Evonik and Wacker back German technology fund

Evonik and Wacker Chemie are among the investors in a $335 million fund intended to finance young start-up firms in Germany, both companies announced. The country’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the German state-run KfW Development Bank are the main investors in the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) III, which will also help the start-ups put their business concepts into practice.

Evonik expects the investment will help it identify a broad range of technologies as they develop. Wacker says participating in the fund is a way to support creative ideas and promote the exchange of views between startups and established companies. Membership in the fund also promotes joint development and intensifies collaboration with promising startups.

Evonik plans to invest €100 million in start-ups working with innovative technologies and in leading specialized venture capital funds as part of its venture capital activities. Wacker did not specify its investment.

Michael Brandkamp, managing director of HTGF, said: “The chemical industry is Germany’s third largest industrial sector, and, as such, is open-minded toward the challenges of digital transformation. Large, wellestablished companies continue to show considerable interest in supporting the founding and expansion of high-tech startups from the chemical industry and related sectors.”

The HTGF fund says it is Germany’s most active early-stage investor. Generating a volume of some €875 million across three funds, HTGF covers a wide range of topics – from robotics, energy and the Internet of Things, through to the medtech, biotech, chemical and software sectors.


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