Rodania raises first Spanish wireless fund

The Madrid-based venture capital firm is seeking up to E45m for a wireless fund targeting investments primarily in Catalonia.

Grupo Rodania, the Spanish venture capital firm set up in 2000 with backing from Swedish venture capital firm Ledstiernan, is in the process of raising its first fund targeting wireless investments in Spain.

The firm is seeking to raise E45m as it looks to exploit a gap in the market for investment in early growth stage firms specialising in mobile applications and services. The fund has already secured a cornerstone investment of E15m from the European Investment Fund.

“We think the timing for the fund is perfect, in part due to the current reduced valuations and to the fact that Spain has very few industry-focused early stage investment funds,” says Svante Borjesson, founding partner of Rodanio. “Rather than merely targeting new technologies we plan to invest in new applications and services for industrial application.

The fund plans to invest in 15-20 companies over the next three years and then have fully realised the exits in the subsequent four years. Spain is the fifth largest mobile market in Europe with 33 million users. The firm expects to make the majority of its investments in and around the Barcelona region, which benefits from Spain’s most active start-up market.

Rodania says it is offering investors access to a growth sector during a period when valuations are low both in Spain and the wider European market. “We are confident of raising the E45m target for the fund. The investment from EIF is an endorsement from a well-respected organisation and this should encourage investors from Spanish savings banks and other European investors,” adds Borjesson. The firm aims to hold a final close of the fund before the end of 2002.