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German Doctor Launches $100 Million VC Fund

The money will be used to capitalize early-stage European IT vendors.
LONDON — Venture capital company Dr. Neuhaus Techno Nord has launched Incom III, an early stage technology fund worth 100 million euros (about $115 million). The firm added that the European Investment Fund (EIF) had agreed to be an anchor investor providing 30 million euros (about $35 million).

The main focus of Incom III is set be German startups in the information and communication sector (IT), Dr. Neuhaus Techno Nord (Hamburg, Germany) said. Dr. Neuhaus Techno Nord was founded in 1998 by Dr. Gottfried Neuhaus who had built up his company Dr. Neuhaus Computer KGaA into a successful telecommunications company during the 1980s and 1990s. After the move into venture capital as Dr. Neuhaus Techno Nord, the first two funds, Incom I and Incom II, have taken 36 shareholdings and achieved 24 exits. Dr. Neuhaus Techno Nord currently has about 71 million euros (about $80 million) under management with a track record of two IPOs, twelve trade sales, one buy back, nine insolvencies and one partial exit.

“We still have financial resources in the current funds and can take on a further two or three new shareholdings in the next few months,” said Neuhaus in a statement, He added that the money was reserved for the further financing of the existing portfolio companies. As from the first half-year of 2006, investments would be made from the new fund. Neuhaus: “We are now identifying the teams in which we want to participate with Incom III.”

“We see an increasing number of very promising investment possibilities in European IT companies, above all in the early stage area,” said Matthias Ummenhofer, deputy head of operations at the venture capital division of the EIF, in the same statement.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) was founded in 1994 as a joint venture between three shareholder groups: the European Investment Bank, European Commission and a consortium of European financial institutions. Its main task was to provide financial institutions with infrastructure and SME guarantees. The EIF began its involvement in venture capital in 1997, as part of the European Commission's "Growth and Employment" initiative. It has access to half a billion euros (about $585 million) for investments in venture capital funds focused on Germany-based high-tech early stage companies.

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