Alternative Investments

Speedinvest announces €80M Climate & Industry Opportunity fund to support European climate tech startups

Vienna-based Speedinvest, a venture capital fund investing in pre-Seed, Seed, and early-stage tech startups, announced that it has launched a new €80M Climate & Industry Opportunity fund. The fund’s final close is scheduled for Q2, 2022.

The VC firm claims to be one of Europe’s leading early-stage investors with more than €600M Assets Under Management (AUM) with an existing and growing portfolio of sustainability-focused investments.

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Investors in this round

Cornerstone investors in the fund include US-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the world’s largest VC funds. The fund also has notable non-institutional investments from the industrial sector, including the technology company KNAPP, plastics and foam supplier Greiner AG, and HEINZEL GROUP, Central Europe’s producer of pulp and paper.

On this development, Marie-Helene Ametsreiter, General Partner at Speedinvest, says, “According to our data, Europe’s industrial tech ecosystem has experienced 81 per cent annualised growth since 2014, more than doubling over the past year to a value of €74B overall. It’s unsurprisingly one of the fastest-growing categories in European venture capital and we’re proud to back a number of outstanding businesses in the sector. Industrial and climate tech will provide key growth opportunities in the coming years, while also generating huge benefits for the planet.”

All of the fund’s cornerstone strategic limited partners (LPs) will get exclusive access to Speedinvest’s corporate investor programme. This grants access to the deal flow of relevant startups, introductions to Speedinvest’s startups and to their technologies, and insights into developing technology trends.

These investors will also have access to a comprehensive events programme that includes exclusive networking opportunities and startup demo days.

How will the funds be utilised?

Speedinvest’s new funds will primarily provide long-term support for the firm’s existing sustainability-oriented startups. In addition, it will also target selected non-portfolio startups that are accelerating the European industry’s efforts to digitise and decarbonise.

The fund will conduct follow-on funding for Speedinvest’s existing portfolio of sustainability-focused investments, including TWAICE, Planetly, Sylvera, Greyparrot, and One.Five. 

The Climate & Industry Opportunity fund will selectively co-invest in these companies and in later stage rounds of new startups that are creating the technologies to help the industrial sector digitise, decarbonise, and improve its sustainability performance. The firm will also help these startups to scale further and help Europe achieve its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The new fund has already invested in two of Speedinvest’s existing portfolio companies, including a €40M Series B round in mid-November in Packhelp, a Warsaw-based bespoke packaging platform that produces two-thirds of its products from recycled materials and supports customers in minimising the amount of packaging used for shipments. 

The fund has also participated in a Series D round in TIER Mobility, furthering their efforts to reduce pollution in cities by providing clean alternatives to traditional transportation.

“Game-changing founder support”

Speedinvest is an early-stage venture capital firm with over €600M AUM and 40 investors based in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, Vienna, and San Francisco. Its portfolio of more than 200 companies include Wefox, Bitpanda, TIER Mobility, GoStudent, Curve, CoachHub, Schüttflix, TourRadar, Adverity, and Twaice.

The company says, “Our dedicated sector-focused teams are the first to fund Europe’s most innovative technology startups and our in-house operational experts are on-hand to offer founders ongoing support with growth, HR, US market expansion, and more.”

The firm was founded in 2011 by Daniel Keiper-Knorr, Erik Bovee, Michael Schuster, Oliver Holle, and Werner Zahnt. Its mission is to empower game-changing support through every stage of a startups’ journey.

In June 2021, the firm announced that SoftBank Investment Advisers (SoftBank) and Speedinvest will jointly launch SoftBank Vision Fund Emerge accelerator in Europe. The programme aims to promote diversity in tech by connecting underrepresented founders with the capital, tools, and networks needed to help scale their businesses.

European Industrial Tech ecosystem is worth €74B

European Industrial Tech is now a major ecosystem in its own right. The combined enterprise value of European Industrial Tech startups has grown 2.2x from last year, reaching €73.9B.

The acceleration is driven by US and corporate money. 56 per cent of investment came from the US and Asia, up from 27 per cent in 2020. Alternative investment grew from 35 per cent in 2020 to 49 per cent in 2021. Industry and logistics are responsible for at least 38 per cent of CO2 emissions. Corporates are keen to innovate to become cleaner. Meanwhile, universities remain a key breeding ground for Industrial Tech, given its R&D heavy nature.

There are now 13 unicorns and $1B+ exits in European Industrial Tech. Despite being a young ecosystem, Industrial Tech startups are just as likely to grow into unicorns.

The most valuable is Celonis, a process mining software applicable in logistics and procurement, among other areas. The company is now worth €10B, up 4.4x in just 1.5 years.

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