Archive for the ‘Venture Capital’ category

StudiVZ sold for €100M

January 3, 2007

According to Spiegel Online, StudiVZ was sold to Holtzbrink Group for about €100M. After OpenBC/Xing’s IPO last month, this is another amazing exit of a Web 2.0 company here in Germany!

Takeaway: Despite all the past issues around the founding team of StudiVZ etc., the community has grown nicely over the last few months, reaching over 1 Mio registered users before in December. The acquisition by Holtzbrinck confirms, that Web 2.0 companies made in Germany do offer great investment opportunities. There is money to be made with Web 2.0! What a great start for 2007!

Recommendations: Time is ripe for the next successful Web 2.0 company/exit made in Germany! Any bets who this will be?

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Update on Isilon IPO!

December 20, 2006

Update on my previous article on our portfolio company Isilon:

The Seattle-based company debuted on NASDAQ on Friday, December 15, 2006 under the symbol “ISLN” and opened at $25, up 92% from its IPO price of $13. It’ll be the third biggest opening day gainer of the year and will have market cap far above $1.4Bn! Atlas Venture V was a founding investor in Isilon in May 2001.

What an amazing year end! Congrats to the whole team involved!

Isilon IPO on Nasdaq!

December 15, 2006

Lilliputian Systems and MicroOptical get recognised as WEF Tech Pioneers 2007

December 14, 2006

Congratulations to two of our portfolio companies, who were nominated recently for the World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer Award 2007:

Lilliputian Systems, one of our Cleantech investments, developing micro-fuel cells for portable devices, Interview with Ken Lazarus, and

MicroOptical, providing a new “viewing” experience for digital content, Interview with Kip Kokinakis – No wonder, Paris Hilton love this product!

Congrats and well deserved to both companies!

SAM Private Equity becomes Emerald Technology Ventures

December 14, 2006

SAM Private Equity announced yesterday, that due to the recent “merger” of Robeco and SAM Group, the private equity arm of SAM is buying out the entire private equity business to create Emerald Technologies. SAM Private Equity is one of the leading Cleantech oriented VCs managing 3 funds with a total of €250M in committed capital under management, 16 professionals, 26 portfolio companies and with offices in Europe and North America.

Takeaway: Good timing to spin-out the private equity business and establish a new stand-alone player in the Cleantech space. Recent exits in the Cleantech space are attracting more and more interest from the public markets, fueling the inflow of additional capital into the VC industry. Now we all need to deliver on these promises!

BASF fuels its product offering with Pemeas Fuel Cell Technologies

December 14, 2006

A ping by one of the people close to Pemeas Fuel Cell Technologies has alerted me to the recent announcement that BASF is buying Pemeas Full Cell Technologies, a leading company in the fuel cell business. Pemeas was founded in April 2004 as a spin-off of the former Hoechst Group’s fuel cell activities. The company has approximately 50 employees and operates manufacturing and R&D facilities in Germany and in the U.S. The company’s product can be used, for example, in portable electronics, residential applications or backup power systems.

According to industry analysts, the global fuel cell market will grow from €1 billion in 2010 to €21.5 billion in 2020. Fuel cells are environmentally friendly and can operate with a variety of fuels. They can also be used in a wide variety of applications, such as in laptop computers, homes and cars.

Takeaway: From what I heard, the company was considering a listing on the stock exchange in the near future, now the acquisition by BASF comes as a bold move to take advantage of top cleantech technology made in Germany. Good move and congrats to the VC investors BankInvest and SAM Private Equity.

Recommendations: We need more of these cleantech investment / exits here in Europe! The exit channels – no matter if public markets or M&A transactions – are out there!

Identic Solutions connects with Investors – €10M for Austria-based RFID company

November 16, 2006

IDENTEC SOLUTIONS uses the power of RFID combined with tight infrastructure to deliver real-time information on mobile resources which saves customers millions of dollars in operating costsIdentec Solutions, a provider of RFID solutions based out of pretty Austria, has announced a financing round of €10M. The company designs and markets intelligent long-range asset management system. Lead investor was SAM Private Equity with participation from Sustainable Performance Group, RFID Invest, gcp gamma capital partners (well done Oliver!) and an undisclosed private investor.

Takeaway: Identec Solutions focuses on a multi-billon euro market. According to analysts, the total market for RFID (tags, system, sw, hw, etc.) could account for $24Bn by 2015. However, so far, the expectations in this market have not been fulfilled at all. Pilot projects have been stopped or delayed. Implementation cycles take much longer than planned. Often it is necessary to cover the whole value chain with a solution in order to derive substantial cost savings. The initial hype generated by projects such as by Walmart resulted in partly disappointing results and – not surprising – high costs for suppliers. People and industry experts seem to be much more realistic nowadays in terms of RFID’s potential! Which is good of course!

Recommendations: Although the market might take longer to develop than expected, RFID is clearly one of the leading, pervasive technologies ahead of us. Once the initial pilot projects in various industries have delivered the expected ROI, the world should be poised to see more innovation coming from this sector.