Shooting Star

At $400m, the German fund has closed at $150m more than expected.

Star Ventures, the Munich-based venture capitalist, closed its Star 9 fund at $400m, $150m more than expected.

“It’s pretty good,” said a spokeswoman. “We had targeted a close of between $250m and $300m.” She said Star ventures owed its success in a dour market to its track record and strong investor base.

Star would not say who its investors are. But Israel’s Bank Leumi is reported to be an investor and German electronics firm Siemens has made big contributions to past funds.

Overall, German and Swiss institutionals made up most of the fund, but about 25 per cent was raised from investment banks and corporates in the US and Israeli investors also made a significant contribution.

Star Ventures makes 40 per cent of its investments in Israel and is well known there. It was founded in 1992 by an Israeli working in Germany. In 1992, he could see the big potential in young Israeli companies and decided to take advantage.

Star’s spokeswoman says that Israel has been fertile investment territory ever since. “It is a different environment to other markets,” she said. “We have always invested there and our investment strategy has worked well.”

The spokeswoman said Star would stick to its usual focus when investing the new fund, which should last it about two years. Three-quarters of its investments are in communications technology companies. So far the Star 9 fund has made 19 investments, none of which have been disclosed.

Star currently holds $750m under management, and has invested in over 130 companies, 31 of which are traded on NASDAQ and the Neuer Markt.