Saturday, July 13, 2024

EIF invests €350 million in Spain-based Kembara

EIF invests €350 million in Spain-based Kembara, a Deep Tech
and climate growth fund under the European Tech Champions Initiative

  • Kembara Fund I FCR is an innovative €1 billlon Deep Tech and climate focused fund addressing the critical funding needs of growth stage start-ups in Europe.
  • Kembara has been chosen as one of the platforms to scale European Deep Tech and climate champions as part of the strategic European Tech Champion Initiative (ETCI).
  • This is the first ETCI investment in a Spain based fund and it marks a pivotal moment in Europe’s Deep Tech funding landscape.
  • ETCI has mobilised €10 billion public/private resources for investment in European tech champions and is a strong contributor to Capital Markets Union since launching in 2023.
  • ETCI-backed funds have already invested in European start-ups with high growth potential operating in cutting-edge technology, including two Spanish companies.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has committed €350 million to Kembara Fund I FCR, a €1 billion pan-European fund focused on Deep Tech and climate, managed by Spain-based Alma Mundi Ventures SGEIC (Mundi Ventures).

As the world experiences an unprecedented wave of innovation with technologies like AI, quantum computing, and synthetic biology, Europe, with its top-tier research and talent, is well-positioned to lead in Deep Tech and climate advancements. However, substantial investment is necessary to support the growth of its most promising startups.

Kembara will invest in European Deep Tech and climate companies at the growth stage (Series B and C), primarily in Germany, Spain, France, and Sweden, along with other EU member states. EIF, as the anchor investor, is playing a crucial role in helping the fund reach its €1 billion target through additional investments. The EIF’s support is bolstered by Kembara’s experienced team and unique strategy.

Kembara represents the latest EIF investment in a technology scale-up fund under the European Tech Champions Initiative (ETCI), a fund of funds designed to foster investment in cutting-edge tech startups and drive digital transformation across Europe.

ETCI addresses the financing needs of European tech scale-ups, helping to prevent them from relocating overseas and strengthening Europe’s strategic autonomy and competitiveness. The initiative benefits sectors such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, life sciences, Deep Tech, cleantech, and digital technologies. ETCI also plays a significant role in integrating Europe’s financial markets, showcasing the EIB Group’s efforts to pioneer the Capital Markets Union.

“The ETCI initiative was conceived to provide significant backing to large European funds, enabling them to support future European champions with the scale-up financing they need,” commented Marjut Falkstedt, EIF Chief Executive. “We are delighted to support Kembara, and through it, aspiring tech entrepreneurs all over Europe. The ETCI is now really taking shape, making sure that bright ideas can not only start up, but also grow and flourish right here in Europe.”

Kembara will also represent a differentiated offering within ETCI, being its first investment in a fund in Spain and having a strong commitment to Deep Tech and Climate, thereby fostering greater diversity of financing options for European scale-ups. Kembara will back start-ups with strong intellectual property, combining scientific and engineering breakthroughs, including complex hardware and capital-intensive businesses, and focused on frontier technologies like AI, the future of computing, robotics, space tech, advanced materials, and next-generation energy systems. Those technology areas are critical for the EU’s strategic autonomy and economic growth.

Javier Santiso, CEO & founder of Mundi Ventures and co-founding partner of Kembara, emphasised the fund’s mission: “We are honoured to be chosen by the EIF as one of the platforms to scale Europe’s Deep Tech and climate champions. Incremental changes won’t cut it. We are here to back the most ambitious Deep Tech entrepreneurs who want to solve humanity’s most pressing challenges, in particular climate change.”

ETCI impact

ETCI is creating a positive dynamic in the European investor market and the tech ecosystem since launching in 2023. The Initiative has already invested in 8 different scale-up technology funds, including, among others, Kembara Fund IAtomico Growth VI, a growth fund focusing on partnering with game-changing European technology scale-up founders, FSI II, a fund that supports the growth and expansion of Italian mid-cap companies and Keensight Nova VI, a fund that focuses on cybersecurity, automation and robotics, enterprise software, medtech, and healthcare services.

To date ETCI has mobilised €10 billion public/private resources to support investment in fast-growing high-tech companies. ETCI-backed funds have already invested in European companies operating in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, financial technologies, biotechnology, and healthcare.

In Spain, in addition to the first investment in a Spain based fund such Kembara, ETCI backed funds have already invested circa €240 million in two growth phase Spanish companies Factorial and Inke. Combined they represent approximately 20% of the ETCI investments in scale-up companies to date.

The European Tech Champions Initiative is becoming instrumental in nurturing Europe’s tech ecosystem, fostering collaboration, and fuelling the growth of transformative ventures. Through strategic investments and partnerships, ETCI will continue empowering the next generation of European tech champions, shaping the digital future of Europe.

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