InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area in The Netherlands, last week expanded its IQCapital fund with €63.6mn to a total size of €140mn.
InnovationQuarter announced the additional funding on 15 December and said the funds, provided by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Change and its existing shareholders, will give IQCapital “more scope” to help innovative scale-ups and startups in the province of South Holland.
Since its foundation in 2014 IQCapital has poured more than €70mn in over 90 investments in more than 50 companies. The majority of the money has gone to the life sciences, digital technology and high tech sectors with additional investments also being made in energy, circular, aerospace, maritime, horticulture and cybersecurity.
“Breakthrough technologies provide the solutions to our societal challenges,” said Liduina Hammer, head of investing at InnovationQuarter. “Those technologies require money, patience and collaboration.”
‘Impact is something you do together’
InnovationQuarter said it generates an additional €3 to €4 from co-investors out of every euro invested. Over 80 different co-investors have already invested around €230mn in the portfolio companies of IQCapital.
“With this extra fund capital we can help more scale-ups and startups to get to the next phase and invest even more in deep- and high-tech propositions,” Hammer said.
“We will not do this alone, but together with our companies, co-investors and shareholders. Because making an impact is something you do together.”
Climate neutral by 2050
South Holland is the home province of Rotterdam, Europe’s biggest sea port, which generates one-fifth of all CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. It aims to be climate neutral by 2050.
“In recent years, together with our partners, we have carefully built a successful ecosystem for innovative entrepreneurs in South Holland,” said Meindert Stolk, a regional minister for South Holland.
“With this, we can make the difference to major issues such as energy transition, circular economy and digitalisation. By contributing almost €15mn extra as a province to IQCapital, we are making this possible.”
As a life cycle financier InnovationQuarter provides companies with funding in different stages of growth. It invests from four funds: IQCapital, UNIIQ, ENERGIIQ and the Energy Transition Fund.
The €140mn IQCapital fund invests in innovative companies, from startups to scale-ups and mature SMEs in South Holland.
The €22mn UNIIQ fund is a so-called ‘proof-of-concept’ fund set up by the Erasmus University Medical Centre, the Delft University of Technology, Leiden University and InnovationQuarter to cover the most risky phase from concept to promising company.
The €35mn ENERGIIQ fund, which is owned by the province of South Holland, supports the commercialisation of proven energy innovations that lead to CO2 reduction.
And finally, the €30mn Energy Transition Fund provides loans to owner-occupiers, private individuals and SMEs. It has an additional €100mn available for sustainable investments in scale-ups and large companies that are working on reducing CO2 emissions.
InnovationQuarter claims its investments in breakthrough technologies have led to “hundreds of billions of heart muscle cells being grown from stem cells, one million plastic packages saved and 25 million digital systems protected against hacking.”