in can be up to three years old. Our focus remains upon German startups, but in exceptional cases companies headquartered outside of Germany can also receive financing.
As such, HTGF is a strong, entrepreneurial partner – an important signal for Germany as a base for industry and entrepreneurship.
This was a guest contribution by Dr Michael Brandkamp, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds
Short Bio: Dr. Michael Brandkamp has been with High-Tech Gründerfonds right from the very beginning and drafted a significant part of the business plan that today still forms the basis of HTGF. He regards establishing HTGF as an entrepreneurial challenge and at the same time a great privilege.
He has been involved in financing high-tech startups for more than 20 years, six of which he spent working in Berlin’s startup scene. During this time, he invested in a great number of startups and managed numerous successful exits. The tbg Technologie-Beteiligungs-Gesellschaft, where he was Deputy Managing Director and head of the Berlin office, has been involved in more than 30 IPOs. He brought with him this vast experience to HTGF and continues to expand on it.