Capricorn Venture Partners has announced the first closing at €26 million of the Capricorn Cleantech Fund, set up to support companies developing breakthrough technologies in fields including renewable energy, water purification, clean air and soils, reduction of greenhouse gases, bio-based chemicals and biorefineries.
Such cleantech applications are an emerging category in the venture capital industry. In the US cleantech has become the third investment category after biotechnology and software.
At the same time Capricorn Venture Partners has strengthened its team by the appointment of Paul Decraemer, an investment manager with experience in the sustainable energy area, to spearhead the cleantech practice.
While Capricorn Cleantech Fund starts off with €26 million in committed capital it has additional commitments and indications of significant interest. The fund will extend its investor base in the next twelve months and expects a final closing in the €75 million to €100 million range.
The lead investors in the first closing are the business unit of the Flanders development agency PMV (Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen), the Benelux electricity company Electrabel, (a member of the Suez Group) and MRBB, the holding company of the Belgian farmers’ cooperative body, the Boerenbond Group.
Capricorn Venture Partners NV of Leuven is independent manager of venture capital funds that focus on innovative European companies.