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EIF supported KEEN Venture Partners announces EUR 90 million first close of new fund

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    Date: 04 November 2016

The European Investment Fund has supported KEEN Venture Partners LLP (KEEN), a new venture capital firm operating from London and Amsterdam, today announced the EUR 90 million first close of its inaugural KEEN Venture Partners Fund, L.P.

The new Fund will seek to provide early growth capital for technology companies with breakaway momentum across Europe with a particular focus on innovation hubs in the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. In addition, the fund will consider North American-based technology companies looking to expand into Europe. KEEN intends to invest EUR 5 million to EUR 10 million per company.

Key investors in the Fund include the European Investment Fund (which benefits from EU support under the COSME programme funded by the European Commission), Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI), ING Netherlands, and KPN Ventures in addition to several private investors and entrepreneurs. KEEN is targeting a final close in 2017.

The newly established VC firm has been set up by Ben Verwaayen, former CEO of both BT and Alcatel-Lucent, Alexander Ribbink, former COO of TomTom and Robert Verwaayen, former principal at Prime Ventures. The partners have significant operational and investment experience, including in scaling businesses.

KEEN will invest using its thesis-driven framework, meaning that it will look to invest in companies operating in specific areas of information and communications technology consistent with the team’s vision, expertise and professional backgrounds. KEEN’s approach is designed to pro-actively engage with the most promising entrepreneurs.

When working with companies Keen is guided by a philosophy of ‘human capital first’, where it seeks to first help entrepreneurial teams and forge meaningful relations prior to investing. This approach allows companies to benefit from KEEN’s capabilities and network while giving KEEN greater conviction in its investment decisions.

To further strengthen the firm’s capabilities, KEEN today announces the appointment of a number of ‘network partners’ - world-class technology professionals that it will draw upon for investment advice and to support its portfolio companies. These network partners include Marcus Weldon, CTO of Nokia and President of Bell Labs, Clare Johnston, Founder and CEO of The Up Group, among others.

Pier Luigi Gilbert, Chief Executive at the European Investment Fund, said: “EIF currently supports over 400 private equity funds across Europe, including first-time teams. KEEN’s partners are among the most experienced operators we’ve seen starting a new venture capital fund, which is good news for the venture community. With offices in London and Amsterdam KEEN has a wide geographic reach across Europe, and a strategy that can support European SMEs.”

Robert Verwaayen, General Partner of KEEN Venture Partners, said: “This new Fund is the first from KEEN Venture Partners and we are pleased with the exceptional range of high-profile institutional and private investors, demonstrating a high level of confidence in the new Fund.”

Alexander Ribbink, General Partner of KEEN Venture Partners, added: “As a team we are passionate about supporting scale-up technology companies to become globally leading businesses. With our collective backgrounds, approach to investing and fresh capital we believe we can support the most ambitious entrepreneurs.”

Ben Verwaayen, General Partner of KEEN Venture Partners, added: “We’d also like to welcome our network partners to the firm. This exceptional group of highly experienced technology executives is of great help to us and to the entrepreneurs we work with.”

Nick Jue, CEO ING Netherlands said: “The team at KEEN Venture Partners is focussing on operating, finding and supporting scale-ups which will also add great value to the innovation activities of ING. The financial industry is rapidly changing, and we want to keep pace with innovation and keep our eyes wide open.”

Herman Kienhuis, Director of KPN Ventures, said: “We’re excited to work with KEEN Venture Partners as a way to further expand the scope and opportunity of KPN Ventures to engage in partnerships with innovative tech companies. The team at KEEN have valuable and complementary expertise and the network to support founders of high-growth technology companies in building international businesses.”

About KEEN Venture Partners LLP

KEEN Venture Partners LLP is a new venture capital firm investing in high potential technology scale-ups. KEEN’s team develops strategic investment ideas in information and communication technology domains with transformative potential. When working with entrepreneurs, KEEN is highly committed to help talented entrepreneurs with the best support possible by leveraging its network, expertise and eventually capital. The firm operates from London and Amsterdam and focuses on European and select North American investment opportunities. KEEN Venture Partners LLP is a Small AIFM (as defined in the UK Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013, as amended) authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and registered as a manager of a ‘EuVECA’ (a ‘European Venture Capital Fund’).

About the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

About the COSME Equity Facility for Growth (EFG)

The Equity Facility for Growth (EFG) is dedicated to investments in risk-capital funds that provide venture capital and mezzanine finance to expansion and growth-stage SMEs, in particular those operating across borders. It is expected that some 500 firms will receive equity financing through the programme, with overall investment reaching up to EUR 4 billion. The EFG is part of COSME, the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020. It has a total budget of EUR 2.3 billion and at least 60% of the programme will be devoted to improving access to finance for SMEs in Europe. Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing: www.access2finance.eu.

About ING

ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s 52,000 employees offer retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.

ING Group shares are listed on the exchanges of Amsterdam (INGA NA, ING.AS), Brussels and on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs: ING US, ING.N).

Sustainability forms an integral part of ING’s strategy, which is evidenced by the number one position among 395 banks ranked by Sustainalytics. ING Group shares are being included in the FTSE4Good index and in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Europe and World) where ING is among the leaders in the Banks industry group.

About KPN Ventures

KPN Ventures is the venturing arm of KPN, the Netherlands’ leading telecom & ICT company.  KPN Ventures invests, both directly and indirectly through fund-in-fund investments, in high-growth European technology companies. KPN Ventures aims to build long term partnerships, providing access to capital, to KPN’s extensive expertise in connectivity, security and related technologies, to its leading network infrastructure, its international industry network and to its large customer base.  KPN Ventures focuses on early growth-stage investments in the segments: Internet of Things, Connected Home, e-Health, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Data & Analytics and Mobile/OTT services.  KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam and has invested a.o. in Actility, EclecticIQ, SecurityMatters and early-stage fund Cottonwood Technology Fund.

Important Information

These written materials are not an offer of securities for sale in the United States.  Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  Any offering of securities to be made in the United States will be made by means of a prospectus that may be obtained from Keen Venture Partners LLP and that will contain detailed information about the LLP and management, as well as financial statements.  Keen Venture Partners LLP does not intend to register any portion of the offering in the United States or to conduct a public offering of the securities in the United States. 

Contact:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel: +352 42 66 88 346, E-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

KEEN: Nick Taylor, Ballou PR
Tel.:+44 (0)203 735 8756, E-mail: Nick@balloupr.com


 
 

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