eCAPITAL Fund V in fundraising – commitments in the amount of the previous fund already receivedeCAPITAL NEWS
Numerous major problems of our time, such as climate change or an increasing number of cyber attacks, can be solved with science-based technologies. Since its founding in 1999, the entrepreneur-led venture capital investor has focused on investments in deep-tech companies in the early and growth phases with a positive impact on society. It invests from its own funds with a total volume of over €280 million in the areas of sustainability, enterprise software, cybersecurity, IoT and new materials. In addition to financial resources, eCAPITAL offers its portfolio companies strategic support and access to an international network of entrepreneurs, scientists, investors and founders. eCAPITAL was the lead investor in various deep-tech companies such as sonnen, Novaled and Jedox, which were successfully sold to international strategists and investors. With the new Fund V, eCAPITAL is opening a fund for investors outside Germany for the first time.
Europe, and Germany in particular, with its great intellectual potential – no other country has such a large number of engineers – has hundreds of unique DeepTech start-ups with enormous growth potential. eCAPITAL V, with its special focus on disruptive technology companies with a positive impact on society, has already implemented the first three investments as lead investor in the context of warehousing before the first closing.
In April 2022, eCAPITAL announced the first investment of Fund V in climate protection technology specialist 1KOMMA5°. 1KOMMA5° was founded in the summer of 2021 by entrepreneurs and industry experts with the aim of enabling people in Germany and Europe to live a CO2-free life. This will be achieved by providing technology for a decentralised, clean energy supply, mobility and heat, as well as additional services. In doing so, 1KOMMA5° participates in particularly innovative craft businesses in the fields of photovoltaics, electricity storage, charging infrastructure and heat pumps, in order to strengthen regional craft businesses on the one hand and to enable high-quality advice and installation at the customer’s premises on the other. In addition, 1KOMMA5° is working on the networking and control of decentralised generation systems with the aim of fully exploiting the potential of the decentralised energy transition. To this end, all installed systems are to become part of a central IOT system.
In July 2022, the investment in the cleantech start-up Numbat followed. Founded in 2021, the company has its finger on the pulse of the times: the rise of e-mobility. The rapid growth in the number of electric vehicles contrasts with the slow expansion of the fast-charging infrastructure. Customers are confronted with too few or no options for fast charging their electric vehicles. In particular, high-power chargers (HPCs) are lagging behind due to high investment costs and the complexity of connecting to the grid. The startup operates a unique combination of HPC and battery storage in a platform model for the right charging solution in the right places. Unique to Numbat is that there are no special grid requirements during installation, which simplifies the grid connection enormously.
Very fresh and not yet officially announced is another investment by Fund V.
Currently, hardly a day goes by without reports of forest fires, mostly caused by humans, but intensified by climate change and extreme drought. The goal of the third investment of Fund V is to recognise these fires at an early stage and give fire brigades the chance to extinguish them before they get out of control. The greentech startup Dryad is developing a wireless, large-scale IoT network with which forest fires can be detected by gas sensors within an hour and with which valuable insights into the microclimate and the growth of forests can be gained. The innovation lies primarily in the fact that the networks do not require an internet connection or electricity. Dryad’s solution not only saves forests worldwide and ensures the safety of people and animals, but also avoids 428 tonnes of CO2 emissions per hectare.
In addition, the closing of a fourth investment is imminent, which is a technology platform that enables sustainable and customer-oriented shipping solutions for e-commerce deliveries and guarantees an emission-free last mile. Further investments of Fund V are already under consideration and may be realised before a first closing. Fundraising will continue in parallel. The target size of the fund is 200 million EURO. The fund will have a term of 10 years and invest in about 20 companies.
We are noticing that more and more founders want to make a contribution with their companies to solving relevant problems of our time, such as climate change. Our many years of activity in these areas enable us to identify exciting investments and support founders. 1K5° and Numbat are two very good examples of this, where we can make excellent use of our network and our experience, e.g. from our investment in sonnen.
Bernd Arkenau, Managing Partner, eCAPITAL AG
In addition to the first investments of the new Fund V, eCAPITAL is also particularly pleased about the top-class reinforcement of the team. This year, three more new venture partners were gained.
Since January, Dr. Stephen Weich, Co-Founder of the Münster-based start-up flaschenpost, has been supporting the eCAPITAL AG team as a Venture Partner. Stephen Weich played a key role in building up flaschenpost, first as CFO and later as CEO, and successfully led the takeover by the Oetker Group and the subsequent post-merger integration with Durstexpress. Since leaving flaschenpost at the end of 2021, he has been increasingly active as a business angel, among other things, and would like to focus on impact investments, with which his activities perfectly support the new Fund V.
I have always appreciated eCAPITAL's professional approach and deep understanding of technology and impact. I am very pleased that as an investor, with eCAPITAL as a partner, I will be able to work intensively on the systemically relevant impact sector in the future and pass on my experience to successful start-ups.
Stephen Weich, Venture Partner, eCAPITAL AG
Christoph Ostermann has already been working closely with eCAPITAL for some time. He founded sonnen GmbH and was CEO of the company until 2021, in which eCAPITAL was involved as lead investor from 2013 until its sale to Shell New Energies in February 2019. Since 2021, he has dedicated himself to new challenges as an investor. Since summer this year, he has been supporting the eCAPITAL team as a venture partner.
I have been working closely and trustfully with eCAPITAL for years and we have the same understanding of how to successfully scale impact startups. Our first two joint investments 1KOMMA5° and Numbat show what experienced and focused teams can successfully set up in a short time.
Christoph Ostermann, Venture Partner, eCAPITAL AG
With the co-founder and CEO of zooplus AG, Dr. Cornelius Patt, eCAPITAL AG has succeeded in winning another well-known, very successful entrepreneur as a venture partner. Cornelius Patt has also been in contact with eCAPITAL for many years and the young founders and their companies will benefit immensely from his entrepreneurial experience. For Cornelius Patt, eCAPITAL is the ideal partner to realise his plans to actively invest in the field of impact in the future. He will support the team from October onwards, after leaving his CEO role at zooplus.
What particularly appeals to me about the intensive collaboration is that eCAPITAL, like no other VC investor in Germany, has built up excellent expertise in successful deep tech impact investments over 20 years. The portfolio is already impressive and with the first four investments of the new fund, the enormous potential of German startups to contribute to the reduction of global CO2 emissions becomes clear.
Cornelius Patt, Venture Partner, eCAPITAL AG
We are very pleased that we have been able to complement our already highly experienced team of venture partners in 2022 for our new Fund V with such high-profile and long-standing successful entrepreneurs as Christoph Ostermann, Stephen Weich and Cornelius Patt. All new venture partners are focused on the topic of impact investing and plan to become more actively involved in this area in the future, supported by eCAPITAL's expertise. The first investments of the new fund have already come about through close cooperation with the venture partners.
Paul-Josef Patt, Managing Partner, eCAPITAL AG
Founded in 1999, eCAPITAL is an entrepreneur-led venture capital investor focusing on early- and growth-stage deep-tech companies with a positive impact on society. eCAPITAL is based in Germany and invests with its own funds with a total volume of over € 280 million in the areas of Sustainability, Enterprise Software, Cybersecurity, IoT and New Materials. In addition to financial resources, eCAPITAL offers its portfolio companies strategic support and access to an international network of entrepreneurs, scientists, investors and founders and was lead investor in various deep-tech companies such as sonnen, Novaled or Jedox, which were sold very successfully to international strategists or investors.