UK based Amadeus Capital Partners and that of Austria Apex Enterprises are pooling their collective venture capital (VC) resources for a new fund specifically targeting early-stage deep tech startups.
The duo initially raised €28 million ($30 million) for the Amadeus Apex Technology Fund, with plans to close it at €80 million ($85 million). The fund has also already made its first investment by participating in a as-yet-undisclosed second closing of German space startup Okapi-Orbits. seed funding round at a cost of $1 million.
The fund’s core investment team consists of Amadeus co-founders Anne Glover and Hermann Hauser, who are joined by Apex partners Andreas Riegler and Wolfgang Neubert.
The aim of the Amadeus Apex Technology Fund is to invest between €1-1.5 million in start-ups and A-stage startups with “unique and defensible technology”, and includes AI, quantum computing, mobility and outer space , robotics and other areas of the deep tech sphere. In addition, the fund’s core focus will be on the so-called DACH region, which includes Germany, Austria and Switzerland, although there is room to wander into nearby markets – although this does not include the UK.
“The partnership also enables early-stage investments in other European markets outside the UK, such as Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands, which are on our radar for everything from quantum technology to photonics and AI,” Riegler explained to australiabusinessblog.com. “We focused on this region because we see it as a perfect breeding ground for early stage deep tech innovation, with top universities and a large pool of developers. At the same time, there is still little deep tech funding, which offers a huge growth opportunity.”
Founded in 1997, in Cambridge, UK, Amadeus Capital Partners has made more than 260 investments over the past 25 years, with exits to its credit, including network security firm Forescout, which was snapped up by a duo of private equity firms for $2020 in 2020. 1.9 billion, and self-driving startup FiveAI that was acquired by Bosch last year. Meanwhile, Apex Ventures has made some 40 investments since it was founded six years ago in Vienna, most recently by joining a €2.7 million funding round for German biophotonics startup Refined Laser Systems.
So while both VC firms have different histories, each has so far invested in the deep tech realm of its own free will – so why team up in this new fund?
“We have collaborated with [Amadeus Capital’s] Hermann Hauser for many years – he was an investor in our [Apex’s] first fund and member of the company’s advisory board, and we have multiple joint investments,” said Riegler. “This then led to a close relationship with the Amadeus Capital Partners team. Looking to expand their footprint early in Europe, the Amadeus team turned to Apex Ventures for our local expertise, deal flow and syndication experience.”
And for Apex, a relative newcomer to the VC scene compared to Amadeus, it draws on a quarter-century of investing experience.
“We benefit greatly from access to more than 25 years of experience and a network in deep tech,” said Riegler.